In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
I. The Bible is pervaded by the teaching of events. Isaiah is the inspired writer who lays most stress on this teaching. He is full of a great fall which is to come some day to all human pride, of a great ruin in prospect. He writes with this vision always before his eyes, and this great distant judgment of the fall of the world colours his descriptions of intermediate lesser judgments and events. He looks upon everything from this point of view. Through all the overthrows of kings and armies, of cities and governments, of high towers and fenced walls, he hears the last trumpet sounding. He says that the end will come at last, and that in the meantime every catastrophe that takes place in the world is a type of it. Isaiah is thus a teacher from events—from the course of things here. He tells men such events ought to make them sober and serious in spite of themselves—to chasten their vanity and levity, and to subdue their pride.
II. Persons are apt too much to separate spirituality of mind from the teaching of ordinary life, and the lessons which the facts of this world convey. Undoubtedly the mind may be spiritualised without this teaching, and even before it can be had; at the same time, in the case of the great majority of men, the spiritual temper is not attained without this teaching. What a moral is there, for instance, in the fall of a great man! It puts us into a spiritual state of mind; it makes us, whether we will or no, religious for a short interval. The world thus rightly read and rightly apprehended becomes its own antidote. The world is the great tempter, but at the same time it is the great monitor. It is the great saddener, the great warner, the great prophet.
J. B. Mozley, Sermons Parochial and Occasional, p. 106.
References: Isaiah 26:9.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. i., No. 31. Isaiah 26:1—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 95. Isaiah 26:12.—H. Alfora, Quebec Chapel Sermons, vol. iii., p. 275. Isaiah 26:13.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i.,p. 531.
Isaiah 26:19This passage is very mystical; and it may be a much higher than Isaiah who speaks; for "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy," and then the words will contain the deepest evangelical meaning. "Thy dead men shall live," Christ says to His Church. And why? What are the means? How is the process? "Together with my dead body shall they arise."
I. Mark the great truth that argument contains. The natural body of the Lord Jesus Christ rose visible upon the earth; but that visible body was the symbol of another body, as real, but invisible. Of that body Christ is the head, and all His are members.
II. St. Peter tells us that the restored life of the buried body owes itself to the same source as that which is the spring in this world of the life of the dead soul. The Holy Ghost is made known to us in this as in other of His offices under the emblem of the dew.
III. It has been said, that the best test of a man's character is how he wakes up in the morning. What a chorus of sweet melodies will that be, when every saint who has slept awakes to sing! Then shall we know what that means—the "song of Moses and the Lamb."
J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 2nd series, p. 115.
References: Isaiah 26:19.—J. N. Norton, Old Paths, p. 252; Preacher's Monthly, vol. viii., p. 184. Isaiah 26:20.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on Passages from the Prophets, vol. i.. p. 78. Isaiah 26:20, Isaiah 26:21.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 355; H. P. Liddon, Old Testament Outlines, p. 186. 26—Parker, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxi., No. 168. Isaiah 27:3.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxv., No. 1464. Isaiah 27:5.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. vi., p. 255.
Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.
The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.
LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.
O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.
They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.
Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.
LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.
Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.
We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.