Friday, February 10, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Isaiah 29-33
To understand Isaiah 29, when you read “Ariel”, think of Jerusalem for we read that Ariel was “the city where David dwelt” (29:1). Isaiah 29:1-14 is the prophet’s warning of God’s imminent judgment against the city of Jerusalem, Judah’s capital.
The breadth of God’s wrath against His people for their sin is described in graphic detail. Distress, mourning, besieged, brought to dust all describe a historical event that took place in 701 B.C. when Assyria took Israel (the northern ten tribes) into captivity and almost defeated Jerusalem as well. Knowing that prophecy often has an immediate and a far-reaching application, I believe these verses are descriptive of the siege of the nations against Jerusalem (29:7-8) during the “battle of Armageddon” (Zechariah 14:1-3; Revelation 14:14-20; 16:13-21).
Isaiah 29:15-24 serves as a reminder that the God of Heaven is Sovereign Creator and nothing escapes His knowledge or is beyond His control. God’s people were foolish; somehow thinking the LORD had no knowledge of their schemes, plans, and sins committed in secret (29:15). Isaiah reasoned, no more than the potter’s clay can rise up against the potter, how foolish for man to assert of God, “He made me not?” (29:16). Let us not be so foolish to think that we are not ourselves guilty of trifling with the Omniscience and Sovereignty of God.
Isaiah 29:17-24 is, in my thoughts, a picture of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom when He sets up His earthly kingdom after His Second Coming and rules and reigns upon the earth in Jerusalem. In that day, Isaiah prophesies the desert of Lebanon will thrive with fruit (29:17), the deaf will hear, the blind will see (29:18) and the meek and poor will rejoice (29:18). What a glorious day that will be!
Isaiah 30 is a prophecy of woe against Jerusalem because, rather than turning from her sin and back to the LORD, the people turned to Pharaoh and Egypt for deliverance from her enemies (30:1-7). Isaiah prophesies Judah’s attempt to purchase Egypt’s protection would all be in vain (30:7).
Isaiah 30:8-17 paints a graphic portrait of Judah’s rebellion against God and His Word. The LORD commands Isaiah to write as a memorial God’s warning of judgment (30:8) and the rebellious nature of the people… “lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD” (30:9).
How like our day when professing Christians and American churches have no tolerance for God’s Truth, but will gather by the thousands to hear “smooth things” from the lips of modern-day false preachers like Joel Osteen (30:10-11)! Paul, describing the last days before Christ’s Second Coming writes:
2 Timothy 4:3-4 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Someone reading this devotional may realize, like Judah of old, you are in the same miserable, backslidden condition as Judah before God’s judgment…lacking an appetite for spiritual truth…minimizing your sins, rationalizing your rebellion and living in defiance of God’s authority. Remember, like the father of the prodigal son, God waits for you to turn from your sin to Him (Luke 15:17-24).
Isaiah 30 closes with a promise of God’s grace and Judah’s restoration (30:18-26) in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 19:11-21).
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith