Isaiah 57:10
You are wearied by your many journeys, but you did not say, "There is no hope!" You found renewal of your strength; therefore you did not grow weak.
Sermons
Hope, Yet no Hope: no Hope, Yet HopeIsaiah 57:10
Man's Weary WayE. Bayley, M. A.Isaiah 57:10
The Life of Thine HandA. B. Davidson, D. D.Isaiah 57:10
The Weariness of LifeW.M. Statham Isaiah 57:10
The Weariness of SinHomilistIsaiah 57:10
The Weariness of Sinful WaysR. Tuck Isaiah 57:10
Weariness in Sinful ErrorW. Clarkson Isaiah 57:10
Pictures of IdolatryE. Johnson Isaiah 57:3-10


Thou art wearied. What do we mean by "weariness"? Look at the word. It means "to wear;" not to wear out, but to wear away, to exhaust the nervous sensibilities, the tissues of brain and heart. So we use the word in relation to mind. We become worn and weary. St. Paul felt this. It is not lassitude which comes from indifference, but the exhaustion felt by the earnest and. the faithful soul. Let us thank God for restorative power. In nature how blessed this is! The weary traveller, unable to drag his tired limbs one step further through the leaden air and under the copper sky of the East, laves his limbs in the limpid stream, and lies down to rest. When the sun fills the east with rosy light he is up and. off again - the birds sing, the air is full of vitality; freshened and cheered, he is young once morel So with grace. God has provided refreshment for us all. We need. not despair of reaching the goal. "They shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their head." We have the ever-open fountain of a Saviour's precious blood, to which we can come for cleansing and renewal; the Holy Ghost to quicken and inspire; and the Word of God, which is spirit and life -

"Come, let us anew our journey pursue."

I. WEARINESS COMES WITH TEMPORARY DISAPPOINTMENT AND DEFEAT. I say "temporary," because God himself has promised to perfect that which concerneth us. The top-stone shall be put on the temple of character with shoutings of "Grace, grace unto it." The way of perfection is just the way which wearies us. The building for immortality cannot be completed in a day. Moreover, the stones are living stones. We are disappointed that the building does not progress quickly and easily. And we are human as well as Divine. We have citizenship and home to deal with. We are related to friends and to children. Think of Rebekah! She said, "I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth - such as these?" The motherly anxiety was at work. She knew how slight her power was in such a sphere as that of her boy's love; and she knew what life-issues depended on that. As we get older we feel "limitations" of power. We can counsel and pray, but we cannot command. The mind looks with sorrow on the feeble sceptre of the will! We stand outside events, and all we can do is so little. Disappointment is a school wherein we learn humility and trust in God. Disappointment is a cloud, and we wait till the heavens are clear and the all-revealing light comes again. But we are defeated, too, in ourselves; in others. "Depart from me," Peter said; "for I am a sinful man, 0 Lord."

"Oppressed with sin and woe
A burdened heart I bear."
But first defeat has made many a true general, has quickened many inventors, like Watt, Stephenson, and Brunel, and the vanquished one has become the victor in after-hours. Still, weariness comes - to student, explorer, scientist, and missionary, to philanthropist saddened with ingratitude, and to disciple following the Lord. But this is not the weariness of sin; that not only exhausts, but destroys.

II. WEARINESS COMES WITH SELF-DISCOVERY. We become more revealed to ourselves. The volcano tells what is in the earth. The lightning reveals the latent electricity in the air. Passions and lusts reveal terrible possibilities in good men. David said, "I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim;" and again, "I am weary of my crying; my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God." Conflict with sin in all its forms is weary, weary work.

1. The roots are so hidden. Like some garden weeds, they have roots that never seem uprooted, long white threads that interlace the earth and strangle other plants.

2. The battle is so varied. Like Stanley's passage of the falls, enemies on both banks and on the island mid-stream - cannibals who cry, "Meat, meat!" Scripture speaks of enemies who devour our souls. "Their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall."

3. The avengements are so real. There is no escaping the voice! "Thou art the man!" And the soul cannot pretend not to hear. It turns pale. Scepticism says, "It is not a real voice!" How does scepticism know? The induction, is so wide and comprehensive. All men feel it after sin. Take Divine advice. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also real)." Weariness, you say, then, is to be expected. Yes; think of the cry of St. Paul. "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" The answer is, "Christ - Christ alone." "We are more than conquerors through him that loved us." More than conquerors! Yes, because we do not leave a desolate province. The gospel is a creator as well as a conqueror. "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose."

III. WEARINESS COAXES WITH UNBELIEF. It was so in the old world, and so it will be in the new. The Greeks had an underlying sadness in their outwardly beautiful life, as Luthardt so well shows in his volume on the Christian evidences. It is faith which gives life and zest. Thomas Carlyle says in his essay on Diderot, "All epochs, wherein unbelief, under whatever form soever, maintains its sorry victory, should they ever for a moment glitter with a sham splendour, vanish from the eyes of posterity; because no one chooses to burden himself with study of the unfruitful." So he shows us how French philosophism vanished into non-entity. Yes, that is it; there is non-entity, no-being in unbelief. What a glorious creed is the Christian creed - meeting all deepest necessities of sin, and want, and sorrow, and immortal instinct,. by its doctrines of Divine atonement, fatherhood, sympathetic brotherhood, and eternal life! Who can be weary when he believes in One who is himself the revelation of the Father? Bringing life and immortality to light, Christ has made this world more beautiful. There is a deeper life even in human love. As Esther Lyon says, in 'Felix Holt,' "One likes a beyond everywhere." Men must be weary who have lost faith.

1. Round of same duties without a goal.

2. Growth a mockery merging into weakness.

3. Health into pain.

Vision into dimness. Thought into blank! If this age becomes an unbelieving age, its joy-bells will all be muffled, its fruit will all wither. It is faith that foresees, foretastes, and forestores.

IV. WEARINESS COMES FROM SOLITUDE. The regiment is thinning, thinning, in which you started. You have seen many arms of the soldiers "dip below the downs" into the valley. You are beginning in a human sense to feel solitary. Yes; it is not enough to give help even to the poor; you must visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictions. Show them a face. An old woman was once speaking to me of a young visitor who was timid and shy, and could not pray with her! "What did she do then?" I said. "Oh, she looked at me, and it did me good!" Yes; the face is a revelation. The Master was weary in solitude: "What! could ye not watch with me one hour?" So was St. Paul: "At Athens alone." We cannot take the poet's recipe -

"Bury our dead joys,
And live above them with a loving world." No; it is ignoble to forget them. But the Christian is never alone. The Saviour is near. "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." God grant that all our solitude may be lightened by his presence, all our weariness refreshed by his love. Into green pastures he will lead us, by still waters he will talk to us. And all the weary and heavy-laden may find rest in him. - W.M.S.









Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way.
Homilist.
The text is a striking representation of the sinner's conduct in fruitless efforts to obtain happiness anywhere but from heaven. He wanders from object to object, he becomes weary in his pursuit, yet he will not abandon it.

I. HE PURSUES A WEARISOME COURSE. Nothing is so wearisome as fruitless efforts for happiness.

1. The sensual course for happiness is a wearisome one. The voluptuary and the debauchee very soon show exhaustion.

2. The secular course for happiness is a wearisome one. He who seeks happiness in the pursuit of gain will soon find it wearisome.

3. The intellectual course for happiness is a wearisome one. He who looks for true happiness in study and research will soon find it a weariness.

4. The superstitious course is a wearisome one. Millions are sinking into religious superstition — pilgrimages, penances, prayers, and devotional routine. What millions are found wearied in this path!

II. THOUGH THE COURSE IS WEARISOME HE PERSEVERES. "Yet saidst thou not, There is no hope." Although Israel was wearied in seeking foreign help, still it continued; so with the sinner. To persevere in these wearisome methods for happiness is very foolish.

1. Because they will never become easier than they are. On the contrary, he who pursues these methods of happiness will become more and more weary on his way.

2. Because there is a pleasant way to true happiness. What is that? The loving surrender of your nature to God. The religious way to happiness is pleasant, because —

(1)It is worthy of your nature.

(2)Agreeable to your conscience.

(3)Promising to your hope.Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace. How suited is the invitation of Christ to the wearied millions of earth who are seeking for happiness in wrong directions: "Come unto Me, all ye," etc.

(Homilist.)

I. THE WAY WHICH IS HERE SUGGESTED TO US. "Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way." The way which the Israelites took was their own way as distinguished from God's way. The way in which a man is walking, and by which he is seeking for salvation, until he has found peace through Christ, is more or less directly his own way.

II. THIS WAY, WHICH IS MAN'S OWN WAY, IS SPOKEN OF AS A GREAT WAY. "Thou art weaned in the greatness of thy way. Looking at salvation as It Is in Itself, at the deliverance which is desired, a great deliverance is necessary; looking to the efforts which man will make to effect and attain this deliverance, great efforts are evidently necessary, and great efforts are frequently made. Micah speaks of a man giving thousands of rams and ten thousands of rivers of oil, yea, giving the life of his firstborn for the sin of his soul, if perchance he may save that soul. And it is perfectly marvellous to see the efforts which men have made, and arc making, in false religions, to secure that which they desire, namely, their soul's salvation.

III. THIS WAY OF MAN'S OWN SEEKING IS A WEARY WAY. What disappointments the Israelites met with! So with a man seeking, salvation in his own way as distinct from God's way. Just in proportion as a man is in earnest, just in proportion to the depth of his convictions of sin and righteousness, just in proportion to the sense which he has of the holiness of God, and the realities of eternity, will be the man's dissatisfaction with his own efforts and his own acts of self-denial.

IV. Although this is a weary way, and an unsatisfying way, yet IT HAS IN IT SOME PROMISES OF SUCCOUR AND SOME POWER OF SATISFACTION, WHICH PREVENTS THE MAN FROM WHOLLY DESPAIRING. The man "finds life to his hand." There is enough in what he is doing, there is enough in what he is finding, to prevent him from wholly despairing. These persons are not prepared to "say there is no hope; they are not prepared to despair of salvation in the manner in which they are seeking it; they are not wholly cast down. "Therefore thou wast not grieved, not wholly disheartened. They go on persevering and pressing forward, hoping that a brighter day will come. Contrast with this way of man God's way. The way of salvation sought and followed by the Jews resembles very much the way of salvation which the natural heart of man follows when he pursues and seeks that salvation; but now, what is, the way which God would have us to walk in, as contrasted with this way of man's own devising? That which marks God's way, and distinguishes it especially from man's way, is this — that man's way is a way of fear and dread, while God's way is a way of love. " But how,"you will say, "are we to pass from this state, which is man's natural state of seeking for salvation, to that state which is described as God's method of seeking and conferring salvation?" The prophet tells us (vers. 18, 19).

(E. Bayley, M. A.)

may mean, "a revival of thy vigour."

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

Yet saidst thou not, There is no hope. —
(with Jeremiah 18:12, "And they said, There is no hope, ' etc.): — The subtlety of the human heart exerts itself to the utmost to prevent that heart from trusting in the Saviour, and while evil is always cunning, it shows itself to be supremely so in its efforts to guard the Cross against the approaches of sinners. By the Cross, as the Saviour said, the thoughts of many hearts are revealed. There are two phases in spiritual life which well illustrate the deceitfulness of the heart. The first is that described in my first text, in which the man, though wearied in his many attempts, is not and cannot be convinced of the hopelessness of self-salvation. When you shall have hunted the man out of this, you will then meet with a new difficulty, which is described in the second text. Finding there is no hope in himself, the man draws the unwarrantable conclusion that there is no hope for him in God. It is self-righteousness in both cases. In the one case it is the soul content with self-righteousness, in the second place it is man sullenly preferring to perish rather than receive the righteousness of Christ.

I. We have to speak of A HOPE WHICH IS NO HOPE. "Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope," etc. This well pictures the pursuit of men after satisfaction in earthly things. They are content because they have found the life of their hand. Living from hand to mouth is enough for them; that they are still alive, that they possess present comforts and present enjoyments, this contents the many. As for the future, they say, " Let it take care of itself." They have no foresight for their eternal state; the present hour absorbs them.

1. The text applies very eminently to, those who are seeking salvation by ceremonies."

2. A great mass of people, even though they reject priestcraft, make themselves priests, and rely upon their good works. The way of salvation by works, if it were possible, would be a very wearisome way. How many good works would carry a man to heaven, would be a question which it were very hard to answer.

3. Many are looking for salvation to another form of self-deception, namely the way of repentance and reformation.

II. We shall now turn to the second text. "And they said, There is no hope," etc. Here we have No HOPE — AND YET HOPE. When the sinner has at last been driven by stress of weather from the roadstead of his own confidence, then he flies to the dreary harbour of despair. Despair is the mother of all sorts of evil. When a man sates,. "There is no hope of heaven for me;" then he throws the reins upon the neck of his lusts, and goes on from bad to worse. There is hope for you in Him whom God has provided to be the Saviour of such as you are.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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