Faith and Presumption
Isaiah 56:12
Come you, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day…

The future is very differently contemplated by different individuals. Men of a sanguine temperament gild it with golden visions that are never realized. Such persons meet with many disappointments. It is quite right to expect good in the future, providing we eagerly seize the opportunities and avail ourselves of the advantages of the present. But it is in the field of to-day that we must sow the seed of what we are to reap on the morrow. Men of a directly opposite temperament are constantly foreboding evil. This desponding disposition is itself a very heavy burden to bear. If there be evil in the future, it doubles it by the anticipation, and the anticipation is frequently a heavier burden than is the reality; and if the future brings no such evil, we have been carrying a burden, when in reality there was no burden to bear. How wise are the words of Jesus, "Take no thought for the morrow," etc. Both these dispositions need to be corrected. There is still another class who are morally reckless about the future. This results neither from temperament nor imagination, but from their moral condition: the madness is in their hearts. They were persons of this class who made use of the words contained in our text. These words, although polluted by the sense and circumstances in which they are here used, express a truth as well as a falsehood.


1. It is reasonable to expect that nature will be as productive in the future as it has ever been in the past. Why should we fear that seed-time and harvest or summer and winter will fail, or that the soil will be less productive than it has been? Surely if we are to expect any change, it is a change for the better; the sun will shine as brightly as it has done, and the rains will fall as abundantly, and the earth will be more extensively reclaimed and better cultivated. The soil yields a great deal more now than it used to do; and still there remaineth much land to be possessed.

2. This is a reasonable sentiment when used in the light of human progress. The progress made in arts and sciences ought greatly to increase the resources of society. Labour is the wealth of a nation, and therefore the more labour can be made to produce, the wealthier a nation must be. Not only so, but the productions of one country have by these means been brought within easy access of other countries, so that failure in one part is largely compensated for by a more abundant supply in other places.

3. This is also a rational sentiment when we remember the goodness and unchangeableness of God. His goodness to us in the past ought to inspire us with confidence in Him for the future; and this confidence ought to have respect to all the concerns of life.

4. This is a reasonable sentiment when you consider the promises of God and the predictions concerning the future. Is it not said that the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose? Let the Gospel be preached to the savage and the uncivilized; if they receive it they will not only sit at the feet of Jesus, but they will also soon become clothed, and begin to cultivate the soil, and the change thus produced on the face of nature will correspond with the change in their moral and spiritual condition.

5. Then there is a future beyond the present life in relation to which these words may be used with still deeper emphasis. The man who has fled for refuge to the hope set before him, and has striven to walk with God here, may say with confidence, as he enters into the valley of the shadow of death, "I will not fear," for "to-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant."


1. It is so when it is the utterance of idleness. No man has a right to neglect the duties of to-day, and to flatter himself that his life will be crowned with increased abundance on the morrow.

2. It is so when it is the language of extravagance and profligacy. The latter is the spirit in which it is used in this verse. "Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine," etc. The men who used these words had evidently closed their ears to warning, and given themselves up to a life of self-indulgence. This was no doubt the feeling of the prodigal, who wasted his substance in riotous living. He promised himself that the debauches of to-day should be succeeded by still greater debauches on the morrow. We are not to burden ourselves with anxious cares about the future, but neither are we to pledge our future income to meet our present expenses. Nor are we to use, as bread for to-day, what God has sent to be sown as seed for the morrow. We ought to study the law of proportion, and to live in proportion to our income, to give in proportion to our income, and to save in proportion to our income and the position of responsibility in which we are placed, either as to family or work-people.

3. This is the language of sinful presumption when it is used as an excuse for the neglect of present privileges and opportunities.

(1)  It is often so used in relation to secular things.

(2)  But it is still more frequently used in relation to religion.Many plead this as an excuse for the neglect of religion. The time is not convenient. They are too young, or their temptations and difficulties are at present too great. They hope that their circumstances will undergo a change. But some, who have flattered themselves that they were too young, have not lived to become old. This excuse is also pleaded by some who have in them some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel, for delay in publicly avowing themselves on the Lord's side, and casting in their lot with His people. There is something in the way to-day which they expect will be removed to-morrow. But, perhaps when to-morrow comes the difficulties are increased, and the resolve, which was almost formed, is wholly abandoned. This excuse is also pleaded for not entering into some sphere of usefulness to which you were clearly called. But the door closes and it is too late.

(A. Clark.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

WEB: "Come," [say they], "I will get wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, [a day] great beyond measure."

Experience and Hope
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