GOOD MORNING, SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Isaiah 28-30
Isaiah 28 begins a new series of prophecies from this book and boy did I see our present day in them.
Isaiah 28:1-4 Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim… This was a very real problem at the time and we’ll read today that the drunkards were actually priests, prophets, leaders, government officials, etc.
I can’t help, though, but see the drunkards of Ephraim as very symbolic as I see so many parallels to us today in this passage. Again, I see this as repetitive prophecy, it came true in Isaiah’s time but is also foreshadowing things to come. This drunkenness being referenced is a literal problem. But it also denotes people who are complacent, not striving to please the Father but rather, absorbed with pleasing themselves and content that their own wisdom and righteousness exceeds that of YHWH.
Isaiah 28:9 It is important to note that the drunkards are mocking Isaiah for his knowledge and wisdom. They are implying that his teachings are so simple that they must be directed to the simple minded while they, themselves, are far greater thinkers than he and those Isaiah might teach cannot possibly understand the depth of things as they do.
The irony is that they mock Him by saying his teaching is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little. And this is exactly how the Father has His Word set up to teach us! He is loving, patient, and offers us the ability to learn bit by bit, each progressive bit of knowledge building upon the previous. This is how we learn of His ways.
THIS is why it is so important to read the WHOLE Bible, building that foundation of Scriptural knowledge that all of the prophets and our Messiah taught from first, and letting the books that contain YHWH’s very voice speak first (this is our foundation). Otherwise we cannot understand or hold in proper context the last 1/4 of the book.
This same phrase they used to mock Isaiah shows their path to condemnation.
The word of YHWH came to them, bit by bit, bit by bit, line by line, teaching upon teaching – and all of this they rejected, regardless of the repetitive warnings and attempt to bring them around and so we see the Father saying this and the end result of their continued hard heartedness and pride:
And the word of YHWH will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Isaiah 28:12
Isaiah 28:13 is heartbreaking. Not only have people turned from YHWH and His wonderful covenants, but they have made their own covenants with things that will ultimately lead to their destruction, referred to in this passage as covenants of death. This leads me to evaluate and look at my life, examining to see what I hold holy. True holiness only comes from the Father but so often we create our own counterfeit holy things and hold those higher than our regard for the Father’s wisdom, teaching, and commandments.
I have held many things as holy in my life that were counterfeit all along. As in Isaiah 28:15, often we make lies our refuge and falsehood our shelter.
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the overwhelming whip passes through
it will not come to us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
and in falsehood we have taken shelter” Isaiah 28:15
BUT A GREAT HOPE ARISES in Isaiah 28:16 as we see clear allusions to Messiah!
(Check out Matthew 21:42, Eph 2:20, 1 Peter 2:7 for great confirmations of this where we see Messiah quoting or alluding to these verses. )
The Father, having been a God of grace from the beginning of time, offers us Messiah and then says in Isaiah 28:18 “Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand.”
He will break the bonds…IF we turn to Him and repent.
Isaiah 28:22 warns
“Therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong.”
He goes on to show more of His wisdom, beseeching the reader to:
Give ear, and hear My voice; give attention, and hear My speech. Isaiah 28:23
So right there, He basically said, in four different ways, “LISTEN TO ME”.
Now recall that when YHWH calls us to listen to Him, it is always accompanied with an expected action. As frustrated parents often say to children who aren’t doing what they are told “I’m not just talking to hear myself speak…”. When the Father calls us to listen, He is also expecting us to DO based upon what we heard.
Isaiah 29:11 speaks of a spiritual blindness that is upon the people due to their own behavior, arrogance, and many other factors which we are about to read about.
11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.” Isaiah 29:11
- They can hold the book and not know what it means.
- Attempt to read it and be as unsuccessful as if they were illiterate.
Many of us have experienced this spiritual blindness at some point in our lives but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the seal is broken and the words form together to make sense when we apply ourselves diligently to the word. Of course, sometimes things need to marinate a little longer and there are some things which the Father expects us to put in our back pocket until He brings them to light.
Now, lets see what caused this spiritual blindness in them:
And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”
Ah, you who hide deep from YHWH your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding” Isa 29:13-16
Wow. This was a tough one to read. People honor me with their lips while their hearts are far from me. This brings to mind what Messiah said in Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who break God’s laws’”
Can you imagine being rejected by Messiah? Knowing His name, having it on your lips daily, and then to find that we have not been walking in a way that would cause HIM to know US? ~insert gut punch here~
That last line in Isaiah 29:16. “Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?” That really jumped out at me because so often we do just that. We look to the Father and try to reshape Him to better fit who we want Him to be rather than allowing Him to reshape us to better fit who He intended us to be. We turn things upside down, just as the Father states in the sentence directly before asking if the potter should be regarded as the clay.
AND AGAIN THERE IS HOPE!
“In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in YHWH and the humble among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 29:18
YES! THIS WAS ME! THIS WAS ME! I was deaf to Him but now I hear Him, I was blind, utterly blind, but now I SEE because HE has brought light into the darkness, understanding into confusion, music into deafness, and I will shout His praises!
I want to encourage and assure you that if you are here, reading through the entirety of His word, He has awakened you as well. This is a great movement of the Father spreading throughout our world. At a time in which evil seems to be spreading more than ever, His hand is steadfastly at work as well. This, dear brothers and sisters, is an exciting time to serve our King and what an overwhelming honor that we are each called to return to Him at a time such as this! I normally post this at the end of each chapters, but it is so timely today – Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!