« ElőzőTovább »
thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a rem nant of them shall return; the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption even determined in the midst of the land;” or earth.
Here a remnant of the Jews are to return, in the last days, and are to stay themselves thenceforth upon God in truth. And the event is to be nearly connected with the above destruction of that Power, called the Assyr. ian. The Lord of hosts will make, at that time, a consumption even determined, (or that work of desolation, well known in prophecy) in the wicked world. About the time of this return of the remnant of Israel to God, “the consumption decreed shall overflow' with righteousness.” Paul (Rom. ix, 27, 28,) notes this remnant of Israel, who shall be saved, when they shall be turned to the Lord, in the last days. And relative to the consumption decreed, which God will cause iu over. flow in the inidst of all the earth, Paul there says, “For he will finish the work and cut it short in rightcousness; because a short work will the Lord make
up: on the earth.” That consumption determined, which is to overflow with righteousness, and to be a short and decisive work of judgment, was far future in the days of Paul. It was to be at the time, when the rem. nant of Israel shall turn to the Lord; or be grafted into their own olive tree. That is an event now still future. Consequently the destruction of that Assyrian, in Isa. x. 5—(as to its ultimate and most interesting fulfilment) is still future. The present generation have seen an incipient fulfilment of his commission against the hypocritical nation, the people of God's wrath, or Pa. pal Babylon.
But his own destruction is to be a subsequent event. When God shall have performed his work of judgment upon the people, who have borne his name, that Assyrian will, in his turn, be utterly destroyed.
The character and destruction of this Babylon of the last days, and of the minions of his order, we find in Isa. xxviii, 15—“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at an agree
ment; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come nigh unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord God, -Judgment also will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled; and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night; and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself upon it; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For the Lord shall rise up, as in mount Perazim (where God miraculously destroyed the Philistines before David; 2 Sam. v, 20) he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon: (where the sun and moon stood still for a day, that Joshua and Israel might destroy the army of the five kings of Canaan; Joshua x, 12)-For I have heard, from the Lord of hosts, a consumption even determined upon the whole earth.” How striking is the picture drawn, of these wretched characters of the last days! Being at an agreement with hell-making lies their refuge—and under falsehood hiding themselves! Here is the lying spirit of the last days—conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood; as the same prophet expresses it, (Isa. lix, 13-) lying against the Lord-yea, truth faileth-truth is fallen in the streets! Lies are resorted to, as a cover of the most per fidious designs! Hear, ye scornful men, that rule this people: Because ye have said— (not that they do actually profess this. No! Their professions are smoother than orl!
But the meaning is, this is in fact their character, and the language of their conduct;) We have made a covenant with death; and with hell are we at an agreement-We shall escape--for we have made lies our refuge_and under falsehood have we hid our. seloes! Verily, the thing is certain, and the inter
pretation sure! The word of God is indeed a discerner of the thoughts; and explains the dark events of the age in which we live.
It is most evident that these predictions describe the scenes of this day; and are to receive their ultimate fulfilment in the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Then it is, that the Assyrian is to fall upon the mountains of Israel; and the consumption determined, or predicted, is to overflow with righteousness, through all Antichristian nations. Paul refers the pas. sage to the time of the final restoration of the Jews, when a short work will the Lord make upon the earth; or the controversy of Zion shall be soon and effectually decided.
I shall quote and remark upon one passage more relative to this period and event. Isa. xxvii, 1, In that day, the Lord, with his sore and great and strong sword; shall punish Leviathan, that piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent, and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
1. Upon this text I shall first note the time here referred to: In that day; which is predicted in the preced. ing verse. For behold the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no longer cover her slain. The whole connexion of the text evinces, that the day referred to is the battle of that great day of God Almighty; or the destruction of Antichrist.
2. Let us note the subject of the fatal operation in the text: Leviathan, that piercing serpent, even Levia. than that crooked serpent, the dragon that is in the sea, For an account of Leviathan, see Job xli. This appel. lation is given to Antichrist; and it is repeated in the text, to indicate most emphatically that the Power designed will be most terrible. The accumulation of names, and of the qualities of piercing and crooked, is a forcible expression of the subtile, furious, potent, and terrible nature of this enemy of the Church at that day. Pharaoh of old was called the dragon, doubtless mean
ing the crocodile in the river of Egypt, because he cast the offspring of Israel into this river; and persecuted the people of God.* And the Power in the text is called the dragon, because he is the antitype, of which Pharaoh was the type; and like Pharaoh will labor to de. stroy the people of God.
3. He lieth in the sea. This part of the symbol de. notes the multitudes, and the tumultuous state of his subjects. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, and of the sea; for the devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.f Among the events of that day, our Lord says; The sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.† The events of that day, the perplexity and distress of nations, are repeatedly predicted under this similitude. And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea; and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkness in the heavens thereof. The state of the nations will be like a sea in a tempest. And those who look to the land, or where stability used to be found, and long to find it again, shall see nothing but sorrow; and darkness will be instead of light. Woe to the multitude of many people, who make a noise like the noise of the seas, and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters. The nations shall rush, like the rush. ing of many waters. This relates to the scenes of the last days. In the xlvith Psalm, relative to the saine period, we find the same similitude. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. What fol. lows shows it to be a description of the battle of the great day of God: The Most High making desolation
* Exod. i, 22; Psalm 1xxiv, 13; Jsa, li, 9, and Ezek. xxix, 3,
Rev. xii, 12. Luke xxi, 25. $ Isa. xvii, 12, 13.
in the earth;-making wars to cease to the ends of the world;-breaking the bow, cutting the spear in sunder, and burning the chariot in the fire. And relative to the preparatory scenes, in the above verses, it is as though the speaker had said; Seeing God is our refuge, we will not fear, though the political earth be dissolved; and though the first nations, which have long stood like mountains, be thrown into the sea of revolution; though their inhabitants are tossed, like the ocean in a tempest; and the national establishments tremble with the swelling thereof. In Psalm xciii, 3, 4, the floods are lifting up their voice and their waves: But the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, or than the mighty waves of the sea. In the Revelation, a great people, in a tumultuous or revolutionary state, are repeatedly symbolized by the sea.
Thus we learn the true sense of the great Leviathan and dragon of the last days being described as lying in the sea.
He lies in the sea of revolution and tu. mult. The ten toes of the image, Dan. ii, 41,are part of iron, and part of clay. The Antichristian Em. pire will be partly strong, and partly broken. The strength of iron will appear. And the mixture of clay will also discover itself. The component parts will not adhere one to the other. Some vassal kingdom, or kingdoms will revolt. Great battles and expeditions may be lost. The symbolic earth will open her mouth and swallow up the floods of the dragon. And these things will occasion a sea of tumult, a roaring among the nations.
4. This power is destroyed with dreadful ruin. It is with the sore, and great, and strong sword of the Most High. It is terrible to be slain with the sword of the Lord. But when the slaughter is with God's sore, and great, and strong sword, the terrible things may
Sec Chap. viii, 8, and xiii, !, and xvi, 3; Dan. vii, 2, et alią.