He will turn again, he will have compassion on us; he will subdue our iniquities…
The mercies and promises of the Old Testament were but the outline of the glory thereafter to be revealed. The latter portion of this chapter abounds with assurances of Jerusalem's restoration, involving in it the confusion and degradation of its enemies. The prophet's apostrophe to Jehovah in the last verses, both in the clearness of its views and the fulness of its statements, is one well suited to the Christian. It is much to be released from sin's captivity, to have its iron yoke removed, and the foul garments of its bondage torn away. But it is more to find that He who pardoneth iniquity because He delighteth in mercy will also have compassion on us, and subdue our iniquities; not merely cleanse us from their stain by the blood of Jesus, but also deliver us from their power by His Holy Spirit. The particular turn of the language of the text appears to be taken from the destruction of the hosts of Egypt in the Red Sea. As their ruin was so utter that they were to be seen alive no more forever, it implies that our great spiritual tyrants and foes, our sins, shall, when God by His Spirit arises to subdue them, be as completely cast out, and their final penalty be as thoroughly put away, as though they were buried in the depths of the sea. Sin is closely connected with suffering. If, then, God may be said in a metaphor to cast sin into the sea, may we not literally say the same of the suffering? What the sea is said typically to do for the former, it often actually does for the latter. With so much of injury and destructiveness connected with the sea, there is also bound up much of benefit; benefit especially to suffering humanity, in the multiform maladies which embitter our existence. Then let the sea remind you how noble is the gift of spiritual health; how all-important that the moral disease of evil should be washed away, and your sins through mercy cast into the depths of the sea — that ocean of heavenly grace and love which shall hide them forever from merited condemnation!
(Edmund Lilley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.