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ISAIAH 50:11

Brother Beebe: Please give your views on Isaiah 50:11: “Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.”

Bartholomew Co., Indiana.

Reply: This text and the preceding verse was addressed to Israel, and not, as many have supposed, the first to Israel and the last to an opposite character. They contain a lesson of instruction and admonition to God’s people, when under the trial of darkness and temptation. “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, and obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light.” Such trials are not known to any other than God’s children, who have passed from death unto life, in whose heart the fear of God is implanted. It is frequently their lot to so walk, having no light, and it is important that they be instructed how to deport themselves in their tried condition; and as it is natural for them at such times to set about kindling a fire to warm and enlighten themselves by a course of means of their own invention, which are not divinely authorized, they are admonished that all the means they can employ, all the fires they can kindle, however brilliant or glowing they may seem for the present, are deceitful, and will in the end bring the chastising hand upon them, and from his hand they shall lie down in sorrow. Not that they shall finally perish in hell, or lie down finally under his wrath, for he will not be wroth with them, nor in that sense rebuke them, but he will give them to see and feel that in their efforts to derive light and comfort from their own resources, they have departed from their confidence alone in God, and when they have thus betrayed a confidence in their own contrivances, they shall feel his rod. Instead of resorting to their own works for light and comfort, the direction is, “Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” For the apostle says, “We are the circumcision which worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” For the saints then to trust to their own ingenuity and industry, will assuredly bring sorrow upon them, while they that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.

Middletown, N. Y.
April 1, 1859.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 4
Pages 213 – 214