Isaiah 8:21
They will roam the land, dejected and hungry. When they are famished, they will become enraged; and looking upward, they will curse their king and their God.
The Helplessness of SuperstitionE. Johnson Isaiah 8:16-22
The Confession of Ungodliness, EtcW. Clarkson Isaiah 8:19-22
FretfulnessR. Macculloch.Isaiah 8:21-22
Hardly BesteadR. Macculloch.Isaiah 8:21-22
HungryR. Macculloch.Isaiah 8:21-22
NemesisIsaiah 8:21-22
No Good Without GodIsaiah 8:21-22
Unsanctified SufferingR. A. Bertram.Isaiah 8:21-22

This text is not merely a Divine declaration. It rests upon the great fact that man can never be satisfied until he gets a standard of truth and duty outside of and apart from himself. No man anywhere can reach an intelligent satisfaction by becoming wholly a law unto himself. The moral sense in every man is vitiated, and its attestations are uncertain. The testimony of conscience is variable; it is not now always prompt, decided, and faithful in its judgments. It may appear at first sight as if there were many men who are living entirely according to their own will, following wholly the "devices and desires of their own hearts." But, if we look a little deeper, we shall find that they are all striving after conformity to some standard, bad or good, that is outside them. It is often custom, etiquette, society, the moral level of the age in which they happen to live. There are common fallacies which tone the lives of some, and multitudes are content to make a standard of the teachings of an authoritative priesthood. Even the hermit, dwelling apart, separated from the associations of his fellow-men, cannot be satisfied with his own standard; he even finds an ideal outside himself, in the life, endurance, and suffering of some more saintly fellow-creature. God has graciously considered this common human necessity. He has not left his creatures to search for such a standard in their blindness. In every age, in forms and terms such as at the time they could understand, God has given models of truth and duty. He has never left men to mere abstract speculations; in some kind of ordinarily understood human teaching, by word, or act, or example, God has always set forth a standard; and so in every age he can make his appeal and say, "To the Law and to the testimony." In the first ages of the world the standard was given in personal characters, such as Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Abraham. To this was by-and-by added the revelation of the Divine will in written and spoken words, for which advancing civilization and culture prepared men. At the very beginning, as the written revelation could not get into the hands and use of all men, it was presented for a time in the pictures of an elaborate ceremonial. Later on it was expressed in the free speech of prophets and teachers, and then the pictured ceremonials might fade away. At the very last the Divine standard of truth and morals for humanity was exhibited, in its completeness and perfection, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Truth, duty, virtue, were here among men. Christ was the perfect realization of God's idea of a moral being. The standard man is not on earth now, but his record remains. That record is in all our hands; it is as if we lived our daily life in the presence of the Divine ideal. We have in our Bible God's great rule of truth and duty. Consciously of unconsciously we do test every action by our standard; all the questions arising in connection with our moral life are brought to the test of the "Law and the testimony."

I. THE BIBLE EXERTS ITS MORAL FORCE UPON US BY THE TRUTHS WHICH IT CONTAINS AND REVEALS. These truths test all received opinions. Each man really is according to his opinions and beliefs; the whole temper and conduct are toned by the truths received. If they are according to the "Law and testimony," their fruit will be righteousness and mercy. The Bible does not, indeed, contain any formulated system of theology or of morals, but it does contain such an harmonious setting forth of all necessary truth as, in fact, constitutes a complete system both of doctrine and of duty. The Bible has its own sphere; within this it is infallible. It is the sphere of character; it is no standard of appeal for geographers, or arithmeticians, or astronomers, or ethnologists, or literati, or philosophers. For all such the Bible is a book of the age in which it was written, and it embodies the thought which was the common property of the men of the time. Man does not want a written revelation of science, for he has not lost the key which enables him to unlock its mysteries for himself. Man does need a written revelation of standard morals, because he flung away his key in Eden, and, with ages of painful searching, he has failed to find it again.

II. THE BIBLE EXERTS ITS MORAL FORCE BY THE PRINCIPLES WHICH IT EMBODIES. The structure of the Bible compels us to search out its principles. They do not lie on the surface, like seeds on beaten paths, ready for every passing bird to pick up. They are given to us embodied in history, illustrated in incidents of individual lives, and in phases of personal experience. Nothing seems to be said in the New Testament about ecclesiastical politics, or orders of Church government; but there are to be found great principles, which can be wisely adapted in their practical expression to the varying conditions of men in different ages. There are no announcements concerning social manners; there is nothing taught in a direct way concerning monarchy or slavery, for instance; but the Bible gives principles which, gradually gaining sway over the minds of men, constitutionally attemper monarchy, and will after a while banish slavery from the earth. A principle is more searching than a maxim. Men may think they could have done better with a Bible like the books of Confucius, full of maxims, shaping into order the whole minutiae of life. Such a Bible could only make automata, not living men. God gives a Bible full of quick effective principles; these, getting into the soul, are the seeds whence come flowerings and fruitings of righteousness. A maxim will guide us in one case, a principle will put us right in ten thousand. Circumstances may always limit the application of an express commandment; a principle fits and shapes itself to every new occasion, as the rising tide into every bay and nook and creek of the winding stream.

III. THE BIBLE EXERTS ITS MORAL FORCE BY THE EXAMPLE WHICH IT PRESENTS. Its men, except the Lord Christ, are fallible, struggling men. Their wrongdoing is never covered over. You never get the impression of a character painted rose-color. The moral quality of a man's action is never confused. Evil is always evil. Wrongdoing in a good man is only worse wrongdoing in view of his goodness; and it is never palliated. There is found in the Bible virtue to incite us and evil to warn us; a great "cloud of witnesses" putting to shame our meaner lives. But the great standard example is the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ. He "tries every man that cometh into the world." The final test of moral conduct for us all is the Lord Jesus Christ. Full acceptance with God can come only from being perfectly like Christ. And if the suggestion makes us feel that we are far down below him, only just climbing the first ridge of the mountain-side, this is our encouraging assurance, "Then shall ye know, if ye follow on to know the Lord." - R.T.

And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry.

II. THERE IS IN SUFFERING NO SANCTIFYING POWER. It may harden men in iniquity.

III. SUFFERING DOES NOTHING IN ITSELF TO ABATE GOD'S ANGER AGAINST SINNERS. Nothing will turn away that anger but a genuine repentance (Isaiah 9:13).

(R. A. Bertram.)

He reads the doom of those that seek to familiar spirits, and regard not God's law and testimony. There shall not only be no light to them, no comfort; or prosperity, but they may expect all horror and misery.

1. The trouble they feared shall come upon them. They shall pass to and fro in the land, unfixed, unsettled, and driven from place to place by the threatening power of an invading enemy.

2. They shall be very uneasy to themselves, by their discontent and impatience under their trouble.

3. They shall be very provoking to all about them, nay, to all above them. When they find all their measures broken, and themselves at their wits' end, they will forget all the rules of duty and decency, and will treasonably curse their king, and blasphemously curse their God.

4. They shall abandon themselves to despair, and, which way soever they look, shall see no probability of relief. They. shall look upward, out heaven shall frown upon them; they shall look to the earth, but what comfort can that yield to those whom God is at war with?

( M. Henry.)

Embarrassed with difficulties, oppressed with anxieties, distressed with bitter reflections and desponding thoughts, not knowing what to do or whither to go.

(R. Macculloch.)

Destitute not only of necessary provision for their personal support, but of the Word of the Lord, which is the nourishment of the soul (Amos 8:11, 12).

(R. Macculloch.)

Through hunger and poverty is indeed a great calamity, yet fretfulness of spirit is a still greater one; and when both are united, it is evident that the mind is as empty of spiritual good as the body is of necessary provision.

(R. Macculloch.)

Them that go away from God, go out of the way of all good.

( M. Henry.).

Immanuel, Isaiah, Jacob, Jeberechiah, Mahershalalhashbaz, Remaliah, Rezin, Uriah, Urijah, Zechariah
Assyria, Damascus, Euphrates River, Jerusalem, Judah, Mount Zion, Samaria, Shiloah
Angry, Bestead, Bitter, Curse, Cursing, Distressed, Enraged, Face, Faces, Famished, Fret, Gaze, Greatly, Hardly, Hard-pressed, Heaven, Hungry, Pass, Pressed, Roam, Sore, Themselves, Trouble, Turn, Unable, Upward, Whether, Worry
1. In Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, he prophesies Syria and Israel shall be subdued by Assyria
5. Judah likewise for their infidelity
9. God's judgments shall be irresistible
11. Comfort shall be to those who fear God
19. Great afflictions to idolaters

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Isaiah 8:21

     5341   hunger

Isaiah 8:19-22

     4132   demons, malevolence
     4824   famine, spiritual
     5864   futility

Shiloah and Euphrates
Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly ... the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many.' ISAIAH viii. 6, 7. The kingdom of Judah was threatened with a great danger in an alliance between Israel and Damascus. The cowardly King Ahaz, instead of listening to Isaiah's strong assurances and relying on the help of God, made what he thought a master-stroke of policy in invoking the help of the formidable Assyrian power. That ambitious military
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Search the Scriptures
I feel at this particular crisis of religious affairs, it is imperative upon the Christian minister to urge his people to hold fast the doctrines of the truth--the words of God. This seems likely to become the age of preaching, rather than the age of praying. We now see everywhere large congregations assembling in halls and abbeys to listen to the Word preached; and it is an ominous sign of the times, that these preachings are not only espoused by the orthodox, but even by those whom we have considered
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

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

Prefatory Scripture Passages.
To the Law and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.-- Isa. viii. 20. Thus saith the Lord; Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.--Jer. vi. 16. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. But
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

Of the Scriptures
Eph. ii. 20.--"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Believers are "the temple of the living God," in which he dwells and walks, 2 Cor. vi. 16. Every one of them is a little sanctuary and temple to his Majesty, "sanctify the Lord of hosts in your hearts." Though he be "the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity," yet he is pleased to come down to this poor cottage of a creature's heart, and dwell in it. Is not this
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Gihon, the Same with the Fountain of Siloam.
I. In 1 Kings 1:33,38, that which is, in the Hebrew, "Bring ye Solomon to Gihon: and they brought him to Gihon"; is rendered by the Chaldee, "Bring ye him to Siloam: and they brought him to Siloam." Where Kimchi thus; "Gihon is Siloam, and it is called by a double name. And David commanded, that they should anoint Solomon at Gihon for a good omen, to wit, that, as the waters of the fountain are everlasting, so might his kingdom be." So also the Jerusalem writers; "They do not anoint the king, but
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Trials of the Christian
AFFLICTION--ITS NATURE AND BENEFITS. The school of the cross is the school of light; it discovers the world's vanity, baseness, and wickedness, and lets us see more of God's mind. Out of dark afflictions comes a spiritual light. In times of affliction, we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God. The end of affliction is the discovery of sin; and of that, to bring us to a Saviour. Doth not God ofttimes even take occasion, by the hardest of things that come upon us, to visit
John Bunyan—The Riches of Bunyan

That it is not Lawful for the Well Affected Subjects to Concur in Such an Engagement in War, and Associate with the Malignant Party.
That It Is Not Lawful For The Well Affected Subjects To Concur In Such An Engagement In War, And Associate With The Malignant Party. Some convinced of the unlawfulness of the public resolutions and proceedings, in reference to the employing of the malignant party, yet do not find such clearness and satisfaction in their own consciences as to forbid the subjects to concur in this war, and associate with the army so constituted. Therefore it is needful to speak something to this point, That it is
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Universality of Actual Grace
The gratuity of grace does not conflict with its universality. Though God distributes His graces freely, He grants them to all men without exception, because He wills all to be saved. This divine "will to save" (voluntas Dei salvifica) may be regarded in relation either to the wayfaring state or to the status termini. Regarded from the first-mentioned point of view it is a merciful will (voluntas misericordiae) and is generally called first or antecedent will (voluntas prima s. antecedens)
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

Jesus' Temporary Residence at Capernaum.
^A Matt. IV. 13-16. ^a 13 And leaving Nazareth [This expression means that Jesus now ceased to make Nazareth his home. For description of Nazareth, see page 60], he came and dwelt in Capernaum [See page 119. Capernaum means city of Nahum, or village of consolation. Its modern name, "Tel-Hum," means hill of Nahum. The word "dwelt" means that Jesus made this town his headquarters. He owned no house there (Matt. viii. 20). He may have dwelt with some of his disciples--for instance, Simon Peter--Matt.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Of the Character of the Unregenerate.
Ephes. ii. 1, 2. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. AMONG all the various trusts which men can repose in each other, hardly any appears to be more solemn and tremendous, than the direction of their sacred time, and especially of those hours which they spend in the exercise of public devotion.
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

To Pastors and Teachers
To Pastors and Teachers If all who laboured for the conversion of others were to introduce them immediately into Prayer and the Interior Life, and make it their main design to gain and win over the heart, numberless as well as permanent conversions would certainly ensue. On the contrary, few and transient fruits must attend that labour which is confined to outward matters; such as burdening the disciple with a thousand precepts for external exercises, instead of leaving the soul to Christ by the
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

"But if we Walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have Fellowship one with Another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His
1 John i. 7.--"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Art is the imitation of nature, and true religion is a divine art, that consists in the imitation of God himself, the author of nature. Therefore it is a more high and transcendent thing, of a sublimer nature than all the arts and sciences among men. Those reach but to some resemblance of the wisdom of God, expressed in his works,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Wicked Husbandmen.
"Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: and when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto
William Arnot—The Parables of Our Lord

Letter xix (A. D. 1127) to Suger, Abbot of S. Denis
To Suger, Abbot of S. Denis He praises Suger, who had unexpectedly renounced the pride and luxury of the world to give himself to the modest habits of the religious life. He blames severely the clerk who devotes himself rather to the service of princes than that of God. 1. A piece of good news has reached our district; it cannot fail to do great good to whomsoever it shall have come. For who that fear God, hearing what great things He has done for your soul, do not rejoice and wonder at the great
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

First Sunday in Lent
Text: Second Corinthians 6, 1-10. 1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain 2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, and in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation): 3 giving no occasion of stumbling in anything, that our ministration be not blamed; 4 but in everything commending ourselves, as ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Covenanting a Privilege of Believers.
Whatever attainment is made by any as distinguished from the wicked, or whatever gracious benefit is enjoyed, is a spiritual privilege. Adoption into the family of God is of this character. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power (margin, or, the right; or, privilege) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."[617] And every co-ordinate benefit is essentially so likewise. The evidence besides, that Covenanting
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Christ's Prophetic Office
'The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet,' &c. Deut 18:85. Having spoken of the person of Christ, we are next to speak of the offices of Christ. These are Prophetic, Priestly, and Regal. 'The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet.' Enunciatur hic locus de Christo. It is spoken of Christ.' There are several names given to Christ as a Prophet. He is called the Counsellor' in Isa 9:9. In uno Christo Angelus foederis completur [The Messenger of the Covenant appears in Christ alone].
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

A Treatise of the Fear of God;
SHOWING WHAT IT IS, AND HOW DISTINGUISHED FROM THAT WHICH IS NOT SO. ALSO, WHENCE IT COMES; WHO HAS IT; WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS; AND WHAT THE PRIVILEGES OF THOSE THAT HAVE IT IN THEIR HEARTS. London: Printed for N. Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, over against the Stocks market: 1679. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and "a fountain of life"--the foundation on which all wisdom rests, as well as the source from whence it emanates. Upon a principle
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

That the Employing Of, and Associating with the Malignant Party, According as is Contained in the Public Resolutions, is Sinful and Unlawful.
That The Employing Of, And Associating With The Malignant Party, According As Is Contained In The Public Resolutions, Is Sinful And Unlawful. If there be in the land a malignant party of power and policy, and the exceptions contained in the Act of Levy do comprehend but few of that party, then there need be no more difficulty to prove, that the present public resolutions and proceedings do import an association and conjunction with a malignant party, than to gather a conclusion from clear premises.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

History of the Interpretation.
1. AMONG THE JEWS. This History, as to its essential features, might, a priori, be sketched with tolerable certainty. From the nature of the case, we could scarcely expect that the Jews should have adopted views altogether erroneous as to the subject of the prophecy in question; for the Messiah appears in it, not in His humiliation, but in His glory--rich in gifts and blessings, and Pelagian self-delusion will, a priori, return an affirmative answer to the question as to whether one is
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

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