Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;
Still on Isa 32; Vs18 says : And my people shall dwell. As we have said that spiritual righteousness is that which has its seat in the hearts of men, we must say the same thing about peace, which is the fruit of it. Accordingly, when quiet habitations and resting-places are here mentioned, let us remember the saying of Paul,
“justified by faith, we have peace with God.” (Romans 5:1.)
When Christ says that he “leaves” this peace to the disciples, (John 14:27,) he affirms that “it cannot be given by the world;” and we ought not to wonder at this, for, as the same Apostle Paul inform us in another passage by saying that, “this peace surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7.) Having obtained this righteousness, we are no longer restless or alarmed within, as when we feel in the gnawings of conscience the wrath of God. A bad conscience is always alarmed, and harassed by wretched uneasiness.
Wicked men must therefore be uneasy, and distressed by a variety of terrors; for where righteousness is banished that peace cannot be found; and where Christ reigns, there alone do we find true peace. Assured peace, therefore, is enjoyed by none but believers, who appeal to the heavenly tribunal, not only by their piety, but by their reliance on the mercy of God. Hence we infer that Christ does not yet reign where consciences are uneasy, and tossed by the various waves of doubts, as must be the case with Papists and all others who are not built on the sacrifice of Christ and the atonement obtained through him.
Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate ones; but they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation.
Israel rested safely beneath the blood-be sprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter.
The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits.
May we find rest in Christ who is our dwelling place in Jesus mighty name. Amen.