The Impiety of Impatience
Isaiah 40:27, 28
Why say you, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?…

God rebukes Israel for its impatience under trial. It ought to have "remembered the years of the right hand of the Most High;" it ought to have considered that its Divine Sovereign was one whose faithfulness did not depend on a few passing years, that the action or the inaction of "the everlasting God" was not open to the criticism which condemns the short-lived policy of frail and dying men. The rebuke is full of practical truth applicable to ourselves.

I. OUR DISPOSITION TO DOUBT THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD. Whatever our creed may be, and however unexceptionable our views as to the attributes and actions of God, we find ourselves strongly tempted to indulge the fretful, distrustful spirit shown by the children of Israel; we are apt to think that God has "forgotten to be gracious" to us, that he has "passed us by," that our wrongs and sufferings are disregarded by him just as if they were actually hidden from his eyes. This, whether we are suffering from,

(1) continued persecution, inflicted by a political power or by individual men; or

(2) protracted difficulties, social, or domestic, or financial, from which we have been anxiously striving to escape, but from which there seems no way of extrication; or

(3) unrelieved illness - pain, weakness, disease, decay, unrelieved either by recovery or wished-for death; or

(4) unsuccessful seeking after God, alter the peace and joy of his salvation, after the blessedness of conscious friendship with Jesus Christ; or

(5) unprofitable labour in the field of Christian work.

II. THE IMPIETY OF SUCH COMPLAINT. It arises not from a pardonable ignorance, but from a culpable forgetfulness, an inexcusable disregard of the nature of the God whom we serve. We ought to remember:

1. That God does not measure time by our chronometry; with the "everlasting God" one day is as a thousand years, etc. He is not slack as we count slackness; length and shortness of time are not the same thing to him that they are to us.

2. That it is impossible for him to be unmindful of our necessities or our sorrows. He "faints not, neither is weary." What might possibly prove troublesome to men will not be wearisome to God. He does not withdraw his notice of his children's needs for one small moment.

3. That we cannot enter into his reasons for delay or his methods of interposition. "There is no searching of his understanding." For anything we know, an earlier interposition even by a single day would be a precipitancy that would do us harm; and for anything we can tell, God may have already started means of deliverance whose ultimate outworking will realize our hearts desire. Wherefore let us banish dissatisfaction and distrust as ungodly, and cultivate a devout trust in the Lord, who will make good the kindest word "on which he has caused us to hope." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

WEB: Why do you say, Jacob, and speak, Israel, "My way is hidden from Yahweh, and the justice due me is disregarded by my God?"

The Attributes of God: a Reply to Unbelief
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