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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Isaiah 41



Verse 4


‘I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He.’

Isaiah 41:4

I. Look at God in His primary relation to His creature.—‘I the Lord, first.’ Understand clearly that everything which is was first an idea in the mind of God. Thence, by a creative act, it came forth and took form and being. So God was First, long before all His works—as the mould is before the castings. Here is the truth and glory of predestination, that great argument of all comfort. It places God far away, beyond our little horizon, in advance of everything. Whatever is, is to fulfil its preordained purpose; each thing coming up and rising in its turn; everything a reflection of the eternal love, care, and wisdom, which dwelt from everlasting in the mind of God.

II. ‘With the last.’—God is the God of the years that are past. There are those who say, ‘This world is on the decline and growing worse.’ Can it be, if He Who was first is with the last—the same God yesterday, to-day, and for ever, the equal portion of all times? Is it not sufficient argument? The golden age cannot be over. From the fleeting and the changing, from the disappointing and the dying, I yearn to ask, ‘Where is the true?’ Where is that which my soul wants, and for which my restless spirit has so long been craving? what shall satisfy my immortality? And the answer comes, as a whisper in the desert, louder and clearer from the solitude of my heart’s waste places, ‘I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He.’

Verse 17


‘When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them.’

Isaiah 41:17

I. We have the sympathy and help of God before we are conscious of our need of them.

II. We have that same sympathy and help to enjoy, when from sense of need we begin to seek them.

III. Still more richly are they ours when we are too low, too weak to seek for them.

IV. We may expect the sympathy and help of God from most unlikely sources.


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Isaiah 41:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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