There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked - See below, note on Isaiah 57:21; (note). As the destruction of Babylon was determined, God commands his people to hasten out of it; for, saith the Lord, there is no peace (prosperity) to the wicked; ουκ εστι χαιρειν τοις ασεβεσιν, λεγει Κυριος . - Sept. "There is no rejoicing or prosperity to the wicked saith the Lord." Their is not pese to unrytous men seith the Lord. - Old MS. Bible.
There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked - This verse contains a sentiment whose truth no one can doubt. To the transgressor of the laws of God there can be no permanent peace, enjoyment, or prosperity. The word peace is used in the Scriptures in all these senses (see the note at Isaiah 48:18). There may be the appearance of joy, and there may be temporary prosperity. But there is no abiding, substantial, permanent happiness, such as is enjoyed by those who fear and love God. This sentiment occurs not unfrequently in Isaiah. It is repeated in Isaiah 57:21; and in Isaiah 57:20, he says that ‹the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.‘ Of the truth of the declaration here there can be no doubt; but it is not perfectly apparent why it is introduced here. It is probably a part of the song with which they would celebrate their return; and it may have been used for one of the following reasons:
1. As a general maxim, expressed in view of the joy which they had in their return to their own land. They had elevated peace and triumph and joy. This was produced by the fact that they had evidence that they were the objects of the divine favor and protection. How natural was it in view of these blessings to say, that the wicked had no such comfort, and in general, that there was no peace to them of any kind, or from any quarter. Or,
2. It may have been uttered in view of the fact that many of their countrymen may have chosen to remain in Babylon when they returned to their own land. They probably formed connections there, amassed wealth, and refused to attend those who returned to Judea to rebuild the temple. And the meaning may be, that they, amidst all the wealth which they might have gained, and amidst the idolatries which prevailed in Babylon, could never enjoy the peace which they now had in their return to the land of their fathers.
Whatever was the reason why it was used here, it contains a most important truth which demands the attention of all people. The wicked, as a matter of sober truth and verity, have no permanent and substantial peace and joy. They have none:
1. In the act of wickedness. Sin may be attended with the gratifications of bad passions, but in the act of sinning, as such, there can be no substantial happiness.
2. They have no solid, substantial, elevated peace in the business or the pleasures of life. This world can furnish no such joys as are derived from the hope of a life to come. Pleasures ‹pall upon the sense,‘ riches take wings; disappointment comes; and the highest earthly and sensual pleasure leaves a sad sense of want - a feeling that there is something in the capacities and needs of the undying mind which has not been filled.
3. They have no peace of conscience; no deep and abiding conviction that they are right. They are often troubled; and there is nothing which this world can furnish which will give peace to a bosom that is agitated with a sense of the guilt of sin.
4. They have no peace on a deathbed. There may be stupidity, callousness, insensibility, freedom from much pain or alarm. But that is not peace, anymore than sterility is fruitfulness; or than death is life; or than the frost of winter is the verdure of spring; or than a desert is a fruitful field.
5. There is often in these circumstances the reverse of peace. There is not only no positive peace, but there is the opposite. There is often disappointment, care, anxiety, distress, deep alarm, and the awful apprehension of eternal wrath. There is no situation in life or death, where the sinner can certainly calculate on peace, or where he will be sure to find it. There is every probability that his mind will be often filled with alarm, and that his deathbed will be one of despair.
6. There is no peace to the wicked beyond the grave. “A sinner can have no peace at the judgment bar of God; he can have no peace in hell.” In all the future world there is no place where he can find repose; and whatever this life may be, even if it be a life of prosperity and external comfort, yet to him there will be no prosperity in the future world, and no external or internal peace there.
When error in one garb has been detected, Satan only masks it in a different disguise, and multitudes receive it as eagerly as at the first. When the people found Romanism to be a deception, and he could not through this agency lead them to transgression of God's law, he urged them to regard all religion as a cheat, and the Bible as a fable; and, casting aside the divine statutes, they gave themselves up to unbridled iniquity. GC 285.1
The fatal error which wrought such woe for the inhabitants of France was the ignoring of this one great truth: that true freedom lies within the proscriptions of the law of God. “O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” “But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Isaiah 48:18, 22; Proverbs 1:33. GC 285.2
Atheists, infidels, and apostates oppose and denounce God's law; but the results of their influence prove that the well-being of man is bound up with his obedience of the divine statutes. Those who will not read the lesson from the book of God are bidden to read it in the history of nations. GC 285.3Read in context »
Ministers of God have been guilty of the sin of disregarding a “Thus saith the Lord.” They have led the members of their churches to observe rites which have no foundation in the word of God, but are in direct opposition to His law. By perversion and misrepresentation of the Word of God, they have caused the people to commit sin. God will reward them according to their works. Even as did the priests and rulers in the time of Christ, they have caused the people to err. Christ says of them as He said of the Jewish leaders, “In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Manuscript 28, 1900). 4BC 1149.1
1. The Only Course of Safety—My brethren, you need to study more carefully the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. This chapter marks out the only course that we can follow with safety.... 4BC 1149.2
The prophet receives this word from the Lord—a message startling in its clearness and force: 4BC 1149.3Read in context »
When you realize the transforming influence of the power of God upon your heart, it will be seen in your life. You have lacked a religious experience, but it is not too late for you now to seek God with earnest, heartfelt cries: “What shall I do to be saved?” You can never be a true Christian until you are thoroughly converted. You have been a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God. You have been seeking after pleasure, but have you found real enjoyment in this course? You have sought to make yourself agreeable to young, inexperienced girls. You have had your mind so much upon them that you could not direct it upward to God and heaven. “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” This exhortation is applicable to you. You need to learn the ways, the will and works of God. You need pure and undefiled religion; you need to cultivate devotional feelings. Cease to do evil, and learn to do well. The blessing of God cannot rest upon you until you become more like Christ. 2T 289.1
I am pained as I see the lack of godliness with the young. Satan takes the mind and turns it in a channel which is corrupt. A self-deception is upon many of the young. They think they are Christians, but they have never been converted. Until this work shall be wrought in them, they will not understand the mystery of godliness. There is no peace to the wicked. God requires truth and sincerity of heart. He sees and pities you, and all the youth who are eagerly following childish toys and wasting short, precious time for things of no value. Christ has bought you at a dear price, and offers you grace and glory if you will receive it; but you turn from the precious promise of the gift of everlasting life, to the meager and unsatisfactory pleasures of earth. 2T 289.2
Your labor in this direction will bring no profit, but great loss. The wages of sin is death. Life and heaven are before you, but you seem not to know their value. You have not meditated upon the precious things of heaven. If the inestimable love of Christ be turned from, if heaven and glory and everlasting life be considered of little value, what motive can we present to move? what inducement to charm? Will foolish sports and a round of exciting pleasures attract the mind, and separate from God, and deaden the heart to His fear? 2T 289.3Read in context »