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Blessings in Store for God’s People


Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,

you that seek the L ord.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn,

and to the quarry from which you were dug.


Look to Abraham your father

and to Sarah who bore you;

for he was but one when I called him,

but I blessed him and made him many.


For the L ord will comfort Zion;

he will comfort all her waste places,

and will make her wilderness like Eden,

her desert like the garden of the L ord;

joy and gladness will be found in her,

thanksgiving and the voice of song.



Listen to me, my people,

and give heed to me, my nation;

for a teaching will go out from me,

and my justice for a light to the peoples.


I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,

my salvation has gone out

and my arms will rule the peoples;

the coastlands wait for me,

and for my arm they hope.


Lift up your eyes to the heavens,

and look at the earth beneath;

for the heavens will vanish like smoke,

the earth will wear out like a garment,

and those who live on it will die like gnats;

but my salvation will be forever,

and my deliverance will never be ended.



Listen to me, you who know righteousness,

you people who have my teaching in your hearts;

do not fear the reproach of others,

and do not be dismayed when they revile you.


For the moth will eat them up like a garment,

and the worm will eat them like wool;

but my deliverance will be forever,

and my salvation to all generations.



Awake, awake, put on strength,

O arm of the L ord!

Awake, as in days of old,

the generations of long ago!

Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,

who pierced the dragon?


Was it not you who dried up the sea,

the waters of the great deep;

who made the depths of the sea a way

for the redeemed to cross over?


So the ransomed of the L ord shall return,

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain joy and gladness,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.



I, I am he who comforts you;

why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,

a human being who fades like grass?


You have forgotten the L ord, your Maker,

who stretched out the heavens

and laid the foundations of the earth.

You fear continually all day long

because of the fury of the oppressor,

who is bent on destruction.

But where is the fury of the oppressor?


The oppressed shall speedily be released;

they shall not die and go down to the Pit,

nor shall they lack bread.


For I am the L ord your God,

who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—

the L ord of hosts is his name.


I have put my words in your mouth,

and hidden you in the shadow of my hand,

stretching out the heavens

and laying the foundations of the earth,

and saying to Zion, “You are my people.”



Rouse yourself, rouse yourself!

Stand up, O Jerusalem,

you who have drunk at the hand of the L ord

the cup of his wrath,

who have drunk to the dregs

the bowl of staggering.


There is no one to guide her

among all the children she has borne;

there is no one to take her by the hand

among all the children she has brought up.


These two things have befallen you

—who will grieve with you?—

devastation and destruction, famine and sword—

who will comfort you?


Your children have fainted,

they lie at the head of every street

like an antelope in a net;

they are full of the wrath of the L ord,

the rebuke of your God.



Therefore hear this, you who are wounded,

who are drunk, but not with wine:


Thus says your Sovereign, the L ord,

your God who pleads the cause of his people:

See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;

you shall drink no more

from the bowl of my wrath.


And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,

who have said to you,

“Bow down, that we may walk on you”;

and you have made your back like the ground

and like the street for them to walk on.


16. And I have put my words in thy mouth. He again retums to the doctrine which he had formerly stated, namely, that the Lord comforts his Church: “I, I am he that comforteth you,” (ver. 12.) So he now says that he put into the mouth of the prophets what they should say. Hence we may infer that these words do not proceed from men, who often prove false, but from “God, who cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2.) The Lord speaks to all the prophets, first to Isaiah, and then to the rest in their order; but at last we must come to Christ. These things must not be limited either to Isaiah or to Christ, but must be extended to all the prophets. The Lord wishes that believers should hear the consolation from the prophets, as if he were present and addressed them, and even declares that he speaks openly by their mouth.

Hence also we ought to conclude that none ought to come forward to comfort the Church but they who speak from the mouth of the Lord; for they who alter their own dreams, though they take shelter under the name of God, ought to be rejected. But; we must understand the Prophet’s meaning; for, seeing that he shows that the consciences of men always tremble, till the Lord confirm them, he instructs us to abide by this principle, that it is God who speaks by the prophets; for otherwise consciences will always remain in doubt and uncertainty. Yet the mode of expression is highly emphatic, when he repeats the commandments of God, by which he was encouraged to the execution of his office.

And in the shadow of my hand. Though he had already said this, yet the repetition is not superfluous, that we may fully believe that God will always assist his ministers, so that, relying on his immediate aid, they may be raised by him above all obstructions. Now, in order to being covered with that shadow of the Lord, two things are necessary; first, that they are certain that what they utter is the word of God, and secondly, that they do so by God’s command. They who rashly put themselves forward may indeed boast of the name of God, but in vain; for when they come to fight in earnest, they will faint. And if we have the testimony of conscience, we have no reason for entertaining doubts as to God’s protection and aid, by which he will enable us to gain the victory. Next comes the object of the embassy.

That I may plant the heavens; that is, that I may restore everything to its proper order. There are, indeed, various interpretations of these words; but the true meaning appears to me to be this, that heaven and earth are said to be restored by the doctrine of salvation; because “in Christ,” as Paul says, “are collected all things that are either in heaven or in earth.” (Ephesians 1:10.) Since the fall of the first man we see nothing but frightful confusion, which troubles even the dumb creatures, and makes them suffer, in some respects, the punishment of our sins; and, consequently, that confusion cannot be repaired but by Christ. Since therefore the whole face of the world is disfigured by frightful desolation, there are good grounds for saying that godly teachers renovate the world, as if God formed heaven and earth anew by their hand. And hence it is evident how great is the heinousness of our guilt, which has been followed by such dreadful confusion in the nature of things. Thus, “the heavens” are said to be “planted and the earth to be founded,” when the Lord establishes his Church by the word; and he does this by the agency of ministers, whom he directs by his Spirit, and protects against hidden enemies and various dangers, that they may effectually accomplish what he has enjoined.

That I may say to Zion, Thou art my people. At length he shews that this aims at something higher than the visible form of the world, which shall quickly perish; namely, to excite and nourish in the hearts of believers the hope of a heavenly life. The true stability of the Church, the restoration of the world, consists in this, that the elect be gathered into the unity of faith, so that, with one consent, all may lift their hearts to God, who also invites them sweetly and gently by these words, “I am thy God.” And hence we see how highly God values the salvation of the Church, since he not only prefers it to the whole world, but even shews that the stability of the world depends upon it. We must likewise observe what is the word which the Lord enjoins to be proclaimed; for it not only lays down a rule of life, but also gives a testimony of our adoption, in which our salvation chiefly consists.

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