,
 

 
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall
not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith
the LORD that hath mercy on thee (Isaiah 54:10). 

 
Our text speaks of the certainty God’s people have in the  uncertainties that
seem to surround us. We read in scripture how that in the last days that men’s
hearts shall fail them for fear of seeing the things that are coming on the face
of the earth. Among all these fears, and among all these anxieties that the
world is going through, God’s people have a certainty. They have a foundation,
and they have a covenant of His peace that shall not be removed.
 
The circumstances do not alter, but we have perfect tranquility and peace in the
circumstances. In these tribulations, God’s people will have perfect peace.
 
Change and decay seem to be closing in on the uncertain times in which we live.
Satan seems to be turned loose, and we see those who used to have secret sins
such as sodomy boldly proclaiming that they are sodomites.

 
Those who murder the innocent seed of their womb proclaim that they have rights
to do these things. They are no longer ashamed. We see so many things coming on
the face of the earth that cause our hearts to fear.
 
I want you to see what we read here in Luke 17:26-27: “And as it was in the days
of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they
drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe
entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
 
This is what we see in our day as we see Satan going out as a roaring lion.
Where have you ever seen a greater craving for entertainment? When man lost the
image of God, it created a vacuum in the heart that will never again be
satisfied except by the renewing of the image of God. 

 
People try to fill this vacuum by heaping up riches. By nature we will try to
fill it with the things of this life. They try to constantly occupy their minds
with television even if it is the most vain things that could pass before their
eyes. People turn it on to kill time and try to kill that vacuum that can only
be filled rightly by the image of God.

 
There is no sure foundation nor security in the entertainment of this world. We
can fill the vacuum temporarily it seems, and then when the entertainment is
over the vacuum appears to have become greater. People try to fill this vacuum
with the vanities of this life by acquiring things they have absolutely no use
for. It is all an attempt to fill that empty place.
 
To those who fear the Lord our text says: “For the mountains shall depart, and
the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall
the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee”
(Isaiah 54:10). That peace is the only thing that will ever satisfy and will
ever fill that vacuum.
 
This reference to mercy denotes undeserved favor as we see in the context of our
text. This peace, this love, this oneness that we again have with the Lord, is
undeserved. It is something we have no right nor title to, nor can we merit it
by anything we do.
 
It is so important if we want to unfold a scripture that we see the context in
which it lies. Let us take a look at verses 7 and 8: “For a small moment have I
forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I
hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have
mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”
 
We deserve to be forsaken. We could rightly and justly be forsaken for all
eternity. We get a glimpse of what we have done and the gulf we have made with
sin, yet the Lord will not forget His covenant of peace. 

 
We may think that God is really pouring out His wrath upon us because we have
certain trials and afflictions, but it is just a little wrath. It is just a
glimpse of what we deserve.

 
This is speaking of the blessed, redeeming love of the Lord Jesus Christ. That
is where we have that covenant of peace. This redeeming love is a forgiving love
as we see in Genesis 8:21: “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD
said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake;
for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again
smite any more every thing living, as I have done.” 

 
Will we understand the forgiveness of sin until we understand the sinfulness of
sin, until we acknowledge that we have forfeited all?
 
The sweet savour is the burnt offering of Noah after he came out of the ark. The
Lord smelled that sweet savour that pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ. That
blessed atonement of Christ is such a sweet savour in the nostrils of the Lord.
 
The Lord has a tender and loving heart for His people. He understands our frame.
He understands that we have a wicked imagination because of the fall. Now He
grants pardon. Now we are talking about the redeeming love of Christ. Now we are
talking about mercy, and wherever we find mercy it is in that sweet-smelling
savour. It is in that precious atonement of His dear Son.
 
That is what God was referring to when He said in the verse preceding our text.
We read in verse 9: “For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have
sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn
that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.”
 
The Lord sent justice and destroyed the entire earth with water, but now He says
that He will never do that again. What did we see in the waters of Noah? We saw
the just condemnation of God upon all sin, but in His mercy He spared Noah and
His children.

 
When we see the context of our text we see that this certainty is for those who
fear the Lord and keep His holy will. It is for those who tremble at His Word
and hate sin. This certainty and covenant of peace is not for the unclean. 

 
I want you to see this with me in Psalm 103:13: “Like as a father pitieth his
children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” We do not see this loving
pity on those who walk in unbelief, who walk in rebellion against God’s will.
 
Continuing in verse 14 we read: “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that
we are dust.” He remembers that we have these evil imaginations in our hearts.
He forgives us because He sees our fallen nature. He looks on the desire of
hearts. Is it our heart’s desire to do His will? We fall so far short. No man on
the face of the earth is going to keep His will with perfection.
 
The Apostle Paul said that he loved the law after the inner man. The things I
would I do not, and the things would not, those I do (Romans 7:15). In the inner
man, he said, I love your law. The Lord is looking at what we cherish.  

 
Verse 15 says: “As for man, his days are as grass [there is no certainty in the
flesh]: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.”
 
Nothing in us gives us any foundation for security. 
 
Continuing in verses 16 to 18 we read: “For the wind passeth over it, and it is
gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is
from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness
unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that
remember his commandments to do them.”
 
These verses sort out and identify and isolate those who have these eternal
blessings.

 
To those who fear the Lord, He does display His displeasure upon their sin, but
He never forgets His covenant of peace with them. Even those who fear the Lord
are weak and prone to evil. Hatred and bitterness want to stick up their ugly
heads. Have you ever had to battle pride? If you understand the ways of the Lord
then you know that that ugly monster I is your worst enemy. That is what
happened in Paradise—I became exalted.
 
Now we are told to take up our cross daily and follow Him. We must daily crucify
that ugly monster I. God’s dear people also have to fight this internal sin, and
they do things that displease Him, yet He never forgets His covenant of peace
with them. That is what we see in Isaiah 54:7-8: “For a small moment have I
forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I
hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have
mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”
 
He comes with His chastening hand. You and I are to walk in the fear of God, and
it is to be our whole heart’s desire to do His will, yet in our weakness we do
things that are against His will. Then for a small moment He forsakes us. He
does this because if we have truly the fear of God in our hearts, then it will
cause us to cry out as Job did: I looked to the right hand and to the left, and
I could not find Him (Job 23:9).

Then our hearts and souls begin hungering and thirsting after God. With His
chastening hand, He brings us back to Him. It was not an eternal separation, but
the Lord withheld Himself for a moment.

 
It is the Lord thy Redeemer. Note the personal pronoun. It is a personal
salvation.
 
Our Redeemer did not come only to save us from hell. What is salvation to you
and me? Is it just to be saved from the consequences of sin? No, that is the
salvation of Satan’s gospel. Churches today tell you how to get justified so you
can go to heaven, but salvation is from sin.
 
I want to read to you in Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God that bringeth
salvation hath appeared to all men.” I want you to listen carefully to the next
verse to see what salvation is. Is it to escape hell? Is Christ no more than a
fire escape for us? That is no salvation at all. “Teaching us that, denying
ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly,
in this present world.” That is salvation.

 
Continuing in verses 13 and 14 we read: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the
glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave
himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto
himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
 
What does He redeem us from? It does not say He came to redeem us from hell. I
want you to see what the Bible says. He redeems us from all iniquity. Salvation
is to be saved and redeemed from the power of sin. This is what the Bible calls
salvation.
 
How many people today want to be purified in their hearts? How many people want
to be saved from their worldly lusts? Identify a worldly lust to someone and
tell them, You should be saved from that, and watch your friendship disappear.
 
It is grace when you and I can come before the Lord like David and say, Lord,
search my heart and try my reins and see if there is an evil way in me because I
want to have it identified that I can have it purged away (Psalm 26:2).
 
We read in John 3:19-21: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into
the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the
light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the
light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
 
If you have the work of grace in your heart, then you come to the light. You
want the light to shine on your heart, and you want to identify every sin of
your heart that you might bring it to the light and be cleansed from it. You do
this that you might be redeemed from that iniquity.

 
Is this a duty religion? This is the Bible. I am quoting this from the
Scriptures. That is salvation.

 
God ever has been and will forever be wroth with sin, but the certainty we have
assured in our text is that He will redeem us from all iniquity. That is the
covenant He made with us.
 
We see the new covenant in Hebrews 8:10: “For this is the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my
laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a
God, and they shall be to me a people.”


The covenant of peace is when the law of God is written in our hearts, and it
becomes the thought process and traffic of our heart.
 
We read in Hebrews 12:5: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh
unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord,
nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.”
 
Little children, do we understand that when our parents punish us, that they
love us? They chasten us because they love us. We read in Proverbs 13:24: “He
that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him
betimes.”
 
The Lord loves us, and we are the children of God. The Lord is talking to us in
this verse as unto little children.
 
When the Lord says, “In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment
[this does not shake our foundation of security, this was in love for our soul
to chasten us for our waywardness, because He goes on to say]; but with
everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”
 
When we realize we have strayed from the Lord, and that He is chastening us out
of love, that does not shake our security, but it makes us start pleading His
mercy.

 
The Lord so blessedly reveals the fruit He is looking for from His chastening in
Hebrews 12:11: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but
grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
 
If we as parents punish a child, what are we trying to accomplish? We want
rebellion broken, and we want the child in submission. That is what we are
after. The fruit of chastening should be submission. The Lord says not to forget
that He is treating us as a Father treats His child. He chastens us because we
need correction, and He corrects us because He loves us.
 
I have seen my mother weep grievously while she was correcting me. It hurt her
more than it did me, but the purpose of it was to break my rebellion. Then we
see those peaceable fruits of righteousness, and I could sit on my mother’s lap
and embrace her because I love her. Her heart and my heart could then join
together in the love that results from chastening.
 
The Lord takes those who are rebellious, and those who are walking wayward, and
He chastens them until their hearts come in total surrender to Him. Then they
have those peaceable fruits of righteousness, which is that the hearts become
reconciled. 

 
Is it not true that sometimes we begin to wonder if we will live to see that
“afterward”? The Lord knows what we can bear. The Lord knows what we need, and
the Lord knows how far it has to go because He will not stop until there is an
unconditional surrender.
 
Sometimes we have to realize that the Lord’s ways are higher than our ways, yet
our text is for those who despair of ever reaping that blessed harvest that
yields “the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised
thereby.” 

 
In the first instance, we must look at the meaning of “the mountains shall
depart, and the hills be removed” literally as we read in 2 Peter 3:10: “But the
day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens
shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent
heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
 
Even when this happens, the covenant of peace is everlasting, and so is His
mercy. When time ends, this covenant of peace endures. 

 
In the second place, these mountains are the symbol of our places of false
security, and they will depart. I want you to take notice with me what we read
in Psalm 30:6-7: “And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by
thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face,
and I was troubled.”
 
In his prosperity he began to be strong in himself, and that was going to be
removed. Sometimes we do not understand why it seems as if the Lord has come
against us, but He is removing that false security. He is removing all sense of
security that we have in anything outside of Christ.

 
Peter had his mountain also that made him stand strong as we see in Matthew
26:33: “Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended
because of thee, yet will I never be offended.”
 
See how strong Peter was in himself. The Lord loves His children, and when we
begin to have a mountain we have strength in outside of Christ that becomes our
sense of security, then the Lord puts His finger on it, and those mountains are
removed.
 
Sometimes we wonder what happened to our prosperity. Sometimes we wonder what
happened to these things we felt so secure in, and they just disappeared. 

 
When Peter’s mountain was removed he found the truth of our text, “My kindness
shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,
saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”
 
That mountain will be removed, but we will learn to see that it was in God’s
love that He did it. It was in His everlasting love that He removed that sure
mountain of Peter, and brought him down to where he became as a little child.  

 
I want you to see where Peter was when he had his mountain removed. We read in
Matthew 26:74-75: “Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the
man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus,
which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he
went out, and wept bitterly.”
 
Peter was so strong in himself, but the Lord was so faithful to Peter. He did
not forget to let that cock crow. While Peter cursed and swore and denied that
he ever knew Him, the Lord Jesus told His messenger, Now, send him the message.
The cock crowed, and Peter remembered the word of Jesus.
 
The Lord forsook Peter for a little while and allowed him to fall because
Peter’s mountain had to be removed. Peter stood so firm in his own strength.
 
Do we not see David’s security in God’s faithfulness when his mountain was
removed? We see that in 2 Samuel 12:13: “And David said unto Nathan, I have
sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away
thy sin; thou shalt not die.” The covenant of God’s peace did not alter.
 
David had just told Nathan: Who is the man? He shall surely die. He pronounced
judgment upon himself. Nathan replied, You are the man. Even though David
deserved to be slain or to be rejected, God’s kindness was not removed. His
mountain was removed. His security in himself was removed, but the tender love
and mercy of God was not removed.
 
God will remove all our mountains and then show His love to us as He works
repentance after a godly sort. The Lord brought Peter down to become as a little
child where he could strengthen his brothers. That is what the Lord does this
for. He wants us to know what it is to sorrow over sin. We have bitterness in
our hearts because of sin because our mountains have been removed and we have
received the tender love and mercy of God.
 
We read in 2 Corinthians 7:10: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation
not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
 
There is a repentance not to salvation. Cain repented. He had much remorse over
his sin, but it was only because of the consequences of his sin. Godly sorrow,
however, is remorse over having sinned against the love of God. The world has
sorrow too, but it works death.
 
When God has shaken us out of every refuge outside of Christ’s blood and
righteousness, then we will understand the words of our text: “For the mountains
shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from
thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that
hath mercy on thee.”
 
These strongholds and places of false security are everything we build upon that
is not the blood and righteousness of Christ, and they can include our most
blessed experiences. Sometimes the Lord will even remove those because we start
building upon them, and they become our mountains of security.

 
The Lord is jealous, and the next thing you know, it is the gift instead of the
Giver that becomes the object of our affections and of our security. I have seen
many a time that people will say, If you have experienced thus and such, you
know you are saved. No, then we are building on experiences. Those experiences
can be so blessed, but they are not the mountain that we build upon. We build
upon the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ, and these experiences may not come in
between because the Lord is jealous even of His own gifts.  

 
This covenant of peace is not a covenant with the flesh. It does not mean we
will not have trials and struggles in the flesh, but that we shall have peace in
those trials. We will be at peace with God. We will be able to see that the Lord
sent the trial for our good.
 
The account of the woman whom the Lord granted a son at the word of Elisha, and
then the son died, gives a beautiful account of such peace. We read in 2 Kings
4:25-26: “So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came
to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his
servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: Run now, I pray thee, to meet her,
and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well
with the child? And she answered, It is well.”
 
The child was dead. Did that change the circumstances? No. Did that take away
the grief? No, but that tells us she was at peace with God in the circumstances.
She was not complaining. She was not murmuring against God. She was yet within
the covenant of peace.

 
To human reason, everything was wrong. How could she say it was well when her
son just died? The exercise of saving faith laid hold on the words of our text:
“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall
not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith
the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”
 
In those circumstances she was still at peace with God. Can you say in the midst
of your trial today, “It is well”? Can we say we are at peace in the
circumstances and that we are in total surrender to the will of God? 

 
Can we say with Job in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him”?
That is the work of grace. Can we say this as everything upon which we have any
foundation that we can trust in is being removed? We have the consolation that
God’s kindness and covenant of peace will not depart from us.
 
Job’s peace of mind and security were in the faithfulness of the God he served,
not in his present circumstances. Job did not find his security in the flesh. We
read in Job 23:8-10: “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward,
but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot
behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he
knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
 
Job by faith lays hold on that covenant of peace even when the Lord had
seemingly forsaken him.  

 
Unbelief would tell you there will be no afterward, but faith realizes as we see
in Hebrews 12:11: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but
grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
 
Job understood this. Job had lost his children, his property and his animals. He
has lost everything, and his wife said, Curse God and die. The God he loved and
the God he served had withdrawn Himself, but by faith Job was able to look
beyond the present circumstances and lay hold on that blessed covenant of
peace. 

 
The peace spoken of in our text, which comes after those mountains of
self-security have been removed, is like that which we read of in Isaiah 66:12:
“For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river.”
 
I am not a stranger to this. When such peace comes to us like a river it comes
to us from the mountains and through the valleys and it goes into the sea. Peace
does not go in the other direction. Peace flows to us like a river. As we enter
into and go through the valley of humiliation, then we understand what that
peace is.

 
Isaiah 66:12-13 goes on to say, “Then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her
sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will
I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
 
This is how God comforts us. This is the covenant of peace, but this is
afterward, after we have been chastened and that rebellion has been broken, when
submission has been obtained, when the humiliation has been obtained.
 
The Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself and became obedient. When the Holy Father
works His grace in our hearts, and when He comes with His chastening hand, and
He humbles us, we become obedient. Then afterward we have the peaceable fruits
of righteousness, and He comforts us in that holy Jerusalem.  

 
After those mountains of rebellion, pride and self-security are removed, we
begin to understand “the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are
exercised thereby.” 

 
When we go through these exercises, we understand the humiliating work of grace,
following Him daily in the way of the cross.

 
We may become concerned over one who seems so wayward, a Manasseh who has
departed from the Lord, maybe someone in our family. Is that a hindrance to the
Lord’s mercy? No, because if the Lord loves him, He will chasten him.
 
See what God says to His people who have forsaken Him. See how He will chasten
them, but He has thoughts of peace. We read in Jeremiah 29:10: “For thus saith
the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you,
and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” 

 
Israel had forsaken the Lord. Israel had sinned grievously, and the Lord sent
them into captivity, but He did not forget them there. He never forsook the
covenant of His peace.
 
Continuing in verse 11 we read: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward
you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected
end.”
 
This end is reconciliation with God, that we can come back into oneness with
God. The road He brings us through is sometimes much different than we would
ever expect. 

 
We read in verses 12 and 13: “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and
pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me,
when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” 

 
This is after our hearts have been reconciled. The Lord will never accept a
divided heart. He does not want us to serve the flesh and to serve Him at the
same time.
 
Verse 14 says: “And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away
your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the
places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again
into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” 

 
All of their mountains and all of their hills were removed, and they were
carried away captive into Babylon, but the Lord did not forget His covenant of
peace.
 
Oh bless His Holy Name, that peace is a covenant peace, that is, peace through
the blood and righteousness of our blessed Redeemer. That is the fountain of
this peace. That is the only source of peace. We not only need the blood to
satisfy and atone for our sins, but we need His righteousness. We need His
perfect obedience imparted to us that we might be able to stand righteous before
God in the perfect righteousness of Christ.

 
We read in Colossians 1:19-20: “For it pleased the Father that in him should all
fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to
reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in
earth, or things in heaven.”
 
That peace runs to us as a river, but do not forget that those rivers run from
Emmanuel’s veins. That peace, that covenant of peace, all flow from His veins.
It is all from that precious atonement and sanctification by the blood of
Christ. 

 
Our text says in Isaiah 54:10: “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be
removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant
of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”
 
What a blessing that we might believe and that we have been brought into that
covenant of peace. As we see all the insecurities of this life and sin
multiplying around us and that it seems that Satan is literally turned loose,
yet our hearts do not fear.

 
What a consolation that it is all in the Lord’s hands, and that He has made with
us that everlasting covenant.


 


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