22 DECEMBER (POSSIBLY PREACHED JANUARY 1768)
The shadow of a great Rock
‘And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.’ Isaiah 32:2
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Isaiah 25:1–8
This text is a comment upon Christ is all in all [Colossians 3:11]. In him his people find a hiding place where they cannot be found, a foundation from which they cannot be shaken off, streams of life and refreshment which cannot be dried up, and a sweet repose when everything is unquiet about them.
The shadow of a great rock. The allusion seems to travelling or toiling in the heat of the sun—a welcome shadow to such who are faint and weary. The believer has many weary hours—weary of himself, of the world, of affliction, especially when afflictions are many, sharp, long-continued. Indeed this heat would be insupportable without a shade. But Jesus is a great rock through which the sun’s beams cannot pierce—hence called a shield. But how?
(i) By the knowledge he gives of himself, in his characters and relations.
(ii) By putting power with the promises.
(iii) By sanctifying afflictions so that though not joyous but grievous, they yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness.
(iv) By enabling them to look forward to the end, as Revelation 2:10.
Now this [man] is compared to the shadow of a rock to show its closeness. In other respects he is compared to a tree, affording not only shade, but fruit (Song of Solomon 2:). Those who dwell under this shadow shall revive.
Unbelievers are exposed to the heat. Their troubles meet them without support and leave them without a blessing, therefore miserable here, and lost hereafter—when the heat of the Lord’s anger shall be as a burning oven.
FOR MEDITATION: The Refuge, River, and Rock of the Church
This land, through which his pilgrims go,
When troubles, like a burning sun,
Is desolate and dry;
Beat heavy on their head;
But streams of grace from him o’erflow
To this almighty Rock they run,
Their thirst to satisfy.
And find a pleasing shade.
SERMON SERIES: ISAIAH 32:2, NO. 4 [1/1]