Then Isaiah said, "Hear now, O house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God as well?
I. TRUE HUMILITY SUBMITS AND OBEYS. If Ahaz had been truly humble, he would have responded at once to the Divine invitation. Illustrate from Moses shrinking from obedience to the commands which God gave him. True humility will always say, "If God has called me to do anything, I must do it; I can do it, and I may be quite sure his grace will be with me or the doing. True humility is bold unto obedience.
II. FALSE HUMILITY SUBMITS, BUT DOES NOT OBEY. This is precisely the attitude of Ahaz. He submits; he takes the humble posture; he speaks the humble words; lout he does not obey. His humility is but hypocrisy. Bishop Hall says, "Art imitates nature, and the nearer it comes to nature in its effects, it is the more excellent. Grace is the new nature of a Christian, and hypocrisy that art that counterfeits it; and the more exquisite it is in imitation it is the more plausible to men, but the more abominable to God. It may frame a spiritual man in image so to the life that not only others, but even the hypocrite himself, may admire it, and, favoring his own artifice, may be deceived so far as to say and to think it lives, and fall in love with it; but he is no less abhorred by the Searcher of hearts than pleasing to himself." And Matthew Henry says, "A secret disaffection to God is often disguised with the specious colors of respect to him; and those who are resolved that they will not trust God yet pretend that they will not tempt him." It may be impressed that the truly humble man is more jealous of God's honor than of his own, and therefore promptly submits and obeys; but the man who is not really humble is anxious about his own honor, and only makes a show of being jealous of God's. Ahaz needed this counsel, and so do we: "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." And the greatest test of this great grace is - Does it lead its possessor to follow and obey? - R.T.
Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary thy God also?
Homiletic Review.The work and experience of the prophet and the Gospel minister in dealing with men are similar.
I. IT IS NO SMALL SIN TO WEARY GOD'S PROPHETS AND PREACHERS. They are His ambassadors.
II. IT IS INFINITELY WORSE TO WEARY GOD, whose hand holds their life and destiny. God is patient. This is evident from Scripture and observation. (Exodus 34:6, 7; 2 Peter 3:9.) Consider also the history of nations and individuals and of our own life.
III. GOD'S PATIENCE MAY BE WEARIED OUT by indifference, obstinacy, procrastination, backsliding. The sinner is in present danger of doing this. Others have done it in Scripture and history. Application — The axe is laid at the root of the tree; make haste to repent.
1. That which seems specially to have wearied God in the instance of Ahaz was, the sinning yet more in a season of distress.
2. There is a likelihood that his offence may be copied, and that, too, not merely in the general, but even in minute particulars. God became wearied by a repetition of the sin when He had tried by calamities to produce its abandonment. It does not seem that there was ever the least pause in his wickedness. God smote him, but he went on frowardly.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
2. Beware then of wearying God by refusing to comply with the administrations and offers He gives you by His servants; but now, while it is called today, hearken to His voice and obey His call.
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