Isaiah 27:3 MEANING

Isaiah 27:3
(3) I the Lord do keep it.--The words imply a distinct reversal of the sentence passed in Isaiah 5:1-7. Instead of abandonment, there is constant care. Instead of the clouds being commanded to give no rain, the vineyard is watered whenever it requires watering. Instead of being wasted by the wild boar or by spoilers, Jehovah tends it both by day and night.

Verse 3. - I the Lord do keep it; or, guard it (comp. Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:8; Psalm 121:5). Vineyards were considered to require special watching, since they were liable to damage both from thieves and foxes (Song of Solomon 2:15). It was usual to build towers in them, from which a watch could be kept (Isaiah 5:2; Matthew 21:33). I will water it every moment (compare the threat in Isaiah 5:6, "I will command my clouds that they rain no rain upon it"). The Church needs and receives "the continual dew of God's blessing."

27:1-5 The Lord Jesus with his strong sword, the virtue of his death, and the preaching of his gospel, does and will destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, that old serpent. The world is a fruitless, worthless wilderness; but the church is a vineyard, a place that has great care taken of it, and from which precious fruits are gathered. God will keep it in the night of affliction and persecution, and in the day of peace and prosperity, the temptations of which are not less dangerous. God also takes care of the fruitfulness of this vineyard. We need the continual waterings of Divine grace; if these be at any time withdrawn, we wither, and come to nothing. Though God sometimes contends with his people, yet he graciously waits to be reconciled unto them. It is true, when he finds briers and thorns instead of vines, and they are set in array against him, he will tread them down and burn them. Here is a summary of the doctrine of the gospel, with which the church is to be watered every moment. Ever since sin first entered, there has been, on God's part, a righteous quarrel, but, on man's part, most unrighteous. Here is a gracious invitation given. Pardoning mercy is called the power of our Lord; let us take hold on that. Christ crucified is the power of God. Let us by lively faith take hold on his strength who is a strength to the needy, believing there is no other name by which we can be saved, as a man that is sinking catches hold of a bough, or cord, or plank, that is in his reach. This is the only way, and it is a sure way, to be saved. God is willing to be reconciled to us.I the Lord do keep it,.... The vineyard, the church, not only by his ministers, called the keepers of it, Sol 8:12 but by himself, by his own power; for unless he keeps it, who is Israel's keeper, the watchmen wake in vain; he keeps his church and people from sin, that it does not reign over them; and from Satan's temptations, that they are not destroyed by them; and from the malice of the world, and the poison of false teachers, that they are not ruined thereby; and from a final and total falling away; the Lord's preservation of his church and people will be very manifest in the latter day:

I will water it every moment; both more immediately with the dews of his grace, and the discoveries of his love; that being like dew, it comes from above, is according to the sovereign will of God, without the desert of man falls in the night, silently, gently, and insensibly, and greatly refreshes and makes fruitful, Hosea 14:5 and more immediately by the ministry of the word and ordinances, by his ministers, the preachers of the Gospel, who water as well as plant, 1 Corinthians 3:6 these are the clouds he sends about to let down the rain of the Gospel upon his church and people, by which they are revived, refreshed, and made fruitful, Isaiah 5:6 and this being done "every moment", shows, as the care of God, and his constant regard to his people, so that without the frequent communications of his grace, and the constant ministration of his word and ordinances, they would wither and become fruitless; but, by means of these, they are as a watered garden, whose springs fail not, Isaiah 58:11,

lest any hurt it; as would Satan, who goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; and the men of the world, who are the boar out of the wood, and the wild beast out of the field, that would waste and destroy the vineyard; and false teachers, who are the foxes that would spoil the vines, 1 Peter 5:8 but, to prevent any such hurt and damage, the Lord undertakes to keep the church, his vineyard, himself, which he repeats with some addition, to declare the certainty of it; or, "lest he visit it" (m); that is, an enemy, as some (n) supply it; lest he should break down the hedge, and push into it, and waste it; or Jehovah himself, that is, as Gussetius (o) interprets it, while Jehovah the Father, Isaiah 27:1, is striking leviathan, or inflicting his judgments upon his enemies, Jehovah the Son promises to take care of his vineyard, the church, that the visitation does not affect them, and they are not hurt by it, but are safe and secure from it; which is a much better sense than that of Kimchi mentioned by him, I will water it every moment, "that not one leaf of it should fail"; the same is observed by Ben Melech, as the sense given by Donesh Ben Labrat:

I will keep it night and day; that is, continually, for he never slumbers nor sleeps; he has kept, and will keep, his church and people, through all the vicissitudes of night and day, of adversity and prosperity, they come into: how great is the condescension of the Lord to take upon him the irrigation and preservation of his people! how dear and precious must they be to him! and what a privilege is it to be in such a plantation as this, watered and defended by the Lord himself!

(m) "ne forte visitet eum", Munster, Pagninus, Tigurine version. (n) So Munster, Pagninus, Vatablus, and Ben Melech. (o) Comment. Ebr. p. 668, 669.

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