Words to the Weary
Isaiah 50:4-11
The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary…

We have many doors in our nature, and at every one of these weariness may enter.

I. There is — to begin at the lowest door of all — the physical one, THE WEARINESS WHICH COMES TO US FROM BODILY TOIL, or from toil which, whether bodily or not, tells upon the body by wasting for the time its energies. So far as such toil is rendered necessary by the very fundamental conditions of our existence, the weariness which ensues upon it is a Divine appointment, and the most benign provision has been made for meeting and banishing it. You need no word in season for such weariness as this. There is something better than a word for you. There is night with its soothing darkness. There is your bed with its repose; and there is sleep, ''Nature's soft nurse, that doth knit the ravelled sleeve of care, and steep your senses in forgetfulness." And there is not merely the night, but the Sabbath. But there is also a weariness which has the nature of a chastisement, because it is produced by excessive and needless toil. While labour is a Divine thing in just measure, yet, when it becomes care, worry, vexation, hot and insatiable ambition, greed, it becomes criminal, and draws after it sooner or later grim consequences, the thought of which ought to make men pause. You cannot run both quickly and long. What is the word in season for such cases as these? The word may not be pleasant, for the words in season which God utters to us are often like thunderclaps to startle us, or like a firm grip of the hand which seems to say, "Stop, or you are undone." But surely the word in season to many is: Release your strain, moderate your speed, economize your energies, stop up the leak through which your health is trickling already, and may soon be rushing like a stream; what shall it profit you if you gain the whole world, and lose your life?

II. Some men are WEARY WITH PLEASURE. There is no decree of God more stern or more inflexible than that which has determined that misery shall be the constant companion of the man that seeks pleasure. He may be a swift runner, but pleasure runs more swiftly still. Let us accept it as a moral axiom which has no exception, that the fulfilment of duty is the condition of happiness in this world. The word in season, therefore, for those who are weary in pleasure is this: Revise and reverse your whole judgment as to what you are and as to your relation to God, and this world, and the world which is to come.

III. Some men are WEARY WITH WELL-DOING WHICH SEEMS TO COME TO SO POOR AN END. This is so common a tendency that we are warned against it, "Be not weary in well-doing, for in due season ye shall reap if ye faint not." "Be ye steadfast, unmovable," etc. Men who are working for God in this world have doubtless a heavy task in hand. The soil is uncongenial. It is beaten hard with sin and evil habit; and the ploughshare enters it with difficulty, and with difficulty makes its way. Take any sphere of benevolence you like, whether the lower one of sympathy with the common sufferings of man, or the higher one of concern for their spiritual necessities and sorrows and dangers, and the labour is no holiday play. Well-doing appears so often like building in a quagmire. We sow good seed, and then the enemy sows tares. We root up one evil, and another springs up in its stead. Well-doing in the shape of teaching would not be so wearying if the children were not so listless, so rude, so dull, so forgetful, so disappointing. Well-doing in the shape of charity would not be so wearying if there were not so much of ingratitude and imposture. What is the word in season to those who are weary in such good work? Such as these: Think, before you withdraw from what appears to be unfruitful labour, that God still holds on His Divine purpose, and is kind to the unthankful and the evil; think that He is good and doeth good continually, and that, were He to grow weary in well-doing, He would plunge the world into desolation in a moment. Think, too, that if you grow weary, all others may grow weary too, and that then the world will be left to itself: ignorance, vice, crime, wretchedness spreading with every hour, until the earth will be little better than a suburb of hell itself. Think, to, that in well-doing you do find some results, though they may not be equal to your hope, and that the results, though unseen, may still be there, and will appear some day, and be reaped by another's hand. And be sure of this, that nothing good is ever lost.

IV. There are those who ARE WEARY OF THE STRIFE WITH SIN. This is emphatically the battle of life and the battle for life. What is the word in season to him who is thus weary? This — that Christ has already vanquished your most powerful foe, and will make you more than conqueror.

V. There is one word more in season for those who ARE WEARY IN SIN, BUT NOT YET WEARY OF IT. Would to God they were weary of it! for to feel it to be a burden and a woe is the first step to deliverance.

(E. Mellor, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

WEB: The Lord Yahweh has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with words him who is weary: he wakens morning by morning, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

Words in Season for the Weary
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