Apr 11, 2010

Isaiah 45:22 - William Styles

“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth,” Isa. 45:22; on which is founded the popular hymn:

“There is life for a look at the Crucified One,
There is life at this moment for thee.”

It implies, says A. Barnes the “ease of salvation”—simply looking to God: and that He, “if men will not look to Him in order that they may be saved,” will be “just” in “casting them off for ever.”

Note, however, (1) that these words are uttered by the Lord, speaking as a “just God and a Saviour,” and not by human lips. They are authoritative not expostulatory. They do not solicit and promise—but command and declare “look” and “be saved.” They therefore do not warrant one sinner’s promising spiritual life to other sinners for a look—but imply that God with all commanding might, directs favoured sinners to look unto Him.

But (2) who are addressed? Not all sinners, but “all the ends of the earth”—which if the passage is spiritualized at all, must be interpreted in harmony with its connection. It will then refer to persons at a great conscious distance from God—who though quickened, are in their fears and apprehensions far from Him. Such have spiritual life, and can consistently be commanded to perform a spiritual act.

Notice, moreover, that the injunction respects rather the direction of the look than the act itself, “Unto Me.” Not till this is done is salvation experimentally enjoyed.

“With long despair the spirit breaks,
Till we apply to Christ alone.”

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