The calling of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews.
(1-7) The Lord would preserve a remnant. (8-10) Judgments upon
the wicked. (11-16) The future happy and flourishing state of
the church. (17-25)
The Gentiles came to seek God, and find him, because they
were first sought and found of him. Often he meets some
thoughtless trifler or profligate opposer, and says to him,
Behold me; and a speedy change takes place. All the gospel day,
Christ waited to be gracious. The Jews were bidden, but would
not come. It is not without cause they are rejected of God. They
would do what most pleased them. They grieved, they vexed the
Holy Spirit. They forsook God's temple, and sacrificed in
groves. They cared not for the distinction between clean and
unclean meats, before it was taken away by the gospel. Perhaps
this is put for all forbidden pleasures, and all that is thought
to be gotten by sin, that abominable thing which the Lord hates.
Christ denounced many woes against the pride and hypocrisy of
the Jews. The proof against them is plain. And let us watch
against pride and self-preference, remembering that every sin,
and the most secret thoughts of man's heart, are known and will
be judged by God.
In the bunch of unripe grapes, at present of no value, the
new wine is contained. The Jews have been kept a distinct
people, that all may witness the fulfilment of ancient
prophecies and promises. God's chosen, the spiritual seed of
praying Jacob, shall inherit his mountains of bliss and joy, and
be carried safe to them through the vale of tears. All things
are for the display of God's glory in the redemption of sinners.
Here the different states of the godly and wicked, of the
Jews who believed, and of those who persisted in unbelief, are
set against one another. They prepared a table for that troop of
deities which the heathen worship, and poured out
drink-offerings to that countless number. Their worshippers
spared no cost to honour them, which should shame the
worshippers of the true God. See the malignity of sin; it is
doing by choice what we know will displease God. In every age
and nation, the Lord leaves those who persist in doing evil, and
despise the call of the gospel. God's servants shall have the
bread of life, and shall want nothing good for them. But those
who forsake the Lord, shall be ashamed of vain confidence in
their own righteousness, and the hopes they built thereon.
Wordly people bless themselves in the abundance of this world's
goods; but God's servants bless themselves in him. He is their
strength and portion. They shall honour him as the God of truth.
And it was promised that in him should all the families of the
earth be blessed. They shall think themselves happy in having
him for their God, who made them forget their troubles.
In the grace and comfort believers have in and from
Christ, we are to look for this new heaven and new earth. The
former confusions, sins and miseries of the human race, shall be
no more remembered or renewed. The approaching happy state of
the church is described under a variety of images. He shall be
thought to die in his youth, and for his sins, who only lives to
the age of a hundred years. The event alone can determine what
is meant; but it is plain that Christianity, if universal, would
so do away violence and evil, as greatly to lengthen life. In
those happy days, all God's people shall enjoy the fruit of
their labours. Nor will children then be the trouble of their
parents, or suffer trouble themselves. The evil dispositions of
sinners shall be completely moritified; all shall live in
harmony. Thus the church on earth shall be full of happiness,
like heaven. This prophecy assures the servants of Christ, that
the time approaches, wherein they shall be blessed with the
undisturbed enjoyment of all that is needful for their
happiness. As workers together with God, let us attend his
ordinances, and obey his commands.