Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Isaiah 5-8
I LOVE ME SOME ISAIAH! almost as much as I love Deuteronomy. Almost.
Our reading today begins with a beautiful, albeit sad, parable whereas the Father has provided ideal conditions for His vineyard and yet it produces wild grapes – This is, of course, an allegory of the Father providing such ideal conditions for Israel and Israel still going their own way despite His attentive and generous efforts.
A few years ago in the group, someone said they hope they will be able to discern between history and prophecy in this book and I found myself nodding when I read her comment – as I hope we can do that as well! I think most of it parallels on both levels, both history and prophecy. As the quote goes “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” or a newer version that I think more aptly applies to us “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”
The thing about Isaiah is that when the prophet is discussing the things that Israel has done in response to YHWH’s great blessings, the parallels between Israel and us today are so obvious and bear so many likenesses that it is difficult to remember we are reading history, not prophecy. Therefore, given the state of our world and culture at this point in history, we have a more difficult time discerning prophetic from history because history is in the process of repeating itself. However, we will most assuredly stop, take notice, and discuss obvious prophecy when we see it.
Interesting facts for people who like to know stuff:
Isaiah 5:10 The measurements of bath and ephah are given. A bath equals about 4 and a half gallons and an ephah is just barely over 6 gallons. This is a minuscule amount for ten acres to yield, especially when you consider how much physical labor went into tending it in that time.
Isaiah 5:13 really stuck out to me personally. “Therefore my people go into exile for lack of knowledge; their honored men go hungry. and their multitude is parched with thirst.”
Why did this stand out? These are not just any people. These are people that YHWH is calling “My people”. This is what most of us today would consider “the church”.
Take this verse and think of that in place of “my people” and ruminate on that a moment. Now go back to that statistic I quote so much where a couple of years ago a study showed that less than 17% of all professed Christians read the Bible on a regular basis. I’m afraid far fewer than that consider it to be authoritative. Which means they don’t believe the Word of God is relevant in this day and in their lives.
And NOW read that verse again, with all of that in mind.
Isaiah 5:24 goes along with this as well.
“For they have rejected the law of the YHWH and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel…”
•If you want an interesting (and relevant) rabbit trail, check out this portion of the verse in interlinear on biblehub and see what word they use for “law”, then pursue that a bit to see what it means.
•The word they used for “despised” actually means to spurn or treat with contempt. I think this makes a little more sense and adds a more relatable layer for us in modern day times.
•There is not a time in my life in which I would say I despised the Word of YHWH but if you ask me if I ever spurned it or treated it with contempt – Yes siree, I hate to say it but I sure have done that!
It feels like a gut punch to even read about it, knowing now how I have grieved the Father and knowing still that there are so many things I have to learn. But I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all of my heart! I know I am covered in Grace and that He is guiding me as a patient and loving Father as I study His word and seek to line my life up with it.
Chapter 7, do you see the prophecy of Messiah?
In Isaiah 7:14 we see the text say that His name shall be “Immanuel”, which means God is with us. This prophecy was given to Ahaz, king of Judah, as a means of comforting him during a time of uncertainty. So while Messiah was given a different name (Yeshua means God is our Salvation), the truth of the statement still stands and served to comfort Ahaz by knowing that God would most certainly be with them at the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Isaiah 7:16 prophecies about Messiah eating curds and honey when He is old enough to know good from evil (no longer a baby but a child). Many see that and automatically think of them as rich foods so they see a time of wellness for the land and the people but if we read the statement directly following in 7:16 “16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.” We can see that many scholars see this as prediction of a time of scarcity in which a child would have to eat foraged food. I’m not trying to tell you which one is right, just that there are different ways to look at it.
Isaiah 8:11-18 is a beautiful set of directions from the Father.
11 For YHWH spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But YHWH of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”
16 Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. 17 I will wait for YHWH, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.
I have to tell you, as I am writing this in April of 2020, I’ve been very disheartened by the behavior of Believers in spreading conspiracy theories, lambasting those who see things different from them, and generally sowing and watering seeds of discord during a time in our world where the light of the Father should be shining at it’s brightest among us. In times of darkness, when people are without hope, they look to Believers where they normally would not. This is an opportunity and for many of us, it is being missed. The Father has placed each of His people at a station and given us each a job to do, but the adversary has doubled up on his efforts to distract us from that post and he has been widely successful.
The world may appear to be falling apart, but we know there is another kingdom to come. Our faith in government, entities, mankind, and the economy may be shaken – but our faith should have never been in those things anyway so more is the blessing that causes us to awaken from the stupor. Do not fear what they fear. Let Him be our fear. Let Him be our hope. You don’t strengthen a muscle by never using it, that is how you bring on atrophy. Now is the time to be working out these faith muscles so that the Father will redeem this time by proving us closer to Him and more rooted in His assurance on the other side.
Isaiah 8:17 if you’re confused by the reference to the house of Jacob, remember what YHWH changed Jacob’s name to and it all makes sense again. Keep in mind that what is often rare knowledge among believers today would have been common place in this time and, as YHWH wills it, this will become commonplace again among our families. Also, remember that we are adopted into this family as well. We can’t claim our family affiliation when the blessings are handed out and then distance ourselves when it is time for correction.
You know back in Isaiah 5:24 when I had you look up the original word for “law” in that verse? In Isaiah 8:16 we see that original word again, only this time it is translated as “the teaching”. (Isaiah uses this word often, I’m just focusing on these two instances by happenstance) However, if you look at the interlinear you’ll see that originally the same word was in both places and it was translated differently. This was done to help with understanding but it is also helpful to take the time to understand the fullness of the original word. When we do that, we can end up getting far more out of scripture.
Isaiah 8:19 And when they say to you,“Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter. Should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?”BAM. WOW.
Of course, this is not the first time the Father has told us not to consult with the dead, fortune tellers, card readers, mediums, and any other number of things we use. But the contrast here really drives it home. When we consult with those things we are showing that our faith in them is greater than our faith in the Father. It is important to realize that from the Father’s point of view, He considers this adultery committed against Him. Aside from that, it is a sin and we know better.
In most cases, we are just doing the best we can – but once we know better, He expects us to do better.
How wonderful that the Father cares enough about us to work on us!
Man y’all, there is so much already and we are just getting started. But just wait until we get even deeper. And as exciting as this is, do you realize that we went through a period of hundreds of years in which no prophecy was being fulfilled – generations who didn’t see prophecy come true in their lifetime?
But now WE are living in a time in which prophecy is being fulfilled again at a rapid pace – WE get to see it, and live it, and even be part of it!
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!