Isaiah 27:1. In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, That is to say, he will punish those who are like leviathan; the proudest, the greatest, and the most powerful sinners shall not escape divine justice.
God’s laws are not, like cobwebs, meant to catch the little flies while the great ones break through, but he will strike leviathan, he will surely punish the mightiest sinners of the earth.
Isaiah 27:1. Even leviathan that crooked serpent;
Hard to come at, difficult to find, he shall not escape the sword of the Lord.
Isaiah 27:1. And he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
If men should try to hide from God in hell itself, yet would he find them out; there is no possibility that any offender shall escape his all-seeing eye.
Isaiah 27:2-3. In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.
Thus the Lord reveals the tenderness of his love to his Church. Then follows a remarkable passage in which, it seems to me, we have the plan of salvation plainly set out. First, here is man at enmity with his Maker.
Isaiah 27:4. Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.
Men who are at enmity with God little know how terrific is the force of his strength. They are like dry thorns when the fire catches them, and nothing burns more readily. The bush upon the common, when some wild youth sets light to it, suddenly blazes up, crackles, and is gone; so will it be with the ungodly. God has but to go through them, and they shall be destroyed. But now comes a message of mercy.
Isaiah 27:5. Or let him take hold of my strength,
This is what the repenting and believing sinner does, he lays hold of Christ, he takes the strength of God to be his defence, and then the strong God, instead of being a terror, becomes a comfort to him.
Isaiah 27:5-6. That he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root:
Taking root should be well looked after by the Christian. Some professors have no root; they are all leaf and flower, but they have no root, and consequently they soon wither and die. Happy is that man who is rooted and grounded in the faith!
Isaiah 27:6-7. Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him?
No; God smites his people, but he never smites them as he does their enemies. He smites his people, as old Trapp says, with the palm of his hand, as a man may smite his child; but he smites his enemies with his fist, as one would dash his foe to the ground. There is a great difference between the chastisements of God’s people and the righteous judgments that fall upon the wicked.
Isaiah 27:7-8. Or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it:
God always chasteneth his people in measure; he makes a debate about it; he weighs their troubles in scales, and their sorrows in balances.
Isaiah 27:8. He stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.
He never sends too many troubles at a time; if the east wind is blowing, he does not send his rough wind. We have much to thank God for, that he times our troubles, had they come an hour before, they might have been too much for us; had they been kept back a week longer, they might have overthrown us. God knoweth when to chasten his people, and he will always chasten them at the right time.
Isaiah 27:9. By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin;
When one of the old Puritans was afflicted with a very painful disease, —perhaps the most painful to which flesh is heir, — he kept crying out, “The use, Lord? The use, Lord? Show me the use of it.” This should be the point at which the Christian should always aim.
Isaiah 27:9. When he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalk-stones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.
You see, the Israelites had piled up stones, and held them in veneration, but when God brought them back to himself, they counted those stones to be but as common chalk-stones of the valley. It is a good thing for us when our sins bring us no pleasure, when they are only like common stones of the street. When we break our images, and dash down our idol-gods, we show that we prize them no longer. The Lord make this to be the issue of all our trials! Then will we bless him for our troubles so for our chief mercies.