The Objective Ground of Faith
Isaiah 28:16-17
Therefore thus said the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone…

1. Two things are necessary to give stability to a man.

(1) A principle of faith within his own mind.

(2) An objective ground of faith, real or imaginary. The man thus believes in something. In itself it may be unreal, but to him it is a reality. Therefore he follows after it with constancy. Take away his belief in this something and he is immediately at sea, without compass or rudder, the sport of the winds and waves. And precisely in proportion to the grandeur and the durability of that on which his faith rests, and to the simplicity and entireness of his faith itself, will he be found to be steadfast and immovable, full of energy, full of hope, full of perseverance. I appeal to the history of the race. Look at all those who have been remarkable for strength and stability of character, and who swayed by the magic of their firmness the minds of others. They all believed in something: in their mission, or in their destiny, or in their wisdom, or in the power of truth, or in the progress of the race, or in the constancy of nature, or in the future of their country, or in the revelation of God. Faith it was that upheld them from first to last, that imparted a consistency and a unity to all they did, and invested them with a kind of awe as beings of another and higher order. Now, this being the case, you can easily see of what importance it is that the objective ground of faith should be something that is real, true, Divine; something that has substance in it, so that I feel I have hold of it, and am not grasping a shadow; something that lives out of myself altogether, so that I can feel independent of the ever varying phases of my own mind; something that is itself secure, and beyond the possibility of danger, so that I can feel the most perfect confidence in it.

2. And now comes the question than which none can be more intensely interesting, at least to the earnest, awakened, thoughtful mind — Where is this objective ground of faith to be found? Here is the answer, and mark from whom it comes, "Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone." Well may it be added, "He that believeth shall not make haste." His faith will partake of the stability of the foundation on which it rests. So far as his safety is concerned that is secure. And then, so far as his own feeling or persuasion of his safety is concerned, if his faith is simple it will impart stability not merely to his state, but to his mind. It will bring an assured peace to his soul. Here, then, is the foundation. Examine it.

(1) See how strong it is; there is not one element of weakness about it. It is all Divine.

(2) And see how broad it is. There is room for thee to build, my brother.

(3) See how accessible it is. So near, that one step will place thee on it. A single step, and thou art on the rock!

(4) See how it bears the stamp of the Divine approbation-The Father laid it; the Father has further signified His approbation of the Living Stone, by making Him the headstone of the comer. And what satisfied the Father's justice may well satisfy thy conscience. Well, here is the foundation If thou believest not, surely thou shalt not be established.

(A. L. R. Foote.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

WEB: Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. He who believes shall not act hastily.

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