Isaiah 58:9
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry out, and He will say, 'Here I am.' If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and malicious talk,
Conditions of Answer to PrayerR. Tuck Isaiah 58:9
Religion: its Semblance, its Substance, its RewardW.M. Statham Isaiah 58:1-12
True and Spurious FastingE. Johnson Isaiah 58:1-12
Philanthropic PietyHomilistIsaiah 58:5-9
The Fast Which God has ChosenH. Linton, M. A.Isaiah 58:5-9
A Healthy ChurchJ. Williams.Isaiah 58:8-14
Break Forth as the DawnProf. J. Skinner,D. D.Isaiah 58:8-14
God the RewarderIsaiah 58:8-14
The Secret of Prosperity to Nations, Churches, and MenR. Paisley.Isaiah 58:8-14
Creed and Outward Ordinances not the Supreme ThingsS. Martin.Isaiah 58:9-11
God's Wonderful Response to His People's PrayersIsaiah 58:9-11
One Path to ProsperityS. Martin.Isaiah 58:9-11
OppressionS. Martin.Isaiah 58:9-11
Putting Forth of the FingerJ. A. Alexander.Isaiah 58:9-11
Were these men, whose lives were spent for self, but who made a show of seeming to want God, proper persons to receive answers to their prayers? Let the Apostle James answer. "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3). God wants signs of right character in those whose petitions he grants; for such character is the only guarantee that what he gives is rightly accepted and rightly used. Here with special reference to the particular sins of the age, we have these conditions laid down.

1. Ceasing from stern and cruel dealings with those who serve us. "Take away the yoke" (see ver. 6).

2. Taunts of those who are recognized as the faithful servants of God, but de not make just the same expression of their piety that we do. "Putting forth the finger;" a gesture of derision. "Indicative of mockery and insolence towards the pious and persisting part of the nation" (Matthew Arnold).

3. Boasting. A spirit of self-satisfaction, which is quite inconsistent with any approach to God with expressions of need and fervent desires. "Speaking vanity." While these evils must be put away, it is made a further condition of answer to prayer, that he who prays shall be positively set upon doing good, caring for the hungry and the afflicted. As the immediate reference is to the prayers offered on the national fast-days, this homily may be made to hear specially upon national days of humiliation, Lenten times, etc. Such times are useful, and are necessary. They are called for by the Divine judgments. But the special danger of them is insincerity. The special condition of their acceptance with God is national turning from sin to righteousness and charity. Therefore, at such seasons, the work of God's ministers is to produce due convictions of national sins. Our Lord taught conditions of prayer for his individual disciples, in his sermon on the mount. "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." - R.T.

Then shalt thou call.
When God calls to us by His Word, it becomes us to say, "Here we are; what saith our Lord unto His servants?" But that God should say to us, "Behold Me, here I am," is strange. When we cry to Him, as if He were at a distance, He will let us know that He is near, even at our right hand, nearer than we thought He was. "It is I, be not afraid." When danger is near, our Protector is nearer, a very present help. "Here I am," ready to give you what you want, and do for you what you desire. What have you to say to Me? God is attentive to the prayers of the upright (Psalm 130:2). No sooner do they call to Him, but He answers, Ready, ready. Wherever they are praying, God saith, Here I am hearing; I am in the midst of you, nigh unto them in all things (Deuteronomy 4:7).

( M. Henry.)

If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke.
In the figures implied the prophet represents extreme adversity; and by metaphors which he distinctly puts forth he describes renewed prosperity; and he connects the marvellous change from the deepest adversity to the highest prosperity with the avoidance or laying aside of three sins which then beset the people of God, and with the performance of two ordinary duties.

1. The besetting sins.(1) Oppression "If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke," i.e. oppression.(2) Scorn and contempt. "The putting forth of the finger" is the spirit that speaks in the, "Thou fool!"(3) "And speaking vanity" — evil speaking generally.

2. The duties.(1) "And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul" — i.e. give, serve, minister, according as men about you have need, and according as you have ability and opportunity.(2) "And satisfy the afflicted soul" — i.e. visit the widow and fatherless in their affliction — comfort those that mourn — endeavour according to your power to wipe away the tears from the eyes of all the sorrowful.

(S. Martin.)

The oppression of others is an early sin, a sin which you often see rampant among children — among very little children. Oppression is a household sin, it will be found more or less in almost every family. There may be some cases where it is not, but they are decided exceptions. And it is a sin in connection with all family relations. The godly husband is charged to love the wife even as himself, and even as Christ loveth the Church; but there are many husbands — some: professing. . to be Christ's disciples — who are the wretched oppressors of wives. Oppression Is a household sin — seen in parents — seen in brothers and sisters — seen in the husband. And it is a social sin — seen in all the walks of life.

1. Especially where men employ each other, and take advantage of each other's skill, and of each other's strength. It is a national sin — seen more or less in all rulers; and an international sin — seen in the conduct of nations to each other. Manifestly, therefore, a very common sin is this putting on of the yoke — seen where men have no right to put on the yoke at all; and seen in a heavy yoke where men have only the right to put on a light yoke, and they impose a heavy yoke; and seen in thus keeping on of the yoke after the yoke should be removed.

(S. Martin.)

1. Nothing is here said about this people having declined from religious belief, or in this case from the observance of religious rites. God had to find fault with them on these grounds, but what I want you to notice is, that God is not speaking of such declension here. What does this show? It shows that a man, so far as the creed on his lip is concerned, may maintain his orthodoxy, and that a man, so far as religious ordinances are concerned, may maintain his devoutness, and yet have a heart thoroughly declining from God's statutes.

2. There is an eternal connection between righteousness and blessedness.

3. The true state of individual saints and of congregations of saints is light, not obscurity; brightness, not dulness; happiness, not misery; spiritual health, not moral sickness; usefulness, not sterility and barrenness; continuance, not declension.

(S. Martin.)

A gesture of derision. Hence the middle finger is called by Persius, digitus infamis.

(J. A. Alexander.)

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