Isaiah 35:4 MEANING

Isaiah 35:4
(4) Be strong, fear not: . . .--The words are, of course, wide and general enough, but looking to the probable date of this section, we may perhaps connect them with the tone of Hezekiah's speech in 2 Chronicles 32:7. Both king and prophet had the same words of comfort for the feeble and faint-hearted, and the ground of comfort is that the government of God is essentially a righteous government, punishing the oppressor, and saving the oppressed. (Comp. Joshua 1:6-7.)

Verse 4. - Say to them that are of a fearful heart. There will be fearful and trembling hearts always, even among the saints of God. These are to be encouraged and assured that God Will come to their aid, will avenge them of their spiritual enemies, reward their efforts to serve him, and in the end "save" them. He will come and save you; rather, he will come himself to save yon. There is One alone who can save, and he must do it himself, and, to do it, he must "come" to us. The words were at once an announcement of the Incarnation, and a promise to every trembling, doubting heart - a promise of direct Divine assistance, of the presence of God within us, of help potent to save. The predominant thought of the prophet appears to have been Messianic, and hence the burst of glorious prophecy which follows - a burst of prophecy most inadequately expounded of the time of the return from the Captivity.

35:1-4 Judea was prosperous in the days of Hezekiah, but the kingdom of Christ is the great subject intended. Converting grace makes the soul that was a wilderness, to rejoice with joy and singing, and to blossom abundantly. The feeble and faint-hearted are encouraged. This is the design of the gospel. Fear is weakening; the more we strive against it, the stronger we are, both for doing and suffering; and he that says to us, Be strong, has laid help for us upon One who is mighty. Assurance is given of the approach of Messiah, to take vengeance on the powers of darkness, to recompense with abundant comforts those that mourn in Zion; He will come and save. He will come again at the end of time, to punish those who have troubled his people; and to give those who were troubled such rest as will be a full reward for all their troubles.Say to them that are of a fearful heart,.... Or, "hasty of heart" (w); are at once for flying from the enemy; "hasty" in drawing black conclusions upon themselves and their state; "inconsiderate" of the promises made unto them; ready to doubt of, and call in question, the performance of the above things, respecting the fruitful and flourishing estate of the church: wherefore it must be said to them,

Be strong, fear not; be strong in faith, fear not the enemy, nor doubt of the fulfilment of divine promises, relating to their ruin and your safety:

behold, your God will come with vengeance; Christ, who is God in our nature, God manifest in the flesh, and who came by the assumption of human nature; and when he first came, he came with vengeance, and took vengeance on Satan and his works; on him, and his principalities, and powers, whom he spoiled and destroyed, as well as made an end of sin and abolished death; see Isaiah 61:2 so likewise he came in his kingdom and power, and took vengeance on the Jewish nation, for their disbelief and rejection of him; and which time is expressly called the days of vengeance, Luke 21:22 and at the time of his spiritual coming he will destroy antichrist with the brightness of it, and avenge the blood of his servants, Revelation 18:20 and at his personal coming he will take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not his Gospel, 2 Thessalonians 1:8 and the words are so expressed as to take in the several times of his coming: and since he has already come, and taken vengeance in some instances, this may serve to encourage, and perhaps the design of it is to encourage, the faith of God's people, with respect to his future coming, and the end and issue of it:

even God with a recompence: or, "the God of recompence" (x); and so the Targum,

"the Lord of recompences;''

both to the wicked a just recompence of reward or punishment for their sins, it being just with him to recompense tribulation to them that trouble his people; and to the saints, the time of his spiritual reign being the time, as to destroy them that destroy the earth, so to give a reward to his servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear his name, Revelation 11:18,

he will come and save you; the end of his first coming was to save his people from sin, the curse and condemnation of the law, from hell, wrath, ruin, and destruction; and the end of his spiritual coming, at the latter day, will be to save his people from their antichristian enemies, from idolatry, superstition, and slavery.

(w) "festinis corde", Vatablus; "praecipitantibus corde", Cocceius; "inconsideratis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (x) "praemiator Deus ipse veniet", Castalio.

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