Isaiah 33
Sermon Bible
Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.

Isaiah 33:6

I. It is a pity, and a thing greatly to be regretted, that the tree of which Adam and Eve were ordered not to eat, and did eat, is so often called "the tree of knowledge." It is not its scriptural name. It was not knowledge at all, as we generally use the word "knowledge." It was moral or rather immoral knowledge,—"the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." God would not have made "knowledge" a part of the prophecy of the future good and happiness of Jerusalem, if knowledge were not a great national as well as a great personal blessing.

II. But right knowledge may be put in wrong proportions, or knowledge may be separated from wisdom. If that divorce takes place between two things which God has joined together, no wonder if it brings a curse and not a blessing. Knowledge which has not the fear of the Lord is not knowledge at all. And here lies the error of the day, which says "knowledge," leaving out wisdom. "Knowledge is the stability of the times."

III. But what is wisdom? Either you must take it thus, which is the right application "to use knowledge;" or it is when a sound judgment sits at the helm of the feelings; or; better still, it is a great principle ruling the intellect,—the Eternal in His proper place among the things of time; or, truer still, as we learn from the Proverbs, it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the fountain, the embodiment, the concentration, the essence of wisdom. The degree of a man's union with Christ is the real measure of his wisdom. Wisdom is the preparative; it is a state of mind preceding knowledge; therefore the order, wisdom first, knowledge next;—"wisdom and knowledge."

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 10th series, p. 197.

Isaiah 33:14-15(with 1 John 4:16)

I. The world's question. I need only remind you how frequently in the Old Testament the emblem of fire is employed to express the Divine nature. (1) In many places the prominent idea in the emblem is that of the purity of the Divine nature, which flashes and flames as against all that is evil and sinful. (2) The fire, which is the destructive fire of perfect purity, is also the fire that quickens and blesses. "God is love," says John; and love is fire, too. God's wrath is a form of God's love; God hates because He loves. To "dwell with everlasting burnings" means two things. (1) It means to hold a familiar intercourse and communion with God. (2) It means to bear the action of the fire, the judgment of the present and the judgment of the future. The question for each of us is, can we face that judicial and punitive action of that Divine providence which works even here? and how can we face the judicial and punitive action in the future?

II. Look next at the prophet's answer. It is simple. He says that if a man is to hold fellowship with, or to face the judgment of, the pure and righteous God, the plainest dictates of reason and common sense are that he himself must be pure and righteous to match. The details into which his answer to the question runs out are all very homely, prosaic, pedestrian kind of virtues, nothing at all out of the way, nothing that people would call splendid or heroic. Righteous action, righteous speech, inward hatred of possessions gotten at my neighbour's cost, and a vehement resistance to all the seductions of sense,—there is the outline of a homely, everyday sort of morality, which is to mark the man who, as Isaiah says, can "dwell amongst the everlasting fires."

III. Let us take the Apostle's answer. "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God." The declaration of the first text lies at the very foundation of the second. What then is the difference between them? (1) Isaiah tells us that we must be righteousness: John tells us how we may be. Love is the productive germ of all righteousness; it is the fulfilling of the law. (2) Isaiah says "Righteousness:" John says "Love," which makes righteousness. And then he tells us how we may get love. We love Him because He first loved us. We can contemplate the cross on which the great Lover of our souls died, and thereby we can come to love Him. The first step of the ladder is faith; the second, love; the third, righteousness.

A. Maclaren, A Year's Ministry, 2nd series, p. 87.

References: Isaiah 33:15, Isaiah 33:16.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxx., No. 1764. Isaiah 33:16.—Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 316.

Isaiah 33:17These words plainly promise to every follower of Christ, if he shall persevere unto the end, that in the resurrection he shall see the Lord Jesus Christ in His beauty, and in the glory of His kingdom. What then is this beauty which shall be revealed to all who attain that world and the resurrection of the holy dead?

I. First, it would seem to be the beauty of His heavenly court. About Him and before Him are the companies of heaven, the hosts and hierarchies of the blessed, the nine orders of seraphic and angelic ministers, and the saintly multitude of God's new creation. Armies of martyrs, companies of prophets, the majesty of patriarchs, the glory of apostles, each one in the full transfigured beauty of his own perfect spirit, and all revealing the warfare of faith, the triumph of the Church, the power of the Cross, the election of God,—these are the degrees and ascents leading upward to the throne of bliss.

II. But if such be the beauty of the King's court, what is the beauty of the King Himself? of His glorious person as very God and very man? We shall not be dangerously out of the way, if we believe that He who is the brightness of His Father's glory and the express image of His person, did take unto Himself our manhood as His revealed presence for ever, in its most perfect image and likeness; that in Him two natures were united and both were perfect, both were beautiful. Our minds are full of lights and hues, with which we array the objects of our hearts. Let each do as he will. Only let us first love Him, and then weigh these thoughts. Till then, it is all too soon. But be this as it may, there is a beauty we know Him to possess in fulness—the beauty of perfect love. In His face will be revealed all the love of His holy incarnation, of His life of sorrow, of His agony and passion, of His cross and death. The wounds of His hands and feet and of His pierced side are eternal seals and countersigns of the love which has redeemed us for Himself. (1) The King whose beauty is the bliss of heaven is ever drawing and preparing us for His presence by all the mysteries of His Church. (2) By a special and particular discipline, varied and measured for the necessities of every faithful soul, He is making us ready for the vision of His presence.

H. E. Manning, Sermons, vol. iii., p. 431.

The sensibility of Christ's character. Sensibility includes sensitiveness. Sensitiveness is the power of receiving impressions, whether from nature or man, vividly, intensely, and yet delicately. Sensibility is this passive quality of sensitiveness with activity of soul in addition exercised upon the impressions received. The more perfect the manhood, the more perfect is this sensibility. When we talk of the perfect manhood of Christ, and never consider this side of His nature, we must be making a grave omission—an omission which removes from our view half of the more subtle beauty of His character.

I. It does not seem wrong to say that there was in Him the sensibility to natural beauty. We know that He had watched the tall lilies arrayed more gloriously than Solomon; that He had marked the reed shaken in the wind, and the tender green of the first shoot of the fig-tree. We find His common teaching employed about the vineyard and the wandering sheep, the whitening corn and the living well, the summer rain and the wintry flood and storm. These and many more would not have been so often connected with His action and so ready on His lips had not He loved them well, and received their impressions vividly.

II. But still higher in Him was that intense sensibility to human feeling, which made Him by instinct know, without the necessity of speech, the feelings of those He met. He saw Nathanael in the early days coming to Him from the garden and the fig-tree. He looked upon the simple and earnest face, and recognised the long effort of the man to be true. In a moment He frankly granted the meed of praise: "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile." A few words more, in which Christ went home to the secret trials of the man, and Nathaneal was His for ever. Men, women, and children, all who were natural, unconventional, simple in love and powerful in faith, ran to Him as a child to its mother. They felt the beauty of character which was born of sensibility to human feeling and spiritual wants, and they were bound to Him for ever.

S. A. Brooke, Christ in Modern Life, p. 89.

I. Consider how the sensibility of Christ to the beauty of nature became active as sympathy with nature. (1) You remember that passage when, as He walked silently along, He suddenly lifted up His eyes and saw the fields whitening already to harvest. He received the impression in a passive mood. It changed the whole current of His thoughts, and the whole state of his soul. Immediately thought seized on the change worked within Him by the impression, and expressed it in words. It marks a beautiful character to be so rapidly and delicately impressed; but the beauty of the character becomes vital beauty when the man, through utter sympathy with and love of what he feels, becomes himself creative of new thought. (2) The poet's sensibility to nature becomes active as personal sympathy with the living soul of nature. This also we find in the character of Christ [cf. parable of the sower]. All the impressions were carried into the spiritual mould. They were shaped into a picture of human life, with its temptations and its struggle and its end. (3) The true sensibility, becoming sympathy, sympathises with the distinct nature of each thing it feels, divides each thing from all the rest, gives to each a different praise, feels for each a different feeling, and harmonises itself with the tone of each impression. This is to be found in the character of Christ, and it gives to it a peculiar and delicate beauty. We find it suggested (a) in the perfect appositeness of the illustrations He drew from nature to the thoughts He desired to illustrate (b) in the choice of certain places for certain moods of the mind.

II. If it be true that sensibility to natural impressions ceases to be a beautiful thing unless it become active through sympathy, it is still more plainly true of sensibility to human feeling. The extraordinary sensibility of Christ to human feeling became operative at once as sympathy, was at once translated into action. His sympathy was given to all the world; but it was not given in a like manner to all, nor at all times. Christ sanctified distinctiveness in friendship and love.

S. A. Brooke, Christ in Modern Life, p. 102.

There are human lives which are poems, as there are lives which are prose. They give pleasure as poetry gives it, by the expression of the beautiful. Such a life, at its very highest range, was the life of Christ. We seek its poetry today, and we weave our thoughts of it round that profound phrase of Milton's, that poetry must be simple, sensuous, and passionate.

I. That which is simplicity in art is purity in a perfect character. The beauty of Christ's purity was (1) in this, that those who saw it saw in it the glory of moral victory. (2) From this purity, so tried and so victorious, arose two other elements of moral beauty—perfect justice and perfect mercy.

II. The word "sensuousness," in Milton's sense of it, was entirely noble in meaning. Of its representative in a character I have already spoken in speaking of the sensibility of the character of the Saviour to impressions received from nature and from man. But I may add that as the poet produces beautiful work out of the multitudinous world of images and things which he has received, so the exquisiteness of the parables and of the words of Christ, both in form and expression, was the direct result of the knowledge He had gained from this quality of sensibility.

III. The third element of great poetry is passion. We may transfer it directly to a character as an element of beauty. It is best defined as the power of intense feeling capable of perfect expression. It was intense feeling of the weakness and sin of man, and intense joy in His Father's power to redeem, which produced the story of the "Prodigal Son," where every word is on fire with tender passion. See how it comes home, even now, to men; see how its profound humanity has made it universal! "Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." How that goes home to the deepest want of the race; how deep the passion which generalised that want into a single sentence; how intense, yet how pathetic, the expression of it; how noble the temperance which stayed at the single sentence and felt that it was enough!

S. A. Brooke, Christ in Modern Life, p. 117.

Shrinking from Christ's coming.

Before Christ came, the faithful remnant of Israel were consoled with the promise that their eyes should see Him who was to be their salvation. Yet it is observable that the prophecy, though cheering and encouraging, had with it something of an awful character too. "Who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? "We too are looking out for Christ's coming,—we are bid look out, we are bid pray for it; and yet it is to be a time of judgment. If it is to be the deliverance of the saints from sin and sorrow for ever, yet they, every one of them, must undergo an awful trial. How then can any look forward to it with joy, not knowing (for no one knows) the certainty of his own salvation? It is a seeming inconsistency how we can pray for Christ's coming, yet wish then to "work out our own salvation," and "make our calling and election sure." It was a seeming contradiction how good men were to desire His first coming, yet be unable to abide it; how the Apostles feared, yet rejoiced after His resurrection. Such seeming contradictions arise from the want of depth in our minds to master the whole truth. We have not eyes keen enough to follow out the lines of God's providence and will, which meet at length, though at first sight they seem parallel. Consider how we can pray for the coming of Christ with sincerity.

I. Though we could not at all reconcile our feelings about ourselves with the command given us, still it is our duty to obey the latter on faith. If Abraham could lift up his knife to slay his son, we may well so far subdue our fears as to pray for what nevertheless is terrible.

II. When we pray for the coming of Christ, we do but pray, in the Church's words, that He would "accomplish the number of His elect, and would hasten His kingdom." When then we pray that He would come, we pray also that we may be ready; that all things may converge and meet in Him; that He may draw us while He draws near us, and make us the holier the closer He comes.

III. You dare not pray for Christ's presence now;—would you pray for it had you lived Methuselah's years? I trow not, You will never be good enough to desire it; no one in the whole Church prays for it except on conditions implied. What Christ asks of you is not sinlessness, but diligence.

IV. Consider what you mean by praying, and you will see that at that very time that you are asking for the coming of His kingdom, you are anticipating that coming, and accomplishing the thing you fear. We shall come before Him at last, as now we come to pray—with profound abasement, with awe, with self-renunciation, still as relying upon the spirit He has given us, with our faculties about us, with a collected and determined mind, and with hope. He who cannot pray for Christ's coming, ought not in consistency to pray at all.

V. In that solemn hour we shall have, if we be His, the inward support of His Spirit, carrying us on towards Him, and "witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God."

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. v., p. 46.

Unreal words.

I. The prophet tells us that, under the Gospel covenant, God's servants will have the privilege of seeing those heavenly sights which were but shadowed out in the law. Before Christ came was the time of shadows; but when He came He brought truth as welt as grace; and as He who is the truth has come to us, so does He in return require that we should be true and sincere in our dealings with Him. To be true and sincere is really to see with our minds those great wonders which He has wrought in order that we might see them. And yet it need scarcely be said nothing is so rare as honesty and singleness of mind; so much so, that a person who is really honest is already perfect. Insincerity was an evil which sprang up within the Church from the first. Ananias and Simon were not open opposers of the Apostles, but false brethren. And as foreseeing what was to be, our Saviour is remarkable in His ministry for nothing more than the earnestness of the dissuasions which He addressed to those who came to Him, against taking up religion lightly, or making promises which they were likely to break.

II. And what is said of discipleship applies undoubtedly in its degree to all profession. To make professions is to play with edged tools, unless we attend to what we are saying. Words have a meaning, whether we mean that meaning or not; and they are imputed to us in their real meaning, when our not meaning it is our own fault. This consideration needs especially to be pressed upon Christians at this day; for this is especially a day of professions. This is a day in which there is (rightly or wrongly) so much of private judgment, so much of separation and difference, so much of preaching and teaching, so much of authorship, that it involves individual profession, responsibility, and recompense in a way peculiarly its own.

III. The mere fact of our saying more than we feel is not necessarily sinful. We ever promise things greater than we master, and we wait on God to enable us to perform them. Our promising involves a prayer for light and strength. Persons are culpably unreal in their way of speaking, not when they say more than they feel, but when they say things different from what they feel. Be in earnest, and you will speak of religion where and when and how you should. Aim at things, and your words will be right without aiming. Aim at looking at this life as God looks at it. Aim at looking at the life to come and the world unseen as God does. Aim at "seeing the King in His beauty." All things that we see are but shadows to us and delusions, unless we mean what we say.

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. v., p. 29.

Reverence, a belief in God's presence.

I. It is scarcely too much to say that awe and fear are at the present day all but discarded from religion. There are two classes of men who are deficient in this respect: (1) those who think that they never were greatly under God's displeasure; (2) those who think that, though they were once, they are not at all now, for all sin has been forgiven them;—those, on the one hand, who consider that sin is no great evil in itself; those, on the other, who consider that it is no great evil in them, because their persons are accepted in Christ for their faith's sake. What they agree in is this: in considering God as simply a God of love, not of awe and reverence also—the one meaning by love benevolence, and the other mercy; and in consequence neither the one nor the other regard Almighty God with fear.

II. The signs of want of fear in such are the following: (1) They have no scruple or misgiving in speaking freely of Almighty God. (2) They speak boldly of the Holy Trinity and the mystery of the Divine nature. (3) They speak confidently of their having been converted, pardoned, and sanctified, as if they knew their own state as well as God knows it. (4) Another sign of irreverence is the familiarity with which many persons address our Lord in prayer, applying epithets to Him and adopting a strain of language which does not beseem creatures, not to say sinners.

III. In proportion as we believe that God is present, we shall have feelings of awe and fear; and not to have them is not to realise, not to believe, that He is present. There is a peculiar feeling with which we regard the dead. What does this arise from—that he is absent? No; for we do not feel the same towards one who is merely distant, though he be at the other end of the earth. Surely it is the passing into another state which impresses itself upon us, and makes us speak of him as we do,—I mean, with a sort of awe. We cannot tell what he is now—what his relations to us—what he knows of us. We do not understand him; we do not see him. He is passed into the land that is very far off; but it is not at all certain that he has not some mysterious hold over us. Apply this to the subject before us, and you will perceive that there is a sense, and a true sense, in which the invisible presence of God is more awful and overpowering than if we saw it. The thought of our Saviour, absent yet present, is like that of a friend taken from us, but, as it were, in dream returned to us, though in this case not in dreams, but in reality and truth. As some precious fruits of the earth are said to taste like all others at once, not as not being really distinct from all others, but as being thus best described, so the state of mind which they are in who believe that the Son of God is here, yet away—is at the right hand of God, yet in His very flesh and blood among us—is one both of joy and praise, or rather one far above either; a feeling of awe, wonder, and praise, which cannot be more suitably expressed than by the Scripture word "fear."

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. v., p. 13.

Worship, a preparation for Christ's coming.

I. What may be the destiny of other orders of being we know not; but this we know to be our own fearful lot—that before us lies a time when we must have the sight of our Lord and Maker face to face. We know not what is reserved for other beings; there may be some which, knowing nothing of their Maker, are never to be brought before Him. For what we can tell, this may be the case with the brute creation. It may be the law of their nature that they should live and die, or live on an indefinite period, upon the very outskirts of His government, sustained by Him, but never permitted to know or approach Him. But this is not our case. We are destined to come before Him; nay, and to come before Him in judgment, and that on our first meeting; and suddenly we have to stand before His righteous presence, and that one by one. At present we are in a world of shadows. What we see is not substantial. Suddenly it will be rent in twain and vanish away, and our Maker will appear. And then that first appearance will be nothing less than a personal intercourse between the Creator and every creature. He will look on us, while we look on Him.

II. Surely it is our plain wisdom, our bounden duty, to prepare for this great change; and if so, are any directions, hints, or rules given us how we are to prepare? Scripture tells us that the Gospel covenant is intended, among its other purposes, to prepare us for this future glorious and wonderful destiny—the sight of God; a destiny which, if not most glorious, will be most terrible. And in the worship and service of Almighty God, which Christ and His Apostles have left to us, we are vouchsafed means, both moral and mystical, of approaching God, and gradually learning to bear the sight of Him. Religious service is "going out to meet the Bridegroom," who, if not "seen in His beauty," will appear in consuming fire.

III. When Moses came down from the mount, and the people were dazzled at his countenance, he put a veil over it. That veil is so far removed in the Gospel, that we are in a state of preparation for its being altogether removed. He who is Judge to us prepares us to be judged,—He who is to glorify us prepares us to be glorified, that He may not take us unawares; but that, when the voice of the archangel sounds, and we are called to meet the Bridegroom, we may be ready.

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. v., p. 1.

References: Isaiah 33:17.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiii., No. 752; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 323. G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 325.

Isaiah 33:20-21To our Zion, to the Church of Christ, are promised explicitly such gifts as those of the text—unity, truth, success. Of which of them, it may be asked, can we make our boast?

I. The unity of the Church was to be one chief note of its Divine origin. What is our state? Visible unity seems to be no more a mark of the Church of Christ. Of those whose faces are all turned one way, to the place where Jesus the crucified sits on the right hand of God, the east and west have been rent asunder, so that none can re-knit the torn garment of the Lord. And west and east are again divided, each within itself; and we, that are but a section of the Western Church, are torn and torn again. Where is the one fold, whose sheep in one flock follow the leading footsteps of the one Shepherd into green pastures that never fail? God's promise cannot have been in vain. Man must have hindered it; God hath not forgotten it.

II. But if unity has been lost, truth has been preserved to us. And this is our consolation. If the Church be not the great ocean—vast, bright, fresh, a counterpart of the blue heaven above it—still she is like the hundred lakes that nestle among the sheltering hills; they know not each other, but every one of them reflects, and truly, the firmament above. So far as salvation by Christ is brought home to men by the teaching of the churches, so long there is an underlying bond of agreement which outward misunderstanding cannot cancel.

III. Humiliating to us are those promises of great success which are a part of our charter. The power of the truth we teach, the presence of the Holy Ghost, to turn the outward word into an inward life, seem to assure us of great success in gathering in souls to Christ. If, instead of conquering evil in the heathen nations round us, our missions are almost standing still, and round about our doors at home much heathen ignorance prevails, here is one more disappointment, one more source of perplexity in understanding the ways of God. But God is very good to us. We are broken; our lips stammer over the truth; we labour feebly for the good of souls. Yet God is with us still. If we have refused to be blessed according to His plan, He has blessed us in another. There is much love amongst us, even with our strife; there is a warm and growing zeal in works of good. Without the presence of the Spirit these things could not be.

Archbishop Thomson, Life in the Light of God's Word, p. 3.

References: Isaiah 33:20-23.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., No. 489. Isaiah 33:21.—Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 329. Isaiah 33:22.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xi., p. 330. Isaiah 33:23.—Forsyth and Hamilton, Pulpit Parables, p. 217.

Isaiah 33:24I. First, let us speak of "those ills that flesh is heir to." Wherever man exists in this world, the cry is heard, "I am sick." It is so because, wherever man exists, there is sin. Disease has been sent to reprove the sins of men, and to correct them with salutary pain. We are not competent of ourselves to decide what specific connection there is between disease and sin in the case of our fellow-men. We may know it in our own ease, but we are not to pronounce positively in regard to others. Indeed, the most cursory observation of daily facts may teach us, that while sickness is in the world, because sin is in the world, the measure of sickness which an individual suffers is no index to the measure of sin which he has committed. Endurance of sickness is more often a mark of God's good will than of his severe displeasure. (1) Pain removes us out of the way of temptation, gives us time for reflection, when we were hastily running into danger. (2) How much a formidable sickness has helped a believer in drawing out his thoughts to the heavenly country and the passage into glory!

II. But these considerations, however soothing and comforting they may be, do not remove this original and humbling fact, that sickness is a disorder in God's world, and that it is connected with that moral disorder which we call sin. Consider, secondly, the removal of both these. As sickness and sin entered together, so they shall depart together. When the former things are passed away, then come order, health, perfection, blessedness. Our Lord Jesus Christ, as Saviour of men, coped with both moral and physical evils, and bestowed the double blessing of forgiveness and healing. His skill was never baffled by any form or virulence of disease. He healed all that came unto Him: the blind received their sight, the lame man walked, the deaf heard, and to the poor the Gospel was preached. At the same time, our Lord always dealt with sin as the fundamental disease and disorder of the human race. "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." "I am come to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

D. Fraser, Penny Pulpit, No. 559.

Reference: Isaiah 33:24.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxii., No. 1905.

O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.
At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.
And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.
The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.
The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.
The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.
Now will I rise, saith the LORD; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.
Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.
Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.
Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?
Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.
Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.
For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.
Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey.
And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.
William Robertson Nicoll's Sermon Bible

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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