Call to Worship December 29 2019
THE POOR MAN’S OLD TESTAMENT COMMENTARY by Robert Hawker
God the Holy Ghost is here celebrating the glory and praise of Christ, and his Church in him; and showing what a vast accession of redeemed souls shall pour into the Redeemer’s kingdom in the latter-day glory.
I beg to be understood as speaking with all due humility, on a subject so infinitely sublime and glorious; and rather as asking than deciding upon it; but I venture to say, it strikes me that the person here spoken to, is Christ, the glorious Head of his Church, and not the Church herself, as hath been generally supposed. We find, by comparing scripture with scripture, that God the Father many times before addresses God the Son as Mediator, in the several parts of this same Prophet’s sermon. See Isaiah 42:6, and Isaiah 49:1-9. And there seems to be a blessed propriety in the glorious Head, and not the Church, being thus addressed, when the Gentiles are said to come to his light, and kings to the brightness of his rising. This was literally and truly done, when Jesus came as the light and the life of men; and hence the Evangelist recorded the truth, that the people saw a great light, Matthew 4:12-16. And John recorded also that his people were made kings and priests to God and his Father, Revelation 1:6. But Reader, do not forget one blessed truth contained in these verses, namely, that the glory here spoken of, is the glory of Jehovah. Christ and his salvation are uniformly said, in all the scripture, to be Jehovah’s glory: God the Father proclaimed this, Isaiah 49:6, and God the Son, as Mediator, confirmed it when on earth, John 17:1-5.
What a blessed and soul-reviving thought is it, amidst the melancholy prospect all around, of sin and sorrow, in the present miserable state of things, that the kingdom of Jesus is neither weak nor small. The promise is absolute: He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. Some of all nations, all tongues, all people shall come to him. In Jesus, the New Testament altar shall they be all accepted. I only detain the Reader to remark, that this passage alone, if there were no other, would be sufficient to determine, that the deliverance of the Church from Babylon (as some would fain have it) could not be in the Prophet’s view, when he penned this scripture. It is true, many people of different countries, joined themselves with Israel on their return; but neither Israel herself, nor all the scattered remnants of the people that joined them, could warrant expressions like these. See Ezra 2:64.
BLESSED Lord Jesus! how shall I refrain, while reading this sweet chapter, from having my whole soul led out in longing desire after you, and calling upon you in your own words, to arise, and shine upon my soul, and let your glory be seen upon me? Do not I know, that you, and you only are the source and fountain of all saving light, and life, and knowledge? Gross darkness had indeed covered our whole nature, until you, the Sun of righteousness, did arise on our benighted souls, with healing in your wings! And both now in time, and hereafter to all eternity, all your redeemed derive everything from you, for grace, and for glory. Gentiles may well come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising, for without you all is darkness and as the shadow of death. Not all the lights of heaven and heavenly bodies, no, nor all the moons and stars of earthly ordinances, can give light or warmth, without you. Oh! To this place come to Jesus, you sons and daughters of this benighted world; awake, you that sleep, and arise from the dead, that Christ may give you light.
And oh! my blessed God and Father! how shalt I praise you, and love you as I ought, for this blessed, this glorious, this unequalled gift of your dear Son? Oh! carry on the great design, and let not the gates of your Zion be shut, day nor night; that men may bring to our Shiloh the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought: until the whole earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea; and all shall know, that you, the Lord Jehovah, are our Savior and Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob! Amen.”