Isaiah 49:14

I. THE TEMPTATION. "Jehovah hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me." The temptation is to ascribe the cause of feeling in our own mind to a Being outside us; forgetting that "'tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus." It does not follow, because our hearts are dry, that the fountain of comfort is sealed. It does not follow, because we feel ourselves lonely, that the good God has deserted us; nor, because we do not realize the Divine presence, that God has forgotten us. But the mind naturally leans on signs and symbols and outward manifestations. The act of faith - so simple to speak about - the "walk by faith, not by sight," is really most difficult. There are times when even the noblest of mankind are unequal to such an effort. Reason will hardly meet the case. "He that despairs," it has been said, "limits an infinite Power to a finite apprehension, and measures Providence by his own little contracted model." True; and the truth is not consoling. The sense and assurance of love alone can console.

II. DESPONDENCY MET. Not by censure, not by argument, but by the assurance of uninterrupted and undying love. It is a Divine love; surpassing, therefore, the noblest manifestations of human love - that of father or moth, or. A woman may, like a Lady Macbeth, allow some mightier passion to get the better even of maternal love. But there is no mightier passion in the heart of God than the love to his children. Human memory is infirm; but God cannot forget. The picture of Israel is graven on the palms of his hands. "It is indelible, like the sacred marks of devotees. Jehovah inverts the usual order. A worshipper needs a consecrating mark to remind him of his relation to God. Zion's God, though not needing such reminder, has condescended to grave Jerusalem on the palms of his hands. The objects of human interest are changing; God concentrates his thought on his people. "Thy walls are ever before me." The visible city was indeed destroyed, but God had his eye upon the preservation of the spiritual building for eternity. "Dost thou think that that is the city of which I said, 'I engraved thee on the palms of my hands'? Nay; that building is not now built in the midst of you. It is that which shall be revealed in my presence; it was prepared from the time when I meditated to produce a Paradise, and I showed it to Adam before he sinned; when he cast away my command, it was removed from him. And now, lo! it hath been kept by me, even as Paradise." Men's thoughts decline to the material; God is concerned with the ideal and eternal. And in this truth lies profound encouragement. Forms decay, institutions come down with a mighty crash; the building of the ages is ever going on. And it must go on by means of the labours of Zion's children. The desolate city will yet be clothed with ornaments like a lonely bride; and she who has been as a desolate widow will have a family too numerous to be contained within present narrow bounds.

III. UNFAILING HOPE IN JEHOVAH. At his bidding, and with the hearty aid of the Gentiles, the exiles shall return to their own houses, as the foster-father carries the child in the bosom of his garment. The custom is Oriental (see on 2 Kings 10). The meaning is that the princes of the Gentiles shall favour and respect Israel. Some fulfilment may be seen in the conduct of the Persian kings, of Alexander and his successors towards the Jews; another kind of fulfilment in the patronage of the Church by Constantine. But the full accomplishment of the prediction remains for the future. But incredulity breaks in. "Can the tyrant be made to disgorge his prey?" This shall take place. Jehovah shall appear in battle-might, as Avenger and Hero of Jacob, and the foes shall be put to shame. Jehovah - those that hope in him shall not be ashamed. The strain that began with the mutterings of despondency ends in the triumph of confidence and exultation. Hope in the Eternal - this must be our sure stay in the times of the nation's, the Church's, the individual's need. Our conduct cannot rise higher than our hopes, no more than the water in the pipe can rise higher than the spring-head. He who lives by the hopes of the present and passing world, acts and suffers with a strength that is less than might be his. Nothing in this world can support us against trials which threaten the loss of our worldly all. We can only be borne up by something mightier and greater than this world, not to be found in it, but in the Eternal himself. - J.

But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me.
I. ZION'S BUILDING. "Zion" here signifies the true Church. Elsewhere she is called Jerusalem; and very frequently is she spoken of as a city or building.

1. If we inquire who is her builder, we find that there is but one who can properly be called by this name. The founder of the true Church is He by whom God made the worlds; therefore she is called "The city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 60:14). The plan of Zion's building is older than the world itself. The Lord buildeth up Zion, and He alone. Whenever He uses any of us as His under-builders, He first makes us sensible of our own weakness; the excellency of the power is of Him, and not of us.

2. If we inquire concerning the foundation of the true Church, an apostle meets us with an answer: "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

3. If we consider the building itself, it consists of lively stones.

4. The "operations" of the great Master-builder are not uniform, but marked by "diversity." Some stones are separated from their quarry, and brought off by a preparatory process, in a gradual and gentle manner. Others again, are shivered from their worldly holds, as by the explosion of rocks. If we closely inspect the building, we find the lively stones admirable for their unity, evenness, and mutual conformity.

II. ZION'S COMPLAINT. We have heard of Zion, the city and dwelling-place of our God: and that "the Lord loveth the gates of Zion" (Psalm 87:2). But how faithfully and ardently He loves her, she herself does not always consider. Why else that complaint which now comes under our notice? It is acknowledged that circumstances may arise, under which nothing may appear more just than this complaint of Zion.

III. GOD'S PROMISE. "Can a woman forget," &c.

(F. W. Krummacher, D. D.)

I. WHAT THERE IS IN OURSELVES TO MAKE US FEAR LEST GOD SHOULD FORSAKE US. Our very fears have often a great show of reason in them; though they may be excessive, they are not wholly unfounded. As —

1. When we recollect how often we have forgotten and forsaken Him.

2. When the aspect of providence is dark and mysterious.

3. When the mind appears to be bereft of its ordinary supports and consolations.

4. When a great and prevailing doubt obtains as to the safety of our state after all.


1. It is contrary to His nature — as contrary to His nature to forget and forsake His Church. as it is contrary to the nature of a kind and tender mother to forget and forsake her child. Our Lord teaches us to reason from the less to the greater. "If ye, being evil, know how to give, how shall not your Father," &c.

2. It is contrary to His promise. "Yet will I not forget thee."

3. It is contrary to the character of His dispensations, for He never has forsaken His Church.

4. It is contrary to His people's own sober expectations. For Zion does not in her heart believe her own prophetic forebodings. She still speaks of Him, not only as "the Lord" in one part of the verse, but as "my Lord" in the other — which she would never do, as a reasonable person, had she finally forgotten or forsaken God, or believed that God had finally forgotten and forsaken her.

(S. Thodey.)


1. Times of deep affliction; of dark and mysterious providences; days in which there is no light.

2. These are seasons oftentimes, in which, through our frailty, imperfection, sin, and sinfulness, the weakness of our faith and the strength of unbelief, the believer may be led to form some suspicions concerning the goodness of God.

3. Besides this, there may be periods of deep spiritual temptation.

4. Some laxity in the walk will oftentimes briny strength to a man's suspicions here.

5. He may be in a state of spiritual captivity.

II. THE GREAT SECURITY THAT IS HERE PLACED BEFORE US. "Can a woman forget her sucking child," &c. There cannot be a figure more tender, more comprehensive. It is the figure of a helpless babe: there is the tenderness of the tie; there is the helplessness of the child; and there is the very posture of the child; and they are all full of great and important truth; and yet according to those last words — "they may forget; yet will I not forget thee" — this is not enough. As though the Lord would say, If My love were not more than this, it would not be enough to secure thee.

III. GOD DOES GIVE PROOF THAT THIS TENDER LOVE DOES NOT FORGET. "They may forget; yet will I not forget thee." He does not forget their persons. "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands." They are borne upon the heart of the great High Priest. He forgets not the work of grace that is in them. He forgetteth not the trials of His saints. He forgetteth not the returns of His people He forgetteth not the walk of His saints. He forgetteth them not in death.

(J. H. Evans, M. A.)

What a difference is there between the judgment of God, and the judgment of men! We have a very striking instance of this in the passage before us.

I. A MOURNFUL COMPLAINT. "Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me," He exercises no care over me; "and my Lord hath forgotten me," He feels towards me no affection. Let us look into this. The wicked think too much of the goodness of God; they mistake the evidences of His general bounty for the evidences of His peculiar friendship. While they live regardless of His praise, they yet hope in His mercy, and persuade themselves that He will not be rigorous to mark what they have done. The very reverse of this is the disposition of all the subjects of Divine grace. They know that self-deception is tremendous; and therefore they are afraid of self-deception; and they often carry their solicitudes here beyond the point of duty, and in reading and in hearing they will apply to themselves what was intended only for others; for, as an old divine says, "There is no beating the dogs out without making the children cry." Let us try to trace up this complaint to its source; and to see the wretchedness that conclusion must produce in the minds of all God's people. There is a philosophical notion, which is of a semi-infidel character, which supposes that the providence of God is general, and not particular. He regards the whole, and therefore must regard the parts; for the whole is always made up of parts; and He does regard the most minute parts. It is a religious despondency that affects Christians. It is not the influence of infidelity, but it is the influence, first, of unbelief, or weakness of faith. It arises also from ignorance. It springs sometimes from the suspension of Divine manifestation We may also mention conflicting with the troubles of life. We remark once more, the delay of God in the accomplishment of prayer. But who can find language properly to describe the wretchedness that such a conclusion as this, "The Lord hath forsaken me, and my God hath forgotten me," must ever produce in the minds of the godly? The misery that the child of God feels from such a conclusion, may be accounted for by three things.

1. That he loves God.

2. He entirely relies upon Him.

3. He has enjoyed Him already. He has tasted that the Lord is gracious, and therefore prays, Evermore give us this bread.


1. The improbability of the fear. This is metaphorically expressed: "Can a woman forget her sucking child," &c. There are two supposable cases here. She may be bereft of reason, or not survive, and so not be able to remember it. She may be criminally, unnaturally, led to hide herself from her own flesh.

2. The certainty of the assurance, "Yet will I not forget thee."

3. The all-sufficiency of the truth established, i.e. the perpetual regard of God towards us.Conclusion —

1. Distresses and discouragements are not incompatible with religion.

2. How concerned God is, not only for His people's safety, but for their comfort also.

3. Let His people fall in with His designs. Let them be humbled, and mourn over their ignorance, perverseness, impatience, and unbelief; that they have entertained such hard thoughts of God; that they have so often charged Him foolishly, and unrighteously, and unkindly.

4. Do not take the comfort belonging to a gracious state, unless you are the subjects of a gracious character.

(W. Jay.)

How common is this weakness of unbelief in man; how natural are these unworthy doubts of God to us. Nor is it difficult to perceive the sources from which this inability to trust in God's goodness springs.

1. There is the guilt of which we are conscious in our own hearts; the sense of evil desert m ourselves.

2. Then there comes in the undeniable fact of suffering in himself and all around him, which apparently, at first sight, justifies this attitude of mind, and certainly confirms it.

3. We thus discover a third source from which distrust in God springs; the perversions which have been substituted for the pure Gospel by different branches of the Christian Church

(J. N. Bennie, LL. B.)

Isaiah, Jacob
Babylon, Syene, Zion
Forgotten, Forsaken, Memory, Zion
1. Christ being sent to the Jews, complains of them
5. He is sent to the Gentiles with gracious promises
13. God's love is perpetual to his church
18. The ample restoration of the church
24. The powerful deliverance out of captivity

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Isaiah 49:14

     5831   depression
     8722   doubt, nature of

Isaiah 49:8-26

     6659   freedom, acts in OT

Isaiah 49:13-16

     5805   comfort

Isaiah 49:14-16

     5770   abandonment
     6109   alienation
     8763   forgetting

September 20. "They Shall not be Ashamed that Wait" (Isa. Xlix. 23).
"They shall not be ashamed that wait" (Isa. xlix. 23). Often He calls us aside from our work for a season and bids us be still and learn ere we go forth again to minister. Especially is this so when there has been some serious break, some sudden failure and some radical defect in our work. There is no time lost in such waiting hours. Fleeing from his enemies the ancient knight found that his horse needed to be reshod. Prudence seemed to urge him without delay, but higher wisdom taught him to halt
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Mountain Road
And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted.'--ISAIAH xlix. 11. This grand prophecy is far too wide to be exhausted by the return of the exiles. There gleamed through it the wider redemption and the true return of the real captives. The previous promises all find their fulfilment in the experiences of the soul on its journey back to God. Here we have two characteristics of that journey. I. The Path through the mountains. 'My mountains.' That is the claim that all
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Writing on God's Hands
'Behold! I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.'--ISAIAH xlix. 16. In the preceding context we have the infinitely tender and beautiful words: 'Zion hath said, The Lord hath forsaken me. Can a woman forget her sucking child? ... yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.' There is more than a mother's love in the Father's heart. But wonderful in their revelation of God, and mighty to strengthen, calm, and comfort, as these transcendent words are,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Feeding in the Ways
'They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.' ISAIAH xlix. 9. This is part of the prophet's glowing description of the return of the Captives, under the figure of a flock fed by a strong shepherd. We have often seen, I suppose, a flock of sheep driven along a road, some of them hastily trying to snatch a mouthful from the dusty grass by the wayside. Little can they get there; they have to wait until they reach some green pasture in which they can be folded. This
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Clearing-Up Storm in the Realm
(Revelation, Chapters vi.-viii.) "God Almighty! King of nations! earth Thy footstool, heaven Thy throne! Thine the greatness, power, and glory, Thine the kingdom, Lord, alone! Life and death are in Thy keeping, and Thy will ordaineth all: From the armies of Thy heavens to an unseen insect's fall. "Reigning, guiding, all-commanding, ruling myriad worlds of light; Now exalting, now abasing, none can stay Thy hand of might! Working all things by Thy power, by the counsel of Thy will. Thou art God!
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

Christ in the Covenant
First, we shall examine this property; secondly, we shall notice the purpose for which it was conveyed to us; and thirdly, we shall give one precept, which may well be affixed upon so great a blessing as this, and is indeed an inference from it. I. In the first place, then, here is a GREAT POSSESSION--Jesus Christ by the covenant is the property of every believer. By this we must understand Jesus Christ in many different senses; and we will begin, first of all, by declaring that Jesus Christ is ours,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

Twentieth Day for God's Spirit on the Heathen
WHAT TO PRAY.--For God's Spirit on the Heathen "Behold, these shall come from far; and these from the land of Sinim."--ISA. xlix. 12. "Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall haste to stretch out her hands to God."--PS. lxviii. 31. "I the Lord will hasten it in His time."--ISA. lx. 22. Pray for the heathen, who are yet without the word. Think of China, with her three hundred millions--a million a month dying without Christ. Think of Dark Africa, with its two hundred millions. Think
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Sixteenth Day for the Power of the Holy Spirit in Our Sabbath Schools
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Power of the Holy Spirit in our Sabbath Schools "Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children."--ISA. xlix. 25. Every part of the work of God's Church is His work. He must do it. Prayer is the confession that He will, the surrender of ourselves into His hands to let Him, work in us and through us. Pray for the hundreds
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

The Quotation in Matt. Ii. 6.
Several interpreters, Paulus especially, have asserted that the interpretation of Micah which is here given, was that of the Sanhedrim only, and not of the Evangelist, who merely recorded what happened and was said. But this assertion is at once refuted when we consider the object which Matthew has in view in his entire representation of the early life of Jesus. His object in recording the early life of Jesus is not like that of Luke, viz., to communicate historical information to his readers.
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

"Sing, O Heavens; and be Joyful, O Earth; for the Lord Hath Comforted his People. " -- Isaiah 49:13.
"For the Lord shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." -- Isaiah 51:3. "Sing, O Heavens; and be joyful, O Earth; for the Lord hath comforted his people." -- Isaiah 49:13. A living, loving, lasting word, My listening ear believing heard, While bending down in prayer; Like a sweet breeze that none can stay, It passed
Miss A. L. Waring—Hymns and Meditations

Of Civil Government.
OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT. This chapter consists of two principal heads,--I. General discourse on the necessity, dignity, and use of Civil Government, in opposition to the frantic proceedings of the Anabaptists, sec. 1-3. II. A special exposition of the three leading parts of which Civil Government consists, sec. 4-32. The first part treats of the function of Magistrates, whose authority and calling is proved, sec. 4-7. Next, the three Forms of civil government are added, sec. 8. Thirdly, Consideration
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity the Careful Walk of the Christian.
Text: Ephesians 5, 15-21. 15 Look therefore carefully how ye walk [See then that ye walk circumspectly], not as unwise, but as wise; 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 giving thanks always for all things
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace
? Perseverance of the Saints--"The Final Perseverance of Believers in Christ Jesus," by William O'Neill (message 5). The Rev. C. H. SPURGEON took the chair at 3 o'clock. The proceedings were commenced by singing the 21st Hymn-- Saved from the damning power of sin, The law's tremendous curse, We'll now the sacred song begin Where God began with us. We'll sing the vast unmeasured grace Which, from the days of old, Did all his chosen sons embrace, As sheep within the fold. The basis of eternal love
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861

Under his Shadow.
A BRIEF SACRAMENTAL DISCOURSE DELIVERED AT MENTONE TO ABOUT A SCORE BRETHREN."He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."--Psalm xci. 1. UNDER HIS SHADOW. I MUST confess of my short discourse, as the man did of the axe which fell into the stream, that it is borrowed. The outline of it is taken from one who will never complain of me, for to the great loss of the Church she has left these lower choirs to sing above. Miss Havergal, last and loveliest
Charles Hadden Spurgeon—Till He Come

How to Make Use of Christ as the Truth, when Error Prevaileth, and the Spirit of Error Carrieth Many Away.
There is a time when the spirit of error is going abroad, and truth is questioned, and many are led away with delusions. For Satan can change himself into an angel of light, and make many great and fairlike pretensions to holiness, and under that pretext usher in untruths, and gain the consent of many unto them; so that in such a time of temptation many are stolen off their feet, and made to depart from the right ways of God, and to embrace error and delusions instead of truth. Now the question is,
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The First Thing Suggested at the Very Outset Is...
The first thing suggested at the very outset is, as we have already said (sec. 17-19), that all our prayers to God ought only to be presented in the name of Christ, as there is no other name which can recommend them. In calling God our Father, we certainly plead the name of Christ. For with what confidence could any man call God his Father? Who would have the presumption to arrogate to himself the honour of a son of God were we not gratuitously adopted as his sons in Christ? He being the true Son,
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Catalogue of his Works.
There is no absolutely complete edition of Eusebius' extant works. The only one which can lay claim even to relative completeness is that of Migne: Eusebii Pamphili, Cæsareæ Palestinæ Episcopi, Opera omnia quæ extant, curis variorum, nempe: Henrici Valesii, Francisci Vigeri, Bernardi Montfauconii, Card. Angelo Maii edita; collegit et denuo recognovit J. P. Migne. Par. 1857. 6 vols. (tom. XIX.-XXIV. of Migne's Patrologia Græca). This edition omits the works which are
Eusebius Pamphilius—Church History

The Fifth Commandment
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.' Exod 20: 12. Having done with the first table, I am next to speak of the duties of the second table. The commandments may be likened to Jacob's ladder: the first table respects God, and is the top of the ladder that reaches to heaven; the second respects superiors and inferiors, and is the foot of the ladder that rests on the earth. By the first table, we walk religiously towards God; by
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

"But Ye have Received the Spirit of Adoption, Whereby we Cry, Abba, Father. "
Rom. viii. 15.--"But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God," 1 John iii. 1. It is a wonderful expression of love to advance his own creatures, not only infinitely below himself, but far below other creatures, to such a dignity. Lord, what is man that thou so magnified him! But it surpasseth wonder, that rebellious creatures, his enemies, should have, not only
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ;
OR, A PLAIN AND PROFITABLE DISCOURSE ON JOHN 6:37 SHOWING THE CAUSE, TRUTH, AND MANNER OF THE COMING OF A SINNER TO JESUS CHRIST; WITH HIS HAPPY RECEPTION AND BLESSED ENTERTAINMENT. WRITTEN BY JOHN BUNYAN, AUTHOR OF "THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS." "And they shall come which were ready to perish."--Isaiah 27:13. London, 1681. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. "Come and welcome to Jesus Christ," is a subject peculiarly fitted to the deep and searching experience of John Bunyan. He knew all the wiles of sin and
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Thy Name: My Name
'I have called thee by thy name.'--ISAIAH xliii. 1. 'Every one that is called by My name.'--ISAIAH xliii. 7. Great stress is laid on names in Scripture. These two parallel and antithetic clauses bring out striking complementary relations between God and the collective Israel. But they are as applicable to each individual member of the true Israel of God. I. What does God's calling a man by his name imply? 1. Intimate knowledge. Adam naming the creatures. Christ naming His disciples. 2. Loving friendship.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Justifying or Sanctifying Grace
Sanctifying grace is defined by Deharbe as "an unmerited, supernatural gift, imparted to the soul by the Holy Ghost, by which we are made just, children of God, and heirs of Heaven." As it makes sinners just, sanctifying grace is also called justifying, though this appellation can not be applied to the sanctification of our first parents in Paradise or to that of the angels and the sinless soul of Christ. Justification, as we have shown, consists in the infusion of sanctifying grace, and hence it
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

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