Friday January 18, 2019
ISA 28:9 "To whom would He teach knowledge? And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast?
ISA 28:10 "For He says, 'Order on order, order on order [command upon command], Line on line, line on line [verses upon verses], A little here, a little there [many writers].'"
ISA 28:11 Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
ISA 28:12 He who said to them, "Here is rest, give rest to the weary," And, "Here is repose," but they would not listen.
ISA 28:13 So the word of the Lord to them will be, "Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there, "That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared, and taken captive.
God doesn’t change the presentation of His word when it is rejected.
God doesn’t change. They reject His word given and He keeps giving it in the same fashion. I read about President Reagan’s ability to read a crowd when he was giving a speech. He was a master at it. He would change his tone or change the examples or the subject in order to pull the crowd to him. While this is an important strategy for a politician, it is not to be at all entertained by a teacher of God’s word. The pastor’s job, as well as anyone who is teaching another, is to lay out the plain truth about the truth, and nothing but the truth. If the crowd doesn’t like it, that’s on them. The pastor’s words are often unpopular because the hard truth is often unpopular. Teach the word in season and out of season.
ISA 28:14 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, O scoffers, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
ISA 28:15 Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact [alliance with other nations]. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception."
The king of Israel made a deal with Syria. The king of Judah made deals with both Assyrian and Egypt. Israel and Syria are going to be wiped out. Assyria and Egypt will not make good on their deals with Judah.
"And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
Israel will repeat this error after the Rapture of the church when they will make a treaty with the Beast, and thus, at that moment, their Tribulation will begin. Half way through the treaty, 3.5 years, the Beast will break it, as the Assyrians and Egyptians will also do to Ahaz.
It is here described by God as a deal with death and hell.
ISA 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord God,
"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
The writing of Isaiah in the first 39 chapters becomes for us a warning concerning the folly of trusting self rather than the omnipotent power of God.
To refuse God’s testimony regarding His Son is to deliberately choose everlasting judgment.
Yet, those in Israel who have refused the mark of the Beast during the Tribulation will wait for the Lord’s return. They will mourn for the One they have pierced and they will call for His salvation.
What a difference to being an elect, holy, royal priest. We are a nation of priests and the Lord is our cornerstone. We must avoid all the ways of death.
If any nation is judged due to the ways of the many numbers of unbelievers, and I am a believer in that nation, am I also doomed? I will suffer along with my neighbors, but I will not be judged part and parcel with the rest. Jesus Christ is the foundation stone of the house of God, the kingdom of God, and all who believe in Him will be in that house and kingdom forever.
PSA 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the Lord.
PSA 118:20 This is the gate of the Lord;
The righteous will enter through it.
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”
PSA 118:21 I shall give thanks to Thee, for Thou hast answered me;
And Thou hast become my salvation.
PSA 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.
PSA 118:23 This is the Lord's doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
PSA 118:24 This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
To refuse God’s testimony regarding His Son is to deliberately choose everlasting judgment.
There is a continued wonderful lesson in the rest of Isa 28.
ISA 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
ISA 28:17 "And I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the level; Then hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters shall overflow the secret place.
ISA 28:18 "And your covenant with death shall be canceled, And your pact with Sheol shall not stand; When the overwhelming scourge passes through, Then you become its trampling place.
ISA 28:19 "As often as it passes through, it will seize you. For morning after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night. And it will be sheer terror to understand what it means."
ISA 28:20 The bed is too short on which to stretch out, And the blanket is too small to wrap oneself in.
This such odd and yet wonderful imagery - uncomfortable in bed because it doesn’t fit you. Apostasy is a life that doesn’t fit any human being.
ISA 28:21 For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be stirred up as in the valley of Gibeon; To do His task, His unusual task, And to work His work, His extraordinary work.
David defeated the Philistines at Perazim. It was David’s first battle against them as king of Israel. The word Perazim means “to bust forth.” David said that God had broken through them like a breakthrough of waters and so named the mount. Now God would bust through upon Israel, His own elected people. Soon after their defeat at Perazim, the Philistines attacked again in the same valley and David again routed them at Gibeon. Both times, the Lord had given the Philistines into David’s hands. (2SA 5:20-25; 1CH 14:11-16)
Yet, as God struck the Philistines, which we wouldn’t call strange, He now will strike Israel with the Assyrians, which God calls strange.
“unusual” - zar = strange, different, heterogenous, illicit.
“extraordinary” - nokriy = foreign, foreigner, strange, odd.
[Koehler & Baumgartner Hebrew Lexicon]
Though there isn’t a lot of commentary given on this by the prophet, the two modifiers to God’s work in judgment are synonyms meaning strange or foreign. It seems that God is describing His own work in judging His elect nation as odd, and all who are students of the word of God would agree and actually find relief in this. We don’t understand how the sovereign will of God and the free will of man can coexist, and God says, “Yeah, it’s odd.”
His unusual task is judgment. It is unusual to us as well. The God who desires all men to be saved, who is grieved over the stubborn heart of man, will judge all those who refuse to turn to Him and find life.
ISA 28:22 And now do not carry on as scoffers, Lest your fetters be made stronger; For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts, Of decisive destruction on all the earth.
ISA 28:23 Give ear and hear my voice, Listen and hear my words.
ISA 28:24 Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed? Does he continually turn and harrow the ground?
ISA 28:25 Does he not level its surface, And sow dill and scatter cummin, And plant wheat in rows, Barley in its place, and rye within its area?
ISA 28:26 For his God instructs and teaches him properly.
ISA 28:27 For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, Nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin; But dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club.
ISA 28:28 Grain for bread is crushed, Indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever. Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it, He does not thresh it longer.
ISA 28:29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts, Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.
Precious and important lessons are here drawn from the cultivation of herbs and cereals.
God must break man’s hard heart, plant His seed, cultivate virtue. How he does this with each man is different.
The land must be broken up. Man’s hard heart must be broken up for planting. After that the seed is cast in, and when the produce is ready for harvest, each one is dealt with according to its proper maturity and usage. Dill is not threshed with a sledge. The cartwheel is not driven over the cumin. These methods would destroy the product. So God knows how to break a stubborn heart and sow truth and then properly cultivate love, peace, joy, and strength. These will be brought forth abundantly if the man will allow God to do what is right or proper.
He does not deal with all of us in the same way. We are different herbs and different grains so to speak. Harder grains are dealt with differently than softer herbs. Don’t take the metaphor too far and attempt to discern if you are a hard grain or a soft herb. The point is that we are different.
We all enter the Christian life with different backgrounds, weakness, knowledge, handicaps, etc. Those who allow God to care for them as God wills and yields all to Him are promised that they will produce much fruit. Remember, the Father is the vinedresser and not you.
The Israel that Christ presented Himself to, stumbled also, but not in idol worship, rather, in self-worship - salvation by works.
ROM 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained [katalambano: to lay hold of] righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
ROM 9:31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
ROM 9:32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
ROM 9:33 just as it is written,
"Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed."
However, the believer has an eternal place in the house built on the corner stone.