od's unchangeable love for his people. (1-7) Apostates and
idolaters addressed. (8-13) The deliverance from Babylon, and
the conversion of the Gentiles. (14-21) Admonition to repent of
Verses 1-7: God's favour and good-will to his people speak abundant
comfort to all believers. The new creature, wherever it is, is
of God's forming. All who are redeemed with the blood of his
Son, he has set apart for himself. Those that have God for them
need not fear who or what can be against them. What are Egypt
and Ethiopia, all their lives and treasures, compared with the
blood of Christ? True believers are precious in God's sight, his
delight is in them, above any people. Though they went as
through fire and water, yet, while they had God with them, they
need fear no evil; they should be born up, and brought out. The
faithful are encouraged. They were to be assembled from every
quarter. And with this pleasing object in view, the prophet
again dissuades from anxious fears.
Verses 8-13: Idolaters are called to appear in defence of their idols.
Those who make them, and trust in them, are like unto them. They
have the shape and faculties of men; but they have not common
sense. But God's people know the power of his grace, the
sweetness of his comforts, the kind care of his providence, and
the truth of his promise. All servants of God can give such an
account of what he has wrought in them, and done for them, as
may lead others to know and believe his power, truth, and love
Verses 14-21: The deliverance from Babylon is foretold, but there is
reference to greater events. The redemption of sinners by
Christ, the conversion of the Gentiles, and the recall of the
Jews, are described. All that is to be done to rescue sinners,
and to bring the believer to glory, is little, compared with
that wondrous work of love, the redemption of man.
Verses 22-28: Those who neglect to call upon God, are weary of him. The
Master tired not the servants with his commands, but they tired
him with disobedience. What were the riches of God's mercy
toward them? I, even I, am he who yet blotteth out thy
transgressions. This encourages us to repent, because there is
forgiveness with God, and shows the freeness of Divine mercy.
When God forgives, he forgets. It is not for any thing in us,
but for his mercies' sake, his promise' sake; especially for his
Son's sake. He is pleased to reckon it his honour. Would man
justify himself before God? The attempt is desperate: our first
father broke the covenant, and we all have copied his example.
We have no reason to expect pardon, except we seek it by faith
in Christ; and that is always attended by true repentance, and
followed by newness of life, by hatred of sin, and love to God.
Let us then put him in remembrance of the promises he has made
to the penitent, and the satisfaction his Son has made for them.
Plead these with him in wrestling for pardon; and declare these
things, that thou mayest be justified freely by his grace. This
is the only way, and it is a sure way to peace.