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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.


18. There is no one to guide her. He describes the sorest calamity of the Church; for the heaviest and sorest of all undoubtedly is, that she receives no sympathy or consolation from her own children. This accumulated misery is described by him, in order that, though her condition be desperate, she may still expect consolation from God, who will never disappoint his servants, though they be sunk to the depth of hell. Although the Church has been forsaken by men, and even by those whom she nourished in her bosom and carried in her arms, yet she shall receive assistance from God. No affliction more severe can befall a mother than to be deserted by her children, who ought in their turn to have treated her with kindness. Such ingratitude and want of natural affection is certainly much liarder to bear than the violent and unbridled cruelty of enemies; for why does she give birth to children, and why does she bring them up, but in expectation of being supported by them in return? Since her children do not perform their duty, what remains but that she shall think that to have born and reared them has been of no advantage to her? Although therefore the Church has performed the duty of a mother, and has brought up her children to the age of maturity, yet the Prophet declares that she must not expect any assistance or consolation from ungrateful persons.

Yet his discourse conveys something more, and pronounces those children who have rendered no assistance to their mother to be bastards and reprobates, with the view of inducing her to bear the loss of them more patiently. It was sad and distressing for the Church to be deprived of all her offspring, and to be reduced to childlessness; though this has sometimes happened. But the Prophet reminds the mother that the children do not deserve that she should mourn for them, and that, on the contrary, she ought to desire additional offspring, as it is said by the Psalmist,

“The people that shall be created shall praise the Lord.” (Psalm 103:18.)

What is here described by the Prophet is entirely applicable to our own age; for many boast of being the children of the Church; but where is the man that cares about his mother’s distresses? Who is grieved for her ruin? Who is moved so deeply as to put his shoulders to her support? How many betray her, and, under presence of this title, persecute her more cruelly than open and avowed enemies? Accordingly, after all her calamities this is added as the copestone of her miseries. Moreover, they who wish to be regarded as holding the first rank in the Church, and who not only boast of being children, but vaunt of being called fathers, treacherously desert her when she implores their aid. We need not wonder, therefore, if God shall drive them out, in order to make way for the increase of his Church by lawful and dutiful children. 3434     “Afin de donner puis apres a son Eglise des enfans legitimes qui luy assistent.” “In order afterwards to give to his Church lawful children to assist her.”

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