“And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me, and my fury, it upheld me.” – Isaiah lxiii. 5.
WE have not time, space, nor ability to do justice to the subject embraced in time text; but, at the request of brother Singleton, we will submit a few general remarks.
We understand that Christ is set forth in this text and its connection, and the words of the text were used prophetically as his language, whether in relation to the work and sufferings he was appointed to perform, redeeming his people from sin, death, and hell, or of some special display of his power in the the destruction of Edom, or the man of sin, we will not attempt here to determine; but what we presume our brother wishes our views upon is: “I looked, and there was none to help,” &c. If we should so construe this language as to represent that our Redeemer looked with the expectation of receiving hell), and that he was disappointed, we could not reconcile this passage with the general tenor of the scriptures. Had it been said of him after his conflicts and sufferings were finished, by the inspired writers, that he had looked for help, and wondered that there was none to uphold, such a construction as would imply disappointment, would appear more natural; but when we consider that this language was predictive, and used by the prophet seven hundred years before the advent of our Savior, it effectually guards the subject from any liability of its being so taken. The Son of God came not forth into our guilty world to do and suffer for and in behalf of his people without a full knowledge of all things which could have a bearing upon the objects of his divine mission. He had looked long before the prophet wrote, and long before the world began, and clearly saw, and most certainly knew, that there were none to help him in the performance of his mediatorial work, and he wondered that there was none to uphold, &c. The best comment we can find on these expressive words may be read in the account given of his passion and death. Here we have an instance of his being left alone. Not only was he forsaken by his disciples, and by those ministering angels who had ministered to him in the garden, but the upholding presence of the Father was withdrawn. The wonder which he then and there experienced, was not that of disappointment; nor did it rise from inability to account for the sufferings he endured, but from the intensity of what he endured. On this grand wonder, angels in astonishment gazed; the sun, appalled, grew pale; earth was convulsed, and flinty rocks were burst asunder. Death stood aghast at the invasion of his gloomy domains; his prison, which for ages had inclosed the bodies of many of the saints, was now thrown open; the massive gates of the grave were unbarred, and the tenants thereof were raised. There was none to uphold. Single handed and alone he trod the wine press. He had power to lay down his life, and he had power to take it up again.
“Therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me.” Salvation – not only in his deliverance from the tomb, the resurrection of his body from the shades of death, but by his arm the salvation of all for whom he died, their final and eternal release from wrath and condemnation, his arm brought unto him. He effected all that he had contemplated; he had destroyed death and him that had the power of death, which is the devil, and delivered them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. “And my fury, it upheld me.” The day of vengeance as in his heart, and the year of his redeemed had come. He was appointed to “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day and vengeance of our God.” That wrath which he endured, and that fury in which he will crush. his foes, upholds his government, sustains him as a Savior, and as the Head over all things to his church, which is his body, and the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
New Vernon, N.Y.,
April 1, 1846
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 631 - 633