ISAIAH 40


[Yeshayah 40 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

 


1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your Elohim. 

Are we included in the phrase‭ "‬My people‭?" ‬This is the only point to settle in order to be justified in appropriating the comfort.‭ ‬We are not Israelites according to the flesh,‭ ‬though a good many misguided people are of that opinion.‭ ‬We are Gentiles by descent and physical constitution.‭ ‬But we may be among the people addressed as‭ "‬my people‭" ‬for all that.‭

"‬God at the first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people.‭"

Peter was first employed in this work:‭ ‬and Peter writing to some of those so taken out,‭ ‬says,

"‬In times past,‭ ‬ye were not a people but are now the people of God‭"

‭ ‬In times past,‭ ‬we were not a people:‭ ‬are we now the people of God‭? ‬We are,‭ ‬if we have been the subjects of the process which changed those in Peter's day from the no-people to the‭ "‬people‭" ‬state.‭ ‬Have we been the subjects of this process‭? ‬This is only another way of asking,‭ ‬Have we believed and obeyed the gospel:‭ ‬for this was the process by which the Gentiles in Peter's day became,‭ "‬no more strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the Saints,‭ ‬and of the household of God.‭" (‬Eph.‭ ii‬: 19‭)‬.‭

That we have believed and obeyed the gospel,‭ ‬we know:‭ ‬for this is a matter susceptible of demonstration.‭ ‬Therefore,‭ ‬we overstrain nothing in listening to these comforting words to Isaiah as though spoken concerning ourselves.

We certainly stand in need of comfort.‭ ‬Comfort is for those who mourn and are distressed‭; ‬and that is necessarily the condition of everyone who,‭ ‬in an age like this,‭ ‬is in sympathy with divine objects and principles,‭ ‬and thus discerns the true position of things as they are.‭

When we faint and languish by reason of that position-when we are oppressed by the constant effort to endure the prosperity of all that is opposed to God,‭ ‬and the weak and dishonourable and downtrodden state of everything identified with his name and honour,‭ ‬let us remember that that very experience is our qualification for the comfort which God himself has condescended to proclaim for his people.‭

Let us not think as if‭ "‬some strange thing had happened unto us.‭" ‬Weary and lonely and desolate as we may sometimes feel ourselves,‭ ‬we should only aggravate our affliction if we allowed ourselves to suppose there was anything wrong in such a state in the truth‭; ‬or to forget that such a state is expressly arranged for those who are being prepared for divine use in the gladsome ages beyond.‭ ‬God commands us to be comforted in the midst of our distress.‭ ‬Therefore let us be comforted.

But it may be said,‭ ‬the comfort of‭ ‬Isaiah‭ ‬40.‭ ‬is for Jerusalem,‭ ‬and not for us:‭

‭"‬Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,‭ ‬and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished,‭ ‬that her iniquity is pardoned:‭ ‬for she hath received of Yahweh's hand double for all sins,‭"

‭ ‬Well,‭ ‬the comfort is for Jerusalem,‭ ‬but it does not follow that it is not for us.‭ ‬The Jerusalem addressed is not the merely architectural Jerusalem,‭ ‬but Jerusalem with her citizens,‭ ‬and not these in the statistical sense at any given moment,‭ ‬but in the sense of including all that belong to her by spiritual relation and ultimate association in the final purpose of God.‭

These are scattered all up and down the ages,‭ ‬and have not all belonged to the literal Jerusalem.‭ ‬Multitudes of the literal inhabitants of Jerusalem have nothing to do with them-the population of the city at the present hour,‭ ‬for example,‭ ‬or at the crisis of her destruction by Titus.‭

The complete and perfected Jerusalem,‭ ‬that will come out of the fires of affliction glorified at the coming of Christ,‭ ‬will include in her citizen roll myriads who never saw the literal city in the days of their mortal existence.‭ ‬If we are among the saved,‭ ‬she will include us,‭ ‬and therefore we are entitled to recognise ourselves addressed in words addressed to her.‭ "‬Comfort to Jerusalem and all her children,‭" ‬is the purpose,‭ ‬as the opening symphony of‭ ‬Isaiah‭ ‬40.,‭ ‬considering it as a musical performance throughout,‭ ‬which it is in the highest sense.

Bro Roberts - Sunday Morning 40






2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem [to the lev Yerushalayim], and cry [Speak ye , and preach] unto her, that her warfare is accomplished [ tzeva'a (time of hard service, warfare) is ended], that her iniquity [ avon] is pardoned [nirtzah (punitively paid for, pardoned)]: for she hath received of Yahweh's hand double [Yad kiflayim (double) in payment] for all her sins [chattot].

"Her warfare IS accomplished and her iniquity IS pardoned." These things have been recorded for over twenty-six hundred years and the end is not yet. Some may be reminded, perhaps a little bitterly, of the statement by Paul to the Romans (4:17) that"God calleth those things which be not as though they were already."

Clearly there could be no more striking example.

To speak assuringly of warfare being over when it still had a cruel course of over 2,000 years to run may seem poor and misleading comfort - but is this the truth of the matter? A thoughtful consideration will show that this is but a narrow and unreasonable viewpoint.

Comfort depends upon the state of the mind.

The comfort offered by the Scriptures is not dependent upon immediate fulfillment. It is the assurance of an ultimate reign of peace and good, that is separated from no individual by more than the brief span of a human life-time. Its comfort is not that distress is finished, but that distress is a controlled and necessary ingredient of the final result.

This is the viewpoint that prophet and apostle exhort us to maintain. We must live in patience and godliness, buoyed up by hope. We must center our minds resolutely upon that which is to come and face all present trouble in the confidence of this expectation.

"Sorrow endureth for the night," says the Psalmist (30:5) - and the night may be long - "but joy cometh in the morning." The course of wisdom is not to ignore or belittle the sorrow, but to balance the whole picture. We shall not be overwhelmed by the one if the other is kept rightly in mind.

Thus we can enter into the spirit of these words of Isaiah and reap the comfort intended. We are not to regard the delay with skeptical impatience or lagging faith, but we are to build our lives and hopes upon these things in the quiet and calm confidence that they represent the realities and that in God's good time all will be accomplished. *



3 The voice of him that crieth [preacheth] in the wilderness [midbar], Prepare ye the way [derech] of Yahweh, make straight in the desert [Aravah] a highway for our Elohim.

We know,‭ ‬on apostolic authority,‭ ‬that this has reference to the work of John the Baptist,‭ ‬who was sent to prepare the way of Christ,‭ ‬as a herald opens the way of majesty.‭ ‬He accompanied the work here figuratively described:



4 Every valley [gey] shall be exalted [ raised up], and every mountain and hill [har and givah]shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain [bikah]:

We know,‭ ‬on apostolic authority,‭ ‬that this has reference to the work of John the Baptist,‭ ‬who was sent to prepare the way of Christ,‭ ‬as a herald opens the way of majesty.‭ ‬He accompanied the work here figuratively described:

...He accomplished this in moral situation-removing obstacles,‭ ‬filling up gaps,‭ ‬and generally making a level way on which the Messiah might make his appearance:

‭ "‬And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.‭"

‭ ‬So it was.‭ ‬All who looked on Christ saw the manifested glory of Yahweh‭-

‭"‬the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,‭" ‬said Paul‭ (‬2‭ ‬Cor.‭ ‬4:6‭)‬.‭ "‬We have seen his glory,‭" ‬said John,‭ "‬the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father.‭"-"‬And all flesh shall see it together.‭"

‬All flesh has not yet done so.‭ ‬The bulk of mankind,‭ ‬living or dead,‭ ‬have never heard of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.‭ ‬Has the prophecy failed then‭? ‬By no means.‭ ‬There was no statement in the prophecy that all flesh would see the glory of God at the moment of its first and preparatory manifestation in Christ,‭ ‬but that the glory then manifested should ultimately be seen by‭ "‬all flesh.‭"

The prophecy has been fulfilled so far as the programme has been unfolded.‭ ‬John,‭ ‬as‭ "‬the voice of one crying in the wilderness,‭" ‬proclaimed the impending appearing of Him whose shoe latchet he was not worthy and stoop down and unloose.‭ ‬In due time,‭ ‬the Great One so heralded appeared,‭ ‬and presented himself as the bearer of the divine glory to the thousands of Israel‭; ‬and in due time the glory so exhibited will be witnessed and rejoiced in by earth's uncounted millions,‭ ‬for

‭ "‬the whole earth shall be filled with his glory,‭"

and He who was then in Israel's midst,‭ ‬crucified and raised from the dead,‭ ‬and exalted to the Father's right hand,‭ ‬returns at an appointed time,‭ ‬when every knee shall bow to him,‭ ‬and every tongue confess,‭ ‬to the glory of God the Father.

Sunday morning 181


7 The grass [khatzir] withereth, the flower [ tzitz] fadeth [falleth]: because the spirit [Ruach]of Yahweh bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass [khatzir].

Where is hope?

This is the thoughtful but purely natural view. It sees things only as they appear and leaves out the most important feature. *



8 The grass withereth [khatzir], the flower fadeth [tzitz falleth]: but the word [Devar] of our Elohim shall stand for ever.

The word of our Elohim shall stand for ever.

A copy of Isaiah recently found near the Dead Sea, and universally agreed to be 2000 years old, is to all intents and purposes identical with the book as we have it in the King James version.

The Bible, or Scriptures, of Jesus' day was the same as our present Old Testament, containing exactly the same books: no more or less. Jesus and the apostles spoke of this combined volume as the Holy Scriptures; they spoke of it as an inseparable unit; and they accepted and quoted it without question as wholly divinely inspired, word for word-basing fundamental arguments and doctrines on single words, and even parts of words (as singular or plural) (Jn.10:34; Gal.3:l6).

If it is not divinely inspired, word for word, then the arguments based on it by Christ and the apostles are pointless and powerless. Jesus said:

"Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till ALL be fulfilled" (Matt.5:18).

The jot was the smallest Hebrew letter. Tittles were the little horns that distinguished one similar letter from another. This is how literally Jesus accepted the Old Testament Scriptures as infallibly inspired. He said again-

"ALL things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished" (Luke 18:31).

"This that is written MUST be accomplished" (Lk. 22:37).

And even more positively and sweepingly he said (Jn.10:35)-

"The Scripture cannot be broken...The Scripture CANNOT BE BROKEN."

There is no possibility of doubt as to how Jesus viewed the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God. ... Let us remember he was immortal when he said (Lk. 24:25)-

"O FOOLS and slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets have spoken!"

Bro Growcott - THY WORD IS TRUTH




9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings [Mevaseret Tziyon (O Herald, Preacher of Besorah - Good News, Gospel)], get thee up into the high mountain [har gavo'ah]; O Jerusalem [Mevaseret Yerushalayim], that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength [ko'ach]; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold [towns of Yehudah, Hinei ] your Elohim!

10 Behold [Hinei], the Lord Yahweh will come with strong hand [chazak], and His arm [His zero'a (Moshiach, see Isaiah 53:1)]shall rule for him: behold, His reward [hinei, His sachar ] is with Him, and His work [pe'ullah (work, recompense, retribution, penal reward {for His enemies})] before Him.

The chapter breaks into the long, exalted eulogy to the power and greatness and unchangeableness of God... What is its purpose?

To raise and broaden the mortal conception of the meaning and purpose of life. To train the mind into channels that give a balanced, proportioned, spiritual outlook.

The human mind can be engrossed in the meanest and most trivial matters, or it can be devoted to the highest and loftiest considerations of divinity and holiness. The natural tendency of gravity pulls it downward, but the mighty divine magnetism of the Spirit draws it upward.

As the mind thinks, so it becomes. A man is but the aggregation of his own thoughts.

Every spiritual thought is an ingredient of the new creature - a strengthening of the spirit - a step towards life. Therefore, says Paul (Phil. 4:8):

"Whatsoever things are true, lovely, gracious and just, THINK on these things."

-and thereby become gradually like them. *

Bro Growcott - Lift up your eyes on high.


Man,‭ ‬as a self-manager,‭ ‬is a failure,‭ ‬and if God come not to his rescue,‭ ‬he must remain unblessed for ever.‭ ‬But God will come to his rescue.‭ ‬This is the pith of the‭ "‬comfort‭" ‬which God commands in‭ ‬Is.‭ ‬40.‭ ‬The very next verse is an emphatic enumeration of it.

‭ "‬O Zion that bringest‭ ‬good tidings‭" (‬or,‭ "‬O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion‭) ‬get thee up into the high mountain.‭ ‬O Jerusalem that bringest‭ ‬good tidings‭ (‬or O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem‭)‬,‭ ‬lift up they voice with strength.‭ ‬Lift it up:‭ ‬be not afraid,‭ ‬say unto the cities of Judah,‭ ‬Behold your God.‭"

‬In what aspects are the cities of Judah invited to‭ "‬behold‭" ‬their God‭? ‬The next verse answers the question,‭ ‬and shews us that it is in the practical inteference in human affairs-no other than a practical interference would be adequate to the needs of the world.‭ ‬It is government we want:‭ ‬the application of compulsion to enforce that which is right and wise,‭ ‬and to restrain that which is foolish and wrong.‭

The divine voice that leaves every man at liberty to obey it or not as he likes,‭ ‬is only sufficient to make a selection-a sparse selection-of fit men for divine use afterwards.‭ ‬It is not enough to keep or bring the world into harmony with divine wisdom.‭ ‬The world pays no heed to wisdom and follows the bent of unregulated desire.

‭ ‬It therefore requires‭ "‬coercion.‭" ‬The outcry against coercion is foolish.‭ ‬It is contrary to the universal habits and necessities of civilized life.‭ ‬It is contrary to the practices of the anti-coercionists themselves.‭

The enforcement of law is coercion disguised,‭ ‬and not quite disguised:‭ ‬and without the enforcement of law,‭ ‬the world would be a chaos in less than‭ ‬12‭ ‬months.‭ ‬Violence would have the upper hand every where,‭ ‬and the works of even what civilization we have would disappear.‭ ‬Until the world is‭ "‬coerced by the strong hand of Omnipotence,‭ ‬we shall never see that universal deference to righteousness which is promised in the‭ "‬good tidings to Zion,‭" ‬and which will become the order of the day when‭

‭"‬Yahweh shall send the rod of Messiah's strength out of Zion,‭ ‬and he rules in the midst of his cnemies.‭"

There is therefore a very natural sequence in the next declaration of the prophecy:‭

‭"‬Behold the Lord God will come‭ ‬with strong hand and‭ ‬his arm shall rule for him:‭ ‬behold,‭ ‬his reward is with him and his work before him.‭"

The Spirit of God in the apostles identifies this with the second coming of Christ.‭ ‬Jesus himself says by John:‭

‭"‬Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me,‭ ‬to give to every man according as his work shall be‭" (‬Rev.‭ ‬22:12‭)‬.



Yahweh is omnipotent


12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

The Father's Omnipotence. Verse 12 seems to compass the whole compass of the earth in all its fundamental features of oceans, continents and atmosphere which are all balanced in their several relations, geological, hydrological, isostatic, topographic and so forth.

The question who hath measured and balanced and weighed out all this, implies that it is not chance, but the, design of the Omnipotent Creator for the behoof of man and the creatures upon its surface or in its depths.

That God has a plan and purpose with the earth, and intends to beautify and glorify the earth (Nu.l4.21, Hbk.2.l4).

Bro Richard Lister



14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?

Now, as the Scripture saith, the Great Builder of the heavens and the earth is God. "His hand hath laid the foundations of the earth, and His right hand hath spanned the heavens." The Builder of all things either left the elements of the world to a random and accidental aggroupement, or He "ordered them in all things." Where is the man among "philosophers" who will stultify, or idiotize himself by saying that the Creator permitted chance to elaborate the terrestrial system?

The thing is absurd. Chance is defined to be the cause of fortuitous, or accidental events. What is that cause? The fool says in his heart it is not God. Why does he say so? Because he would make the cause of all things a mere physical disposition in matter, destitute of all intellectual and moral attributes, in order that he may get rid of all responsibility to such a Being.

He hates truth, righteousness, and holiness, and therefore he vainly strives to persuade himself that there is no God of a truthful, righteous, and holy character. But no man of any pretentions to sound mind would affirm this. Nothing has been elaborated by chance. The Scriptures declare that everything was measured, meted out, and weighed, and that the Spirit of the Lord executed His work without any to counsel or instruct Him.

...God, then, had in His own mind a pattern, or design, of all the work that was before Him, before He uttered a word, or His spirit began to move. This design, or archetype, which placed the beginning and the end of all things before Him in one panoramic view, was constructed in harmony with the principles--the eternal principles of His vast, unbounded realm, which coincide with the immutable attributes of His character. The work He was about to execute was for His own pleasure, as saith the Scripture, "Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are, and were created." But, when the work is finished, which, for His own pleasure, God labors to elaborate, what will

it consist in? This inquiry we make as the spectators of the wonders of creation, providence, and redemption. We behold the materials of these departments of Eternal Wisdom, and we ask to what are all things tending? What temple, or edifice, is the Divine Architect raising for His own pleasure and glory?

 If we turn our thoughts within us, there is no voice there which unfolds the philosophy of His doings; if we soar into the heavens, or descend into the sea, if we search through the high places of the earth--we find no answer; for "who hath known the mind of the Lord, who hath been His counsellor, or who hath instructed Him?" If we would ascertain what God designs to elaborate out of the past, the present, and the future, we must be content to assume the attitude of listeners, that He may reveal to us from His own lips what He intends to evolve in the consummation of His plans.

Elpis Israel 1.6.



15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

We must thoroughly realize the utter insignificance and helplessness of man. Abject lowliness and dependency is the only reasonable and sensible attitude when the true picture is

perceived. God will not for a moment consider any who boldly and obstinately ignore these facts and regard themselves or mankind as of any consequence. The Spirit, through Isaiah,

gives the evaluation of man in the sight of God, "

...The insignificance of man is established by Scripture. "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie-laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than a breath" (Psa. 62:9).

It is clear that Christ's way and viewpoint of life is not a formula for worldly success. This fact must be accepted at the outset. It is impossible to have both, although tremendous contortions are executed in a vain effort to get around this divinely stated principle.

Bro Growcott - The Fleeting Cross and the Eternal Crown



17 All nations [Kol HaGoyim] before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity [ tohu].

We are nothing: absolutely nothing. Let us get that straight. As soon as we start to think we are anything, or others think we are anything, or tell us we are anything, we are in danger. Man is nothing. God is everything. Be part of God.

Bro Growcott - Search Me O God



Mankind are nothing

They are as grass,‭ ‬so far as value or permanence is concerned:‭ ‬in the sight of God,‭ ‬they are less than nothing.‭-(‬Is.‭ ‬40:17‭) ‬They are wicked,‭ ‬regardless of His word:‭ ‬disobedient to His law,‭ ‬and God dashes one against the other,‭ ‬making use of the wicked as His sword.‭ ‬In this state of sin,‭ ‬war is a chastisement.‭ ‬The destruction of sinners in the war is dreadful to mere sinners.‭ ‬To those who have learnt to place the sanctity of divine law first,‭ ‬it is natural,‭ ‬as the drowning of millions in the flood or the perdition of the Sodomites in the flames.‭

When the time arrives,‭ ‬the sword will be put into the hands of this very class,‭ ‬and they will have no more compunction than Samuel in hewing the political Agags to pieces,‭ ‬not that they delight in war,‭ ‬but that they will have a strong nerve for the execution of laws,‭ ‬whose supremacy is necessary to universal wellbeing.‭

Like a humane,‭ ‬but skilful surgeon,‭ ‬their very humanity will prevent them from wincing at the critical points where sentimental weakness would be fatal to the operation.

The Christadelphian, Sept 1870



 In this state of things, we find no difficulty when we consider that mankind are the descendants of the condemned man of Eden, having been suffered to walk in their own way (Acts 14:16); and providentially employed in subduing the earth, and fitting it for a habitation of righteousness in a better day to come.

We can even discover wisdom where orthodox belief presents mystery of the most staggering and bewildering kind. Death among the sinning millions, upon all of whom it has passed with the nature they have inherited from Adam, is a benign dispensation of justice.

Hell as their destiny would be the arrangement of a fiend. And what if the heathen die to rise no more (Isaiah 26:14, Psalm 49:19-20); and infancy passes away as though it had not been (Job 3:16; 10:19), this is but a momentary offence to sympathy, and has none of the anomalies brought with the orthodox view.

The dead are unconscious of deprivation. They know not anything.-(Eccle. 9:5) Therefore, we need not sorrow on their account. The law of God is that death having passed upon all, life can only be entered by belief and obedience of the faith that is in Christ.-(Heb. 5:9; Acts 20:32; 26:18.) Heathen and children being circumstantially beyond the operation of this law are unredeemed. Consequently, they remain under the dominion of death.

Their salvation, as taught by orthodox religion, upsets the revealed principles that ignorance alienates from the life of God (Eph. 4:18) and that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), and that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.-(Rom. 1:16.)

Their damnation, in the sense of consignment to the orthodox hell, would be a frustration of all our endeavours to recognize justice or beauty in the divine arrangement The middle ground afforded by the doctrines of man's mortality evades all difficulty, and establishes harmony between the conclusions of experience and the teachings of the Bible.

Truth always agrees with itself. May it prevail, to the discomfiture of error and the emancipation of the groaning millions.

Editor.

‭The Christadelphian, March 1871



21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.

THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD‭; H‬IS OVERSIGHT AND GUIDANCE IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN

That the defence of this plainly-taught doctrine of the scripture should be necessary among the brethren of Christ,‭ ‬seems singular and strange:‭ ‬but so it is.‭ ‬Some deny that God interferes with,‭ ‬or in any way directs,‭ ‬the course of human events,‭ ‬either nationally,‭ ‬socially,‭ ‬or individually‭; ‬some perhaps acknowledge the interposition in the affairs of nations,‭ ‬but deny it in individual cases.‭ ‬They affirm that all things,‭ ‬since the days of the apostles,‭ ‬have been left to chance and the course of nature,‭ ‬and that the Lord never stoops to notice such trifles as private affairs and transactions among His people‭; ‬although we are taught in the Word that these small transactions form the life of which we are called to give account in the day of judgment.

The national phase of the subject,‭ ‬being more easily recognized and understood,‭ ‬will occupy our attention first.‭ ‬We wish to trace the Lord's operations in mundane affairs,‭ ‬apart from miraculous manifestations,‭ ‬without outward and visible sign‭; ‬for,‭ ‬say the objectors,‭ ‬the days of miracles and spiritual gifts have long since passed away.‭ ‬But could we possibly believe,‭ ‬that the opening of the seven seals,‭ ‬the blowing of the seven trumpets,‭ ‬the outpouring of the seven vials upon the nations of the earth-turning their ways upside down,‭ ‬contrary to their own will and devising-could possibly have been effected,‭ ‬without the most scrutinizing supervision and direction on the part of Deity‭? ‬Undoubtedly not.‭

The study of the Apocalypse alone is sufficient to shew the Lord's wonderful dealings with the peoples of the earth.‭ ‬Job tells us how that Yahweh‭ "‬maketh the judges fools,‭ ‬and leadeth counsellors away spòiled‭;" "‬He poureth contempt upon princes,‭ ‬and weakeneth the strength of the mighty‭; "‬He increaseth the nations and destroyeth them‭; ‬He enlargeth the nations and straighteneth again.‭"

These passages shew,‭ ‬in unmistakable terms,‭ ‬the utter powerlessness and dependence of earth's great ones,‭ ‬and the mighty communities of peoples over which they rule‭; ‬how they are regarded but as a drop in a bucket,‭ ‬and‭ "‬dust of the balance,‭" ‬in the hands of Him who holds the scale of destinies.‭ ‬Isaiah also informs us that‭ "‬it is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,‭ ‬and the inhabitants are as grasshoppers.‭"

‭ ‬It is‭ "‬He that bringeth the princes to nothing,‭ ‬and maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.‭" "‬All flesh is grass‭; ‬the grass withereth,‭ ‬the flower fadeth,‭ ‬because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it.‭" ‬This conviction was most forcibly impressed upon the mind of Nebuchadnezzar,‭ ‬when the glory of his reign suffered a blight by the Spirit of God blowing upon it:‭ ‬its beauty turned quickly into ashes,‭ ‬and he was forced to acknowledge that‭ "‬the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men,‭ ‬and giveth it to whomsoever He will.‭"

The boundaries of their habitation also being appointed,‭ ‬and their times determined upon by the Lord,‭ ‬as Paul told the Athenians in his address on Mars‭' ‬Hill.‭ ‬The various changes which have taken place in the boundaries of the nations having been but the necessary working of God's plan,‭ ‬for the developing of the four great empires that have arisen successively,‭ ‬and their fragmental division into ten kingdoms,‭ ‬in the latter days.‭ ‬The manner or method by which these changes have been wrought,‭ ‬has not been by what men call‭ "‬miraculous‭" ‬interpositions‭; ‬the effects are seen,‭ ‬but the hand is invisible‭; ‬the work is carried on in silence,‭ ‬like the growth of a tree,‭ ‬or the diffusion of light,‭ ‬or the ebbing and flowing of earth's tidal waters:‭ ‬these,‭ ‬however,‭ ‬being reckoned as merely natural phenomena.‭

But,‭ ‬natural laws are inactive without a motive power:‭ ‬if the power is withheld,‭ ‬the law ceases to act.‭

The doctrine of the Lord's directing interposition in the affairs of men,‭ ‬threads the labyrinth of testimonies from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelations.‭ ‬It is the pillar of support,‭ ‬the groundwork upon which the whole is constructed‭; ‬the filling-up of every interval,‭ ‬the connecting of every link.‭ ‬Nations are composed of individuals,‭ ‬and national results spring from individual efforts.‭

‭Sis Eusebia Thomas

The Ambassador of the Coming Age, March 1868



31 But they that wait upon Yahweh shall renew their strength [ko'ach]; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Bring Christ into the economy of human life, and you bring light, hope, joy, friendship with God and man, and an eternal inheritance in reserve. Some say they do not want an eternal inheritance. Some say the present life is quite long enough for them; that immortality would tire them. Such is the grunt of the sow, which knows no higher good than the mire and the wallow. They speak foolishly. They reason from present weakness and incapacity.

Whence comes the sensation of "tire"? From the incapability of an animal nature to keep up the supply of energy which enjoyment consumes. No doubt a body such as we have would tire of living for ever; but it is not the present body that is to live for ever. The present body is to be changed: it is to be made a spiritual body; and the spiritual body is powerful where the animal body is weak. There will be no "tire" or satiety with the spirit body.

Weariness belongs to weakness only, and comes in the ratio of weakness purely. A person in poor health tires sooner than one that is robust. One laid on a sick bed is tired as soon as he begins; one that is well can go on for hours, and enjoy what he is about. A spiritual body is strong, and incapable of fatigue. Therefore, endless days will be endless sweetness and joy; chiefly because heart and nature will be one with God, the inexhaustible fountain of sweetness, glory and joy.

These things are accessible to us in Christ, and in Christ only. Well may we meet at this table in honour of him and in remembrance of him. It is good for us to be here. It is to our profit to call him to memory. If we remember him, he will remember us in the day of his gladness. If we forget him, he cannot forget himself. He is in heaven, and at the appointed time will come, whether we on earth remember him or not. When that day comes, we shall realize how much it has been to our well-being to have been kept in the way of his commandments, and to have waited on the memorial of his name.

Bro Roberts - The Beauty of Christ