Striving with Our Maker
Isaiah 45:9
Woe to him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth…

If we duly consider the life of man since the fall, we shall find it to be one continued struggle. In the great and most momentous affair of religion, upon which our whole happiness depends, what a domestic war do we find within our own breasts! Happy are they who are successful in this spiritual conflict; and are so wise as vigorously to join forces with the Lord of hosts! But woe be to him who is of a party with the enemy, and "striveth with his Maker."

I. We will consider WHAT IT IS TO STRIVE WITH OUR MAKER. In general it is to resist His will, and oppose ourselves to His government, to struggle against the dispensations of His providence.


I. In general, if the height of ingratitude be a vile thing, and if to oppose and contend with our best Friend, who is infinitely wiser than we are, and loves us better than we do ourselves, and whose power too is so irresistible, that after all our strugglings His pleasure shall be accomplished one way or other, if not to our happiness, as He at first intended, then to our ruin, since we are resolved to have it so, — if this be a foolish thing, then to "strive with our Maker" does imply all the folly and baseness that a man can possibly be guilty of.

2. But more particularly, to strive with our Maker is a most vile and foolish thing, as it signifies —

(1) Our denying obedience to His commands; for what can be more base than to refuse even our utmost services to that infinitely glorious and good Being who made us what we are!

(2) Our murmuring at His disposal of us, and restless discontent at the circumstances He thinks fit to place us in.

(3) Our being stubborn and refractory to the conduct of His Divine Spirit, and the guidance of His ministers, in things relating to His service and our own eternal salvation.

III. THE MISERABLE CONSEQUENCE of thus striving with our Maker. "Woe unto him."

1. As it signifies disobedience to His commands. For who can imagine but that a Governor so wise, and so powerful, and so just as God is, will in due time assert His authority, and secure His laws and government from contempt, by the condign punishment of those who have been so hardy as to resist and rebel against Him, and made no account of the plainest and most express declarations of His will? And when the Almighty shall proceed to do justice, who can withstand Him, or hope to avoid the stroke, but must sink under the weight of it for ever!

2. Nor will our discontents and murmurings at the Divine disposals escape without due punishment. For suppose that God should be so far provoked by our repinings as to throw us off from His care and protection, and leave us to ourselves, and in His anger comply with our foolish desires, and give us what we are so fond of, and which He sees will be our ruin, how sadly sensible shall we then soon be of the vast difference between God's government and our own!

3. And so for impatience under troubles and afflictions, suppose our outcries and strugglings and resistance should make God withhold His paternal chastisements, and suffer sin upon us without correction, and disregard us as desperate and incorrigible; what woe on earth could befall us greater than this?

4. What but the extremest of all woes can be expected from our rejecting those proposals of reconciliation to God, which are not only offered but pressed upon us daily by the ministers of Christ, and to which we are constantly moved by the workings of the Spirit of God within, upon our souls!

(W. Bragge.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

WEB: Woe to him who strives with his Maker— a clay pot among the clay pots of the earth! Shall the clay ask him who fashions it, 'What are you making?' or your work, 'He has no hands?'

Striving with God
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