Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Isaiah
Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 57

The blessed Death of the righteous. (1,2) The abominable
idolatries of the Jewish nation. (3-12) Promises to the humble
and contrite. (13-21)

1,2 The righteous are delivered from the sting of Death, not
from the stroke of it. The careless world disregards this. Few
lament it as a public loss, and very few notice it as a public
warning. They are taken away in compassion, that they may not
see the evil, nor share in it, nor be tempted By it. The
righteous Man, when he dies, enters into peace and Rest.

3-12 The Lord here calls apostates and hypocrites to appear
before him. When reproved for their sins, and threatened with
judgments, they ridiculed the Word of God. The Jews were guilty
of Idolatry before the Captivity; but not after that affliction.
Their zeal in the Worship of false gods, may shame our
indifference in the Worship of the true God. The service of Sin
is disgraceful slavery; those who thus debase themselves to
Hell, will justly have their portion there. Men incline to a
religion that inflames their unholy passions. They are led to do
any evil, however great or vile, if they think it will atone for
crimes, or purchase indulgence for some favourite Lust. This
explains Idolatry, whether pagan, Jewish, or antichristian. But
those who set up anything instead of God, for their Hope and
confidence, never will come to a right End. Those who forsake
the only right way, wander in a thousand By-paths. The pleasures
of Sin soon tire, but never satisfy. Those who care not for the
Word of God and his providences, show they have No fear of God.
Sin profits not; it ruins and destroys.

13-21 The idols and their worshippers shall come to nothing;
but those who trust in God's Grace, shall be brought to the joys
of Heaven. With the Lord there is neither beginning of days, nor
End of Life, nor change of time. His name is holy, and all must
know him as a holy God. He will have tender regard to those who
bring their mind to their condition, and dread his wrath. He
will make his abode with those whose hearts he has thus humbled,
in order to revive and comfort them. When troubles last long,
even good men are tempted to Entertain hard thoughts of God.
Therefore He will not contend for ever, for he will not forsake
the work of his own hands, nor defeat the purchase of his Son's
Blood. Covetousness is a Sin that particularly lays men under
the Divine displeasure. See the sinfulness of Sin. See also that
troubles cannot reform men unless God's Grace work in them.
Peace shall be published, perfect peace. It is the Fruit of
preaching lips, and praying lips. Christ came and preached peace
to Gentiles, as Well as to the Jews; to after-ages, who were
afar off in time, as Well as to those of that Age. But the
wicked would not be healed By God's Grace, therefore would not
be healed By his comforts. Their ungoverned lusts and passions
made them like the troubled Sea. Also the terrors of Conscience
disturbed their enjoyments. God hath said it, and all the world
cannot unsay it, That there is No peace to those who allow
themselves in any Sin. If we are recovered from such an awful
state, it is only By the Grace of God. And the influences of the
Holy Spirit, and that new Heart, from whence comes grateful
praise, the Fruit of our lips, are his Gift. Salvation, with all
its fruits, hopes, and comforts, is his work, and to him belongs
all the Glory. There is No peace for the wicked Man; but let the
wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous Man his thoughts;
and let him return to the Lord, and he will have Mercy upon him,
and to our God, and he will abundantly Pardon.