Strange Reception of Divine Messages
Isaiah 53:1
Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?…

Cheyne translates, "Who believed that which we heard? and the arm of Jehovah, unto whom did it become manifest?" Immediate reference is to the attitude of the people towards Isaiah's assurances of God's restoring mercies, and towards his call to prepare themselves for returning to their own land. Further and fuller reference is to the failure of Messiah to win the general acceptance of the people, to whom he brought the glad tidings of God's "so great love." Divine messages are never widely welcomed. Only the few are ever found open-hearted, willing to heed when he is pleased to speak. Effort may be made to recognize the reasons for so strange a fact. They lie in men's moral dispositions, and hindering circumstances or prejudices. The mention of two or three hindrances may suggest a complete analysis of men's motives.

I. SOME MEN ARE SCEPTICAL. Their sphere is the strictly natural, and they find instant objection to every claim belonging to the supernatural. They are born doubters, and too often foster and culture their infirmity, as if it were a dignity or a gift. The special mistake such men make is to demand too much evidence - evidence of unsuitable character, and evidence such as they may be pleased to think would satisfy them. They want natural evidence for supernatural truths or facts, and wonder that no sign can be given them, and fancy themselves justified in refusing to believe. There is one very easy thing, that even a child can accomplish; it is this - find excuses when we do not want to obey.

II. SOME MEN ARE MASTERFUL. They like to have life in their own control, and cannot do with God's interfering by messages and commandments. Such men are sure to resist God's messengers and ministers. The response to pastors, who point out to such men the will of God concerning their daily life, is still what it has ever been' 'Talk on your abstract things, but leave my life alone. God's messages always, in one form or another, humble the pride of self: and this few men can bear, so they resist the messenger.

III. SOME MEN ARE EASYFUL. God calls to some doing, some duty. It may be putting away sin; it may be rendering some witness; it may be going the long journey back to Jerusalem, and helping to build the old wastes and raise the former desolations. And men prefer the comforts of Babylon, even if they are in slavery and know the defiling contacts of idolatry. Only meek, open, willing, and obedient souls believe that which they hear, and see the arm of the Lord made manifest to them." The best things are ever kept for meek souls. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

WEB: Who has believed our message? To whom has the arm of Yahweh been revealed?

Preaching and Hearing
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