The Fate of Folly and the Reward of Wisdom
Isaiah 57:12, 13
I will declare your righteousness, and your works; for they shall not profit you.…

The Divine One whom Israel has so grievously wronged (vers. 4-9) intimates (ver. 12) that he will make known to his people the results of their apostasy from him; he will tell them "how unprofitable are their works," how suicidal is their policy; he will tell them also how great is the reward of the wise - of those who abide in his service.

I. THE BITTER FATE OF THE UNGODLY. Departing from God, they have no resort but that which they find in their own poor divinities, in those "heaps of idols" whose power is blown away with the first breath of adversity; they may cry to these wretched images, but they will meet with no response. This will prove the portion of the ungodly. in every age: the powers to which, in God's absence, they have recourse will fail them utterly in their time of need; they may be numerous, they may be "companies," they may be highly esteemed, but they will certainly tail when the hour of trial arrives. Worldly wealth, a great reputation, troops of friends, high social position, varied attainments, strength of bodily constitution, - any one or all of these, or other resources besides these, may be possessed, but they will ignominiously fail in the hour of supreme necessity; they will not, for they cannot, deliver a human soul in its deepest troubles, in its darkest hours; they will be as impotent as "the chaff which the wind driveth away." "Vain things for safety" are they all. The soul of man has wants which strike deeper and which rise higher than any of them can reach.

II. THE BLESSED HERITAGE OF THE GODLY. "He that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land." To him may come, will come, hours of darkness, of loss, of trial; but he has a stay and a resource in God his Father, in Jesus Christ his unfailing Friend, which will make him blessed at every point of his pilgrimage, in every stage of his career. For him will be:

1. The rest of heart which comes with a consciousness of spiritual integrity.

2. Growth in all that is good and wise.

3. The happiness of heart which is found in the worship of God: "He shall inherit my holy mountain."

4. The joy of sacred service, of rendering succour, of imparting strength to the weak and comfort to the sad, of rescuing and reinstating the fallen and despairing.

5. The hope of the heavenly inheritance. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.

WEB: I will declare your righteousness; and as for your works, they shall not profit you.

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