The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
Here the Lord speaks of what He will do to these empty rule followers. He will ASTOUND them with wonder on wonder. Their wisdom will vanish; their intelligence become as nothing. God is flexing His muscle. I AM Who I AM, He says. I am not who you think I am.
vs. 5 and 6 In that day the LORD Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people. He will be a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate. A crowning glory to His remnant. vs. 16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” The precious cornerstone (Jesus) vs. 29 all this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom. Promises from the Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.
In the midst of the doom and gloom and destruction that is the fabric of Isaiah 28, there are gold, silver and precious threads woven – sparkling, precious reminders of the Amazing God who loves us. In Scrapbooking, we call these embellishments. In this passage, they are wonderful reminders: the God of magnificent wisdom and glory is watching over us.
When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them. For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor.
This is clear. These people do not acknowledge the existence of the Lord. They do not love Him or obey Him. Their lack of understanding does not change the truth. God IS their Maker. God IS their Creator. Think of today. People shake their fists at God, claim He doesn’t exist, hate Him and those who follow Him. It is a great, loud noise, but it does not change the facts: God IS their Creator.
We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.
What an incredible picture this is – a strong city, impenetrable, able to withstand not only the battles outside the walls, but also any within the walls. Salvation is the wall that surrounds the city, and makes it impossible for the enemy to enter. It is also salvation that fortifies the city within its own walls. We are secure in Christ. Our own individual cities are protected and sustained by the walls of salvation. The owner of our city is Christ; the mayor is the Holy Spirit. God is our governor. These truths make vs. 3 come alive. vs. 3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.
Praise and exaltation – for God in perfect faithfulness has done marvelous things: rescuing Israel over and over again, salvation for all including the Gentiles, destroying the death shroud and swallowing up death forever, bringing down the “bad guys”, those who celebrate evil. All of this deserves a song of praise, but mostly we should praise Him for Who He Is, and that He chose us. He is our God. What confidence, what trust we can have no matter what is happening in our world. For He has promised, therefore we know, that HE remains the same.
The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The LORD had spoken this word.
The LORD has spoken this word. Just as He has said He will destroy the earth, He has promised a new heaven and a new earth for those who love Him. (Revelation 21:1) The Sovereign Lord has said this. We believe it. Don’t fear the collapse of earth and society. Put hope in God and His promises.
At the end of seventy years, the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire as a prostitute and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the LORD; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the LORD; for abundant food and fine clothes.
Doomed to destruction in this prophecy of God, we see the wealth of the wicked, and their profit will not go to them, but will be used by God to provide for the people who live for God. This reminds me of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. God plundered the wealth of the Egyptians to care for His people. We need to remember this when it looks like the wicked are prospering. They may have money and power for a time, but in the end it all belongs to God and He will use it for His purposes.
Beware, the LORD is about to take firm hold of you and hurl you away, O you mighty man. He will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country. There you will die and there your splendid chariots will remain – you disgrace to your masters’s house! I will depose you from your office and you will be ousted from your position. In that day I will summon my servant Eliakim son Of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him.
If you ever doubted, who is in charge of the governing authorities in this world, this passage makes it pretty clear. The LORD is going to remove this man from a position of authority and honor, putting His own chosen man in the position of authority instead. This should give us great hope in our times. God is still on His throne, and still in charge!
The LORD, the God of Israel has spoken.
Whether a prophecy of destruction as we see in Chapter 21, or a promise such as the one in Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand, or the promise of salvation and eternal life, when the LORD, the God of Israel has spoken, it will be accomplished. Ps. 95: 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Then the LORD said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, …”
We see this in the book of Ezekial as well, where the prophet becomes the actual, physical representation of the humiliation that will befall a nation. Three years Isaiah bore the shame of nakedness, and he was a CHOSEN man of God. We are ambassadors for Christ. If He asks us to suffer for his name sake, shall we refuse, and kick against Him? Reminder: Isaiah was representing the interests of God; he spoke God’s words,; he preached God’s wisdom and proclaimed His glory.