Therefore thus said the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink…
This passage should be compared with Luke 6:20-26. "The blessedness of those that serve God, and the woeful condition of those that rebel against him, are here set, the one over against the other, that they may serve as a foil to each other."
I. CONTRAST THE TWO KINDS OF LIFE. The man who fears God and sets his heart upon serving him, finds the promises fulfilled - "Verily thou shalt be filled;" "None of them that trust in him shall be desolate." He may take his place in anxious and troublous times, but since he is God's servant, he shall be even as Elijah, fed by ravens, or by poor widows, if need be. The man who fears not God is left to ordinary human devices, and may be left hungry and thirsty and desolate. He holds no guarantee. The Giver of all good is under no covenant-pledge to see that he wants no good thing. "God's servants shall eat and drink; they shall have the bread of life to feed, to feast upon continually, and shall want nothing that is good for them. But those who set their hearts upon the world, and place their happiness in it, shall be hungry and thirsty, always empty, always craving. In communion with God and dependence upon him there is full satisfaction; but in sinful pursuits there is nothing but dissatisfaction and disappointment."
II. CONTRAST THE TWO KINDS OF DISPOSITIONS. Trust in God brings peace and heart-rest. Those who know what soul-rest is, find it easy to sing and give thanks. "The joy of the Lord is their strength." There is good cheer and high hope in their souls. "God's servants shall rejoice and sing for joy of heart; they have constant cause for joy, and there is nothing that may be an occasion of grief to them but may have an allay sufficient for it. But, on the other hand, they that forsake the Lord shut themselves out from all true joy, for they shall be ashamed of their vain confidence in themselves, and their own righteousness, and the hopes they had built thereon. When the expectations of bliss, wherewith they had flattered themselves, are frustrated, oh, what confusion will fill their faces!" (Matthew Henry). "The joy of the world resembles a torrent. As upon a glut of rain, you shall have a torrent come rolling along with noise and violence, overflowing its banks, and bearing all before it; yet it is but muddy and impure water, and it is soon gone and dried up: such is all the joy this world can give. It makes a great noise, it is commonly immoderate, and swells beyond its due bounds; yet it is but a muddy and impure joy; it soon roils away, and leaves nothing behind but a drought in the soul. Now, since the world's joy is but such a poor empty thing as this, it is most gross folly for us to lay out our best love upon that which cannot repay us with the best joy" (Bishop Hopkins). - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
WEB: Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, "Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be disappointed;