God is justly displeased when the voice of His rod is not heard,
much more, when sin and idolatry are knowingly rejoiced in.
Sinners shall find no quietness or satisfaction in their own hearts and will be made to feel the full force of His anger if sin is not repented of and forsaken.
1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
3 ¶ But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.
4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,
5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?
7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.
9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.
10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.
11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?
12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.
13 ¶ When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;
14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.
15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.
20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
Isaiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Isaiah 57 – No Peace to the Wicked
A terrible portrayal is given here of the idolatries and impurities into which the Chosen People had fallen. These scenes under “every green tree” (Isaiah 57:5) and in the valleys remind us of the invariable evils associated with idolatry which the great Apostle has recorded in Romans 1:23-28. They refused to retain God in their knowledge, and He gave them over to a reprobate mind; that is, He ceased to restrain them.
But amid the degenerate nation, there was a handful of elect souls; God is always careful against rooting up the tares, lest one stalk of wheat perish. Amid the destruction that must overtake the guilty land they that trusted in Him, would not be overlooked. See Isaiah 57:13-14.
With what comfort the chapter closes! Isaiah 57:15, etc. We may have been covetous and froward, and have deserved wrath and chastisement, but God will not always chide. Only return to Him! He will revive your heart, and “restore comforts” to you (Isaiah 57:18). He will heal where He has wounded, and will bring you near, through the blood of the Cross. See Ephesians 2:16-17. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Isaiah 57:19—I create the fruit of the lips.
Our words should be like fruit. Fruit is the final cause and reason of a tree’s culture; and is it not to bear fruit that we have been redeemed and cultivated with infinite solicitude? Fruit reveals the nature of its parent tree; and is there anything that more quickly shows what we are than our talk? “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Fruit, when it is ripe, is sweet to the taste; but beneath these luscious qualities there is always the ultimate design of securing the propagation of the tree through its seed; so beneath the wit, or laughter, or strong common-sense of our words, there should be the aim of sowing in others the words of eternal life.
How often, when we get into conversation with comparative strangers or our friends, we are at a loss to turn it into the right channels. Then, let us lift our thoughts to God, and say, Create in me now the right word, which shall refresh and help those whom I address. The answer will always be one of peace. “Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near.” Let our lips ever ring with the silver notes of Peace, Peace; Peace, Peace.
Still more in prayer we may claim that God should create the petitions which our lips offer. You feel that you cannot pray as you would. Now, put away the straining and striving which have robbed your quiet times of their blessedness. Kneel before God in the utter stillness of your spirit, and ask Him to create supplications, intercessions, and worship, on your lips. Dare to believe that He is doing this, and be assured that the most broken utterances, which He has created and given, are sweeter to Him than the most ornate ritual. —Our Daily Homily