Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Isaiah
Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 54

The increase of the Church By the Conversion of the Jews and
Gentiles. (1-5) Its certain deliverance. (6-10) Its triumphant
state is described. (11-17)

1-5 Observe the low state of religion in the world, for a long
time before Christianity was brought in. But By preaching the
Gospel, multitudes were converted from idols to the living God.
This is matter of great rejoicing to the Church. The bounds of
the Church were extended. Though its state On Earth is but mean
and movable, like a Tent or Tabernacle, it is sometimes a
growing state, and must be enlarged as the family increases. But
the more numerous the Church grows, the more she must fortify
herself against errors and corruptions. Thy Maker is thy
Husband. Christ is the Holy One of Israel, the Mediator of the
Covenant made with the Old Testament Church. Long he had been
called the God of Israel; but now he shall be called the God of
the whole Earth. And he will cleanse from Sin, and cause every
true believer to rejoice in this sacred union. We never can
enough admire this Mercy, or duly value this privilege.

6-10 As God is slow to Anger, So he is swift to show Mercy. And
how sweet the returns of Mercy would be, when God should come
and comfort them! He will have Mercy On them. God's gathering
his people takes rise from his Mercy, not any merit of theirs;
and it is with great mercies, with Everlasting kindness. The
wrath is little, the mercies great; the wrath for a moment, the
kindness Everlasting. We are neither to despond under
Afflictions, nor to despair of relief. Mountains have been
shaken and removed, but the promises of God never were broken By
any event. Mountains and hills also signify great men.
Creature-confidences shall fail; but when our friends fail us,
our God does not. All this is alike applicable to the Church at
large, and to each believer. God will rebuke and correct his
people for sins; but he will not cast them off. Let this
encourage us to give the more diligence to make our Calling and
election sure.

11-17 Let the people of God, when afflicted and tossed, think
they hear God speaking comfortably to them By these words,
taking notice of their griefs and fears. The Church is all
glorious when full of the knowledge of God; for none teaches
like him. It is a promise of the teaching and Gifts of the Holy
Spirit. All that are taught of God are taught to Love one
another. This seems to relate especially to the glorious times
to succeed the tribulations of the Church. Holiness, more than
any thing, is the beauty of the Church. God promises protection.
There shall be No fears within; there shall be No fightings
without. Military men value themselves On their splendid titles,
but God calls them, "Wasters made to destroy," for they make
wasting and Destruction their business. He created them,
therefore he will serve his own designs By them. The Day is
coming when God will reckon with wicked men for their hard
speeches, Jude 15. Security and final victory are the
heritage of each Faithful servant of the Lord. The Righteousness
By which they are justified, and the Grace By which they are
sanctified, are the Gift of God, and the effect of his special
Love. Let us beseech him to sanctify our souls, and to employ us
in his service.