Last week, I told you that our next section in Isaiah was
Chapters 28-37 and that it mainly deals with the events around the Assyrians.
However, there are several prophecies about other things some of which point to
the time of Christ. Last week, we looked at Chapter 28 Ė 29. Tonight we will be
looking at Chapters 30-37. Obviously, I will not have enough time to cover
every verse, so I will have to summarize a few of these chapters. However, we
will start out by looking at the entirety of Chapters 30-31, which talks about
"Woe to the rebellious children," says the LORD, "Who take
counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, That they
may add sin to sin;† 2 Who
walk to go down to Egypt, And have not asked My advice, To strengthen
themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, And to trust in the shadow of
Egypt!† 3 Therefore the
strength of Pharaoh Shall be your shame, And trust in the shadow of
The Jews were making the
same mistake the Joshua did when he did not inquire of the Lord first when the
We must learn to never put all our trust and hope in the way of man. Instead our hope and trust should always be in the Lord.
Isaiah 30:8 Now go,
write it before them on a tablet, And note it on a scroll, That it may be for
time to come, Forever and ever:† 9
That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will
not hear the law of the LORD;† 10
Who say to the seers, "Do not see," And to the prophets, "Do not
prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.† 11 Get out of the way, Turn aside
from the path, Cause the Holy One of
This is a pathetic time in the history of Godís people because they did not want to hear the truth because they liked the sound of a lie. They did not want to hear that they needed to change their ways or that they would be punished for it. Instead, they wanted to hear that everything will be fine and what they are doing is fine. Does this sound familiar to you today? It certainly does for me because there are many in this world that will call themselves Christian, yet they do not want obey what Godís Word says. They want to do things their way and think their ok. They do not want to hear that what they are doing is a sin and that God will punish them for it. As Paul told Timothy:
2 Timothy 4:2 †Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.† 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;† 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Whether they want to hear it or not, Isaiah tells them the consequence of their rebellions nature:
Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: "Because you despise this
word, And trust in oppression and perversity, And rely on them,† 13 Therefore this iniquity shall
be to you Like a breach ready to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose breaking
comes suddenly, in an instant.† 14
And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter's vessel, Which is broken
in pieces; He shall not spare. So there shall not be found among its fragments
A shard to take fire from the hearth, Or to take water from the cistern."† 15 For thus says the Lord GOD, the
Holy One of
He lets them know that if
they would put their faith and trust in the Lord instead of themselves and
other nations like
As part of Isaiahís usual form, he now gives his people a glimmer of hope for the future.
Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He
will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of
justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.† 19 For the people shall dwell in
God never intended for
His people to be completely destroyed, but He did allow them to face great
persecution from their enemies. He gave them many chances to change their ways.
He even saved
Next, Isaiah talks about
Isaiah 30:27 Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, Burning with His anger, And His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, And His tongue like a devouring fire.† 28 His breath is like an overflowing stream, Which reaches up to the neck, To sift the nations with the sieve of futility; And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, Causing them to err.† 29 ∂ You shall have a song As in the night when a holy festival is kept, And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, To come into the mountain of the LORD, To the Mighty One of Israel.† 30 The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard, And show the descent of His arm, With the indignation of His anger And the flame of a devouring fire, With scattering, tempest, and hailstones.† 31 For through the voice of the LORD Assyria will be beaten down, As He strikes with the rod.† 32 And in every place where the staff of punishment passes, Which the LORD lays on him, It will be with tambourines and harps; And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.† 33 For Tophet was established of old, Yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made it deep and large; Its pyre is fire with much wood; The breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, Kindles it.
Though God used the
Assyrians to carry out his punishment on His people, they would not be allowed
to take of over
Chapter 31 is a short reemphasis of Chapter 30.
Isaiah 31:1 Woe
to those who go down to Egypt for help, And rely on horses, Who trust in
chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very
strong, But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the LORD!† 2 Yet He also is wise and
will bring disaster, And will not call back His words, But will arise against
the house of evildoers, And against the help of those who work iniquity.† 3 Now the Egyptians are men,
and not God; And their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD
stretches out His hand, Both he who helps will fall, And he who is helped will
fall down; They all will perish together.†
4 For thus the LORD has spoken to me: "As a lion roars,
And a young lion over his prey (When a multitude of shepherds is summoned
against him, He will not be afraid of their voice Nor be disturbed by
their noise), So the LORD of hosts will come down To fight for
The main message is do not trust in man to deliver you, trust in God to deliver you. I like how he describes how God will protect them from the Assyrians. God will guard them like a lion does his prey. Though a bunch of shepherds come in and try and take the prey from the lion, they are not going to get it. He also uses birds flying about as example. I am sure we have all seen how birds will protect their nest, well God is not just going to protect them, He is going to deliver them.
Isaiah 31:6 Return to
Him against whom the children of
Just as Isaiah said, these Assyrians were not killed by a sword, but by the Angel of the Lord. This once mighty nation would eventually be overthrown and their people would become slaves. Most of the time the phrase ďin that dayĒ points to the time of Christ, but as it is used in our text, I believe it referring to when God strikes that mighty blow against the Assyrians. When that happens, Godís people will have their eyes open to the truth and realize that they need to throw away their useless idols because only God was able to deliver them.
When we think about our God and how powerful He is, we too should get rid of anything in our lives that we are putting above God. Sometimes this just means a change of attitude. Instead of resting your hope on man or worldly ways, rest your hope on God.
One thing I want to point out is that sometimes it can be challenging to figure out who Isaiah is specifically talking about because as we have already seen in our series sometimes his prophecies and can be speaking of something about to happen and also having its ultimate fulfillment in Christ and His kingdom. Well Chapter 32 is another one of these prophecies that people have different understandings on who is be spoken of. More specifically, I am talking about the first 8 verses:
Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, And princes will rule with justice.† 2 A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, And a cover from the tempest, As rivers of water in a dry place, As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.† 3 The eyes of those who see will not be dim, And the ears of those who hear will listen.† 4 Also the heart of the rash will understand knowledge, And the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly.† 5 The foolish person will no longer be called generous, Nor the miser said to be bountiful;† 6 For the foolish person will speak foolishness, And his heart will work iniquity: To practice ungodliness, To utter error against the LORD, To keep the hungry unsatisfied, And he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.† 7 Also the schemes of the schemer are evil; He devises wicked plans To destroy the poor with lying words, Even when the needy speaks justice.† 8 But a generous man devises generous things, And by generosity he shall stand.
Some believe this is
talking about King Hezekiah because he was indeed a righteous king according to
2 Kings 18:3-6. Others think it may point to King Josiah who was the last godly
However there are many prophecies made about Jesus and how He is a righteous King. We know that during His kingdom, peopleís eyes were open to the truth, and they were learning and understanding things that kings and prophets from the past wish they could seen an hear. As Jesus said:
Matthew 13:16 "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;† 17 "for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Whether this prophecy points to King Josiah or to Jesus Himself is not as important as the message that during that time people will have their eyes open to the truth. Yes, there will still be those that are foolish and practice iniquity, but there will also be those who are living righteously.
Next, Isaiah speaks against some women during his time:
Isaiah 32:9 Rise up, you women who are at ease, Hear my voice; You complacent daughters, Give ear to my speech.† 10 In a year and some days You will be troubled, you complacent women; For the vintage will fail, The gathering will not come.† 11 Tremble, you women who are at ease; Be troubled, you complacent ones; Strip yourselves, make yourselves bare, And gird sackcloth on your waists.† 12 People shall mourn upon their breasts For the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.† 13 On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers, Yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city;† 14 Because the palaces will be forsaken, The bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks --† 15 Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
Now we do not know the details
of why Isaiah addresses the women here, but he lets them know that their
complacency is going to bring about great sorry soon. We have to keep in mind
Verse 15 is another verse this is difficult to see if it is pointing to sometime when the Jews would return from captivity or it is talking about when God poured His Spirit out at the day of Pentecost. The remainder of the Chapter tells us what will happen as a result of God pouring out His Spirit:
Isaiah 32:16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, And righteousness remain in the fruitful field.† 17 The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.† 18 My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,† 19 Though hail comes down on the forest, And the city is brought low in humiliation.† 20 Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, Who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.†
Most conclude that this is talking about these things happening spiritually and physically. While I am sure when the Jews returned from their captivity that they experienced some spiritual peace from being right with God, we can easily see how this ultimately had its fulfillment in the time of Christ, because only He and His kingdom could offer complete spiritual peace and assurance. As Jesus said:
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Isaiah 33 has many
statements made directly towards the Assyrians and how they would not succeed
Isaiah 33:1 Woe to you who plunder, though you have not been plundered; And you who deal treacherously, though they have not dealt treacherously with you! When you cease plundering, You will be plundered; When you make an end of dealing treacherously, They will deal treacherously with you.†
Coffman Commentaries: The historical situation here is reflected in every line of the verse. Sennacherib had already destroyed the outlying cities of
I also like the following verses:
Isaiah 33:14 The
Though talking about
Starting in verse 17 through the end of the Chapter, Isaiah tells his people about the future and how they will see the beauty of their king and how they need to reflect on what God has done for them. This section of Scripture is another one that some believe is pointing to King Hezekiah and other believe it ultimately point to Jesus and His kingdom because only His kingdom will never broken as verse 20 talks about. The overall message is to put your trust in God because He will not fail you and your enemies will not succeed against you.
Chapter 34 is all about
Godís vengeance on the enemies of
Our final Chapter for tonight is Chapter 35. It is not very long so I want to read it to you:
Isaiah 35:1 The
wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall
rejoice and blossom as the rose;† 2
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory
This Chapter is message of hope that most believe is referring to glory of the church under Christ. I think Matthey Henry describes the meaning of this beautiful poem best, so I will read you what his thoughts were:
As after a prediction of God's judgments upon the world (ch. xxxiv.) follows a promise of great mercy to be had in store for his church (ch. xxxv.), so here after a black and dreadful scene of confusion in the foregoing chapter we have, in this, a bright and pleasant one, which, though it foretel the flourishing estate of Hezekiah's kingdom in the latter part of his reign, yet surely looks as far beyond that as the prophecy in the foregoing chapter does beyond the destruction of the Edomites; both were typical, and it concerns us most to look at those things which they were typical of, the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of heaven. When the world, which lies in wickedness, shall be laid in ruins, and the Jewish church, which persisted in infidelity, shall become a desolation, then the gospel church shall be set up and made to flourish. I. The Gentiles shall be brought into it, ver. 1, 2, 7. II. The well-wishers to it, who were weak and timorous, shall be encouraged, ver. 3, 4. III. Miracles shall be wrought both on the souls and on the bodies of men, ver. 5, 6. IV. The gospel church shall be conducted in the way of holiness, ver. 8, 9. V. It shall be brought at last to endless joys, ver. 10. Thus do we find more of Christ and heaven in this chapter than one would have expected in the Old Testament.
In conclusion, let us learn from the mistakes of the rebellions Jews during Isaiahís day and not rebel against God, but embrace His wisdom and live by it because as we have been seeing from Isaiahís many prophecies, they came true so we can indeed put our trust in God and everything His Word says. Thanks to God, you and I get to enjoy the blessing of being in Godís kingdom that was put into place by His Son. Let us never forget how good we have it in the Lord.