Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Isaiah
Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 26

The Divine mercies encourage to confidence in God. (1-4) His
judgments. (5-11) His people exhorted to wait upon Him. (12-19)
Deliverance promised. (20,21)

1-4 "That Day," seems to mean when the New Testament Babylon
shall be levelled with the ground. The unchangeable promise and
Covenant of the Lord are the walls of the Church of God. The
gates of this City shall be open. Let sinners then be encouraged
to join to the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in peace; in perfect
peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of
Conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord
for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever
we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but
those who trust in God shall not only find in him, but shall
receive from him, strength that will carry them to that
blessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him in
all our ways, and rely On him in all trials.

5-11 The way of the just is evenness, a steady course of
obedience and holy Conversation. And it is their happiness that
God makes their way Plain and easy. It is our duty, and will be
our comfort, to wait for God, to keep up holy desires toward him
in the darkest and most discouraging times. Our troubles must
never turn us from God; and in the darkest, longest night of
affliction, with our souls must we desire him; and this we must
wait and pray to him for. We make nothing of our religion,
whatever our profession may be, if we do not make Heart-work of
it. Though we come ever So early, we shall find God ready to
receive us. The intention of Afflictions is to teach
Righteousness: blessed is the Man whom the Lord thus teaches.
But sinners walk contrary to him. They will go On in their evil
ways, because they will not consider what a God he is whose laws
they persist in despising. Scorners and the secure will shortly
feel, what now they will not believe, that it is a fearful thing
to fall into the hands of the living God. They will not see the
evil of Sin; but they shall see. Oh that they would abandon
their sins, and turn to the Lord, that he may have Mercy upon

12-19 Every Creature, every business, any way serviceable to
our comfort, God makes to be So; he makes that work for us which
seemed to make against us. They had been slaves of Sin and
Satan; but By the Divine Grace they were taught to look to be
set free from all former masters. The cause opposed to God and
his kingdom will sink at last. See our need of Afflictions.
Before, Prayer came drop By drop; now they pour it out, it comes
now like water from a Fountain. Afflictions bring us to secret
Prayer. Consider Christ as the Speaker addressing his Church.
His resurrection from the dead was an Earnest of all the
deliverance foretold. The power of his Grace, like the Dew or
Rain, which causes the herbs that seem dead to revive, would
raise his Church from the lowest state. But we may refer to the
Resurrection of the dead, especially of those united to Christ.

20,21 When dangers threaten, it is good to retire and Lie hid;
when we commend ourselves to God to hide us, he will hide us
either under Heaven or in Heaven. Thus we shall be safe and
happy in the midst of tribulations. It is but for a short time,
as it were for a little moment; when over, it will seem as
nothing. God's place is the Mercy-seat; there he delights to be:
when he punishes, he comes out of his place, for he has No
pleasure in the Death of sinners. But there is hardly any Truth
more frequently repeated in Scripture, than God's determined
purpose to punish the workers of iniquity. Let us keep close to
the Lord, and separate from the world; and let us seek comfort
in secret Prayer. A Day of vengeance is coming On the world, and
before it comes we are to expect Tribulation and suffering. But
because the Christian looks for these things, shall he be
restless and dismayed? No, let him repose himself in his God.
Abiding in him, the believer is safe. And let us wait patiently
the fulfilling of God's promises.