4th May 2020
“And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.” Isaiah 4:2
By “the fruit of the earth” we may understand that gracious and holy fruit which grew upon the Branch: and it seems to be called “the fruit of the earth,” because it appeared on earth when our Lord was there. Thus not only all his words, works, and ways, all the parables, doctrines, precepts, and promises uttered by the mouth of the Son of God in the days of his flesh, but all the benefits and blessings that spring in the way of redemption out of his complex Person, and grow as it were a holy fruit out of him as the Branch, such as his atoning blood, his glorious righteousness, his dying love, his resurrection and ascension, and his power to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, may all be considered as “the fruit of the earth,” because wrought by him in and upon the earth, and done in the days of his flesh when his gracious feet were upon this earthly ball. This fruit is “excellent” to the escaped of Israel. There is seen in it to be a divine excellency. Therefore, there is not a shadow of a fault to be found with it. It is perfect in all its parts; complete to the very centre, and therefore seen to be excellent, as so glorifying to God, and so adapted to every want and woe of those that are left in Zion and remain in Jerusalem.
And “comely” too. In his sufferings, in his bloodshedding, obedience, holy life and expiatory death, there is a surpassing comeliness, because in them shine forth a divine glory and a heavenly beauty. It is indeed the same word as is translated “beauty” in the holy garments made for Aaron by Moses (Exod. 28:2), and clothed in which he ministered before the Lord when he went into the holy place. So our great High Priest now ministers within the veil in the holiness and beauty of his glorified humanity; and as this is seen and apprehended by faith, the Church sings, “I sat under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” “His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.”
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869