Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Isaiah
Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 28

The desolations of Samaria. (1-4) The prosperity of Judah;
with reproofs for sinfulness and unbelief. (5-15) Christ is
pointed out as the sure Foundation for all believers. (16-22)
God's dealings with his people. (23-29)

1-4 What men are proud of, be it ever So mean, is to them as a
Crown; but pride is the Forerunner of Destruction. How foolishly
drunkards act! Those who are overcome with Wine are overcome By
Satan; and there is not greater drudgery in the world than hard
drinking. Their health is ruined; men are broken in their
callings and estates, and their families are ruined By it. Their
souls are in danger of being undone for ever, and all merely to
gratify a base Lust. In God's professing people, like Israel, it
is worse than in any other. And he is just in taking away the
plenty they thus abuse. The plenty they were proud of, is but a
fading flower. Like the early Fruit, which, as soon as
discovered, is plucked and eaten.

5-15 The Prophet next turns to Judah, whom he calls the residue
of his people. Happy are those alone, who Glory in the Lord of
hosts himself. Hence his people get Wisdom and strength for
every service and every conflict. But it is only in Christ Jesus
that the holy God communicates with sinful Man. And whether
those that teach are Drunk with Wine, or intoxicated with false
doctrines and notions concerning the kingdom and Salvation of
the Messiah, they not only err themselves, but lead multitudes
astray. All places where such persons have taught are filled
with errors. For our instruction in the things of God, it is
needful that the same precept and the same line should be often
repeated to us, that we may the better understand them. God, By
his Word, calls us to what is really for our advantage; the
service of God is the only true Rest for those weary of the
service of Sin, and there is No refreshment but under the easy
Yoke of the Lord Jesus. All this had little effect upon the
people. Those who will not understand what is Plain, but scorn
and despise it as mean and trifling, are justly punished. If we
are at peace with God, we have, in effect, made a Covenant with
Death; whenever it comes, it cannot do us any real damage, if we
are Christ's. But to think of making Death our friend, while By
Sin we are making God our enemy, is absurd. And do not they make
lies their Refuge who trust in their own Righteousness, or to a
Death-Bed Repentance? which is a resolution to Sin No more, when
it is No longer in their power to do So.

16-22 Here is a promise of Christ, as the only foundation of
Hope for escaping the wrath to come. This foundation was laid in
Zion, in the eternal counsels of God. This foundation is a
Stone, firm and able to support his Church. It is a tried Stone,
a Chosen Stone, approved of God, and never failed any who made
trial of it. A Corner Stone, binding together the whole
Building, and bearing the whole weight; precious in the sight of
the Lord, and of every believer; a sure foundation On which to
build. And he who in any Age or nation shall believe this
Testimony, and Rest all his hopes, and his never-dying soul On
this foundation, shall never be confounded. The right effect of
Faith in Christ is, to quiet and calm the soul, till events
shall be timed By Him, who has all times in his own Hand and
power. Whatever men trust to for Justification, except the
Righteousness of Christ; or for Wisdom, strength, and Holiness,
except the influences of the Holy Ghost; or for happiness,
except the favour of God; that protection in which they thought
to shelter themselves, will prove not enough to answer the
intention. Those who Rest in a Righteousness of their own, will
have deceived themselves: the Bed is too short, the covering too
narrow. God will be glorified in the fulfilling of his counsels.
If those that profess to be members of God's Church, make
themselves like Philistines and Canaanites, they must expect to
be dealt with as such. Then dare not to ridicule the reproofs of
God's Word, or the approaches of judgements.

23-29 The Husbandman applies to his Calling with pains and
prudence, in all the Works of it according to their nature. Thus
the Lord, who has given men this Wisdom, is wonderful in
counsel, and excellent in his working. As the occasion requires,
he threatens, corrects, spares, shows Mercy, or executes
vengeance. Afflictions are God's Threshing instruments, to
loosen us from the world, to part between us and our Chaff, and
to prepare us for use. God will proportion them to our strength;
they shall be No heavier than there is need. When his End is
answered, the trials and sufferings of his people shall cease;
his Wheat shall be gathered into the Garner, but the Chaff shall
be burned with unquenchable Fire.