Isaiah 45:9

I. THE MURMURER AGAINST PROVIDENCE. He is compared to a "potsherd among potsherds on the ground." "Woe unto him who, though made of earth, and with no intrinsic authority over others of his race, presumes to find fault with the Maker!" (cf. Isaiah 29:16; Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:1-6; Jeremiah 19:1, 10, 11; Romans 9:20-24). In the account of the Creation, the Almighty is conceived as making man out of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). Shall the clay, then, quarrel with the plastic hand of the Potter? How can the distance between man and God be better expressed than by the tautology, "God is God, and man is man"? or that he is Maker, man the made? "Since matters stand thus between God and us, let us consider what bands we are in, and what an irresistible grip has hold of us; and let that teach us, even for our sakes, to be quiet under it. There is, indeed, but one way of encountering an infinite power; and that is by an extraordinary (if it were possible), an infinite patience" (South). Is it natural, again, for the child to complain of its parents that it has been brought deformed or weakly into the world? Nor is it becoming of men to catechize and call to account Jehovah. "Are ye children of God? Then is it well with you; and to murmur against me is as if ye should renounce your sonship."

II. THE ABSURDITY OF MURMURING. To criticize the Creator is to assume a knowledge we have not got. We should be creators ourselves before we could say whether this or that part of the great world-work could have been otherwise executed. It is also to assume a knowledge of the clues of history, the springs of sudden events, which is not ours. And Jehovah reminds man again of his providential relation to Cyrus. His absolute unquestionable dominion and sovereignty over all things is the great argument for our submission to him. His dominion is founded on an inalienable title - Creation and Providence. It is reasonable that the first cause should be the Supreme Governor; and whatever has been made by God should also be commanded by him. He might have chosen whether he would have made the world or no; for he had no need of it to complete or add to his happiness, which was infinitely perfect within the compass of his own glorious being. Yet he was pleased, by the free motion of his will, to communicate and diffuse some little shadow of those perfections upon the creatures, and more especially upon his nearer resemblances, men and angels. A being essentially wise cannot do anything but wisely. Our ignorance of God's actions cannot make them or argue them to be unreasonable. He is more honored by our admiration than by our inquiries. Hence the necessity, the prudence, and the becomingness of submission, without murmuring to his allotments. - J.

Woe unto him that striveth with Ms Maker!
The strong word "strive," and the emphatic reassertion of the mission of Cyrus (ver. 13), as well as the connection with vers. 1-8, show that deliberate opposition to the Divine purpose, and not mere faint-hearted unbelief (as in Isaiah 40:27; Isaiah 51:13), is here referred to.

(Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.)

Those who were primarily addressed were at variance with God their Creator on two accounts —

1. Because He permitted His people to be led captive by their enemies into a distant country, where they were oppressed.

2. Because, notwithstanding the servants of the Lord spoke much concerning their liberation, the event seemed altogether improbable, and beyond even the power of God to effect.

(R. Macculloch.)




(R. Macculloch.)

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.)

I. SPECIFY SOME INSTANCES IN WHICH THE SINNER MAY BE CONSIDERED AS STRIVING WITH GOD. I hardly think it worth while to mention atheism, which opposes His very being, and tries to banish Him from the world which He has made. Some, indeed, have supposed that a speculative atheist is an impossibility. How far God may give up a man "to strong delusion to believe a lie," who has despised and rejected the advantages of revelation, it is not for us to determine, — but "if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" It is undeniable, however, that we have a multitude of practical atheists. That is, we have thousands who live precisely as they would do if they believed there was no God. They strive with Him —

1. By transgressing His holy and righteous law.

2. By opposing the Gospel.

3. By violating the dictates of conscience.

4. By refusing to resign themselves to the dispensations of His providence.

5. By the persecution of His people.

6. By trying to hinder the spread of His cause.


1. A practice the most shameful and ungrateful. What would you think of a child who should strive with his father, reproach his character, counteract all his designs, and endeavour to injure his concerns? But such is your conduct towards God.

2. A practice the most unreasonable and absurd. For observe — in all the instances in which you oppose Him He is aiming to promote your good: His design is to make you wise, to make you holy, to make you happy; and the advantages of compliance will be all your own. Besides, can you do without Him? In life? In death?

3. Therefore nothing can be more injurious and ruinous. In striving with Him, you only resemble the wave that dashes against the rock, and is driven back in foam; or the ox that kicks against the goad, and only wounds himself; or the thorns and briers that should set themselves in battle array against the fire. To improve this awful subject let me ask — Whether you are for God or against Him? There is no neutrality here. We have been speaking of a striving with God which is unlawful and destructive — but there is a striving with Him which is allowable and necessary. It is by prayer and supplication.

(W. Jay.)

(ver. l 0): — That a child should so speak of father or mother is unthinkably unnatural and impious. And such are they who criticise God's method of saving His people through Cyrus.

(A. B. Davidson, D. D.)

Cyrus, Isaiah, Jacob
Cush, Egypt, Jerusalem
Argument, Clay, Contend, Contendeth, Cursed, Earthen, Earthenware, Fashioned, Fashioneth, Fashions, Former, Formeth, Framer, Gripped, Ground, Handles, Hands, Maker, Makest, Making, Nothing, Pot, Pots, Potsherd, Potsherds, Potter, Quarrels, Strive, Strives, Striveth, Striving, Vessel, Vessels, Wet, Wo, Woe, Working
1. God calls Cyrus for his church's sake
5. By his omnipotence he challenges obedience
20. He convinces the idols of vanity by his saving power

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Isaiah 45:9

     4315   clay
     5212   arts and crafts
     5216   authority, nature of
     5575   talk, idle
     5821   criticism, among believers
     8801   presumption

Isaiah 45:7-12

     5273   creativity

Isaiah 45:9-10

     1130   God, sovereignty
     5445   potters and pottery
     9250   woe

Isaiah 45:9-11

     8401   challenges
     8672   striving with God

Hidden and Revealed
'Verily thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.... I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye Me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.'--ISAIAH xlv, 15,19. The former of these verses expresses the thoughts of the prophet in contemplating the close of a great work of God's power which issues in the heathen's coming to Israel and acknowledging God. He adores the depth of the divine
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Sovereignty and Salvation
"Ere since by faith I saw the stream His flowing wounds supply, Redeeming love has been my theme, And shall be till I die." I shall never forget that day, while memory holds its place; nor can I help repeating this text whenever I remember that hour when first I knew the Lord. How strangely gracious! How wonderfully and marvelously kind, that he who heard these words so little time ago for his own soul's profit, should now address you this morning as his hearers from the same text, in the full and
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

The Solar Eclipse
I shall note this morning, in addressing you, that since the Lord creates darkness as well as light; first of all, eclipses of every kind are part of God's way of governing the world; in the second place, we shall notice that since God creates the darkness as well as the light, we may conclude beyond a doubt that he has a design in the eclipse--in the darkness as well as the light; and then, thirdly, we shall notice that as all things that God has created, whether they be light or whether they be
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

Ecce Homo
"Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth."--Is. xlv. 22. Mechthild of Hellfde, 1277. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 Wilt thou, sinner, be converted? Christ the Lord of glory see By His own denied, deserted, Bleeding, bound, and scourged for thee. Look again, O soul, behold Him On the cross uplifted high; See the precious life-blood flowing, See the tears that dim His eye. Love has pierced the heart that brake, Loveless sinner, for thy sake. Hearken till thy heart is broken To His
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

The Eve of the Restoration
'Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2. Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3. Who is there among you of all His people? his God
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jehovah-Shammah: a Glorious Name for the New Year
THESE words may be used as a test as well as a text. They may serve for examination as well as consolation, and at the beginning of a year they may fulfill this useful double purpose. In any case they are full of marrow and fatness to those whose spiritual taste is purified. It is esteemed by the prophet to be the highest blessing that could come upon a city that its name should be, "JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH, The Lord is there." Even Jerusalem, in its best estate, would have this for its crowning blessing:
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Eternity and Unchangeableness of God.
Exod. iii. 14.--"I AM THAT I AM."--Psal. xc. 2.--"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God."--Job xi. 7-9.--"Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea." This is the chief point of saving knowledge,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of Four Things which Bring Great Peace
"My Son, now will I teach thee the way of peace and of true liberty." 2. Do, O my Lord, as Thou sayest, for this is pleasing unto me to hear. 3. "Strive, My Son, to do another's will rather than thine own. Choose always to have less rather than more. Seek always after the lowest place, and to be subject to all. Wish always and pray that the will of God be fulfilled in thee. Behold, such a man as this entereth into the inheritance of peace and quietness." 4. O my Lord, this Thy short discourse
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Covenanting According to the Purposes of God.
Since every revealed purpose of God, implying that obedience to his law will be given, is a demand of that obedience, the announcement of his Covenant, as in his sovereignty decreed, claims, not less effectively than an explicit law, the fulfilment of its duties. A representation of a system of things pre-determined in order that the obligations of the Covenant might be discharged; various exhibitions of the Covenant as ordained; and a description of the children of the Covenant as predestinated
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

A Plain Description of the Essence and Attributes of God, Out of the Holy Scripture, So Far as Every Christian must Competently Know, and Necessarily Believe, that Will be Saves.
Although no creature can define what God is, because he is incomprehensible (Psal. cxliii. 3) and dwelling in inaccessible light (1 Tim. vi. 16); yet it has pleased his majesty to reveal himself to us in his word, so far as our weak capacity can best conceive him. Thus: God is that one spiritual and infinitely perfect essence, whose being is of himself eternally (Deut. i. 4; iv. 35; xxxii. 39; vi. 4; Isa. xlv. 5-8; 1 Cor. viii. 4; Eph. iv. 5, 6; 1 Tim. ii. 5; John iv. 24; 2 Cor. iii. 17; 1 Kings
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

The Unity of God
Q-5: ARE THERE MORE GODS THAN ONE? A: There is but one only, the living and true God. That there is a God has been proved; and those that will not believe the verity of his essence, shall feel the severity of his wrath. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.' Deut 6:6. He is the only God.' Deut 4:49. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thy heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, there is none else.' A just God and a Saviour; there is none beside
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Spiritual Hunger Shall be Satisfied
They shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 I proceed now to the second part of the text. A promise annexed. They shall be filled'. A Christian fighting with sin is not like one that beats the air' (1 Corinthians 9:26), and his hungering after righteousness is not like one that sucks in only air, Blessed are they that hunger, for they shall be filled.' Those that hunger after righteousness shall be filled. God never bids us seek him in vain' (Isaiah 45:19). Here is an honeycomb dropping into the mouths of
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Thy Name: My Name
'I have called thee by thy name.'--ISAIAH xliii. 1. 'Every one that is called by My name.'--ISAIAH xliii. 7. Great stress is laid on names in Scripture. These two parallel and antithetic clauses bring out striking complementary relations between God and the collective Israel. But they are as applicable to each individual member of the true Israel of God. I. What does God's calling a man by his name imply? 1. Intimate knowledge. Adam naming the creatures. Christ naming His disciples. 2. Loving friendship.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Extent of Messiah's Spiritual Kingdom
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever! T he Kingdom of our Lord in the heart, and in the world, is frequently compared to a building or house, of which He Himself is both the Foundation and the Architect (Isaiah 28:16 and 54:11, 12) . A building advances by degrees (I Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 2:20-22) , and while it is in an unfinished state, a stranger cannot, by viewing its present appearance, form an accurate judgment
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Its Nature
Justification, strictly speaking, consists in God's imputing to His elect the righteousness of Christ, that alone being the meritorious cause or formal ground on which He pronounces them righteous: the righteousness of Christ is that to which God has respect when He pardons and accepts the sinner. By the nature of justification we have reference to the constituent elements of the same, which are enjoyed by the believer. These are, the non-imputation of guilt or the remission of sins, and second,
Arthur W. Pink—The Doctrine of Justification

The Theology of St. Hilary of Poitiers.
This Chapter offers no more than a tentative and imperfect outline of the theology of St. Hilary; it is an essay, not a monograph. Little attempt will be made to estimate the value of his opinions from the point of view of modern thought; little will be said about his relation to earlier and contemporary thought, a subject on which he is habitually silent, and nothing about the after fate of his speculations. Yet the task, thus narrowed, is not without its difficulties. Much more attention, it is
St. Hilary of Poitiers—The Life and Writings of St. Hilary of Poitiers

Gifts and Talents.
"And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him."--Judges iii. 10. We now consider the Holy Spirit's work in bestowing gifts, talents, and abilities upon artisans and professional men. Scripture declares that the special animation and qualification of persons for work assigned to them by God proceed from the Holy Spirit. The construction of the tabernacle required capable workmen, skilful carpenters, goldsmiths, and silversmiths, and masters in the arts of weaving and embroidering. Who will furnish Moses
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Putting God to Work
"For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God beside thee who worketh for him that waiteth for him."--Isaiah 64:4. The assertion voiced in the title given this chapter is but another way of declaring that God has of His own motion placed Himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated Himself to answer the prayers of men. He has ordained prayer as a means whereby He will do things through men as they pray, which He would not otherwise do. Prayer
Edward M. Bounds—The Weapon of Prayer

Extent of Atonement.
VI. For whose benefit the atonement was intended. 1. God does all things for himself; that is, he consults his own glory and happiness, as the supreme and most influential reason for all his conduct. This is wise and right in him, because his own glory and happiness are infinitely the greatest good in and to the universe. He made the atonement to satisfy himself. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

Messiah's Innocence vindicated
He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken. L et not plain Christians be stumbled because there are difficulties in the prophetical parts of the Scriptures, and because translators and expositors sometimes explain them with some difference, as to the sense. Whatever directly relates to our faith, practice, and comfort, may be plainly collected from innumerable
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

Nature of Covenanting.
A covenant is a mutual voluntary compact between two parties on given terms or conditions. It may be made between superiors and inferiors, or between equals. The sentiment that a covenant can be made only between parties respectively independent of one another is inconsistent with the testimony of Scripture. Parties to covenants in a great variety of relative circumstances, are there introduced. There, covenant relations among men are represented as obtaining not merely between nation and nation,
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Isaiah 45:9 NIV
Isaiah 45:9 NLT
Isaiah 45:9 ESV
Isaiah 45:9 NASB
Isaiah 45:9 KJV

Isaiah 45:9 Bible Apps
Isaiah 45:9 Parallel
Isaiah 45:9 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 45:9 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 45:9 French Bible
Isaiah 45:9 German Bible

Isaiah 45:9 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Isaiah 45:8
Top of Page
Top of Page