Links in a Golden Chain
Isaiah 29:1
Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelled! add you year to year; let them kill sacrifices.

(from R.V.): — Speaking of the gay temper of the Greeks, Quinet describes them as "a people who count their years by their games." In a more serious spirit the Jews counted their years by their religious festivals, We have a Christian year whose festivals celebrate the great events in the life of our Lord. We are adding year to year, the feasts come and go, and it behoves us to inquire what we are doing with them, what they are doing for us.

I. THERE IS AN UNSATISFACTORY WAY OF SPENDING THE YEARS. The implied complaint of the text is that the inhabitants of Jerusalem failed to benefit by their recurring privileges, and that the lapse of time brought them nearer to destruction. The trumpet of the new year in vain called them to a new life; the day of atonement passed leaving them with uncancelled sin; the Feast of Tabernacles and that of Pentecost awoke in them no love, constrained them to no obedience to the Giver of the harvest. Is this not true of thousands of those over whom pass the festivals of the Christian year? They are, indeed, all the worse for the lengthening days and multiplying Opportunities.

II. THERE IS A TRUE WAY OF SPENDING THE YEARS, and that is in enjoying and improving this life in the fear of God and in the light of eternity. Victor Hugo speaks of an old man as "a thinking ruin." Paul the aged was such a "ruin," and he had something grand to think about.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.

WEB: Woe to Ariel! Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year; let the feasts come around;

Jerusalem, The Lion of God
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