An Admonition to the Wicked and a Message of Hope (Isaiah 59)

Scripture reading – Isaiah 59; Isaiah 60

Isaiah 59 serves as an indictment concerning the sins of Judah, and the effect and consequences of wickedness on a society. This is the first of two devotionals for today.

Isaiah 59

A Message of Hope (59:1-2)

Isaiah had prophesied the imminent judgment of the LORD for the sins of Judah. Isaiah 59, however, began with an invitation and message of exhortation: “1Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (59:1). Judah’s sins, however, had alienated God, and Isaiah warned: “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (59:2).

Tragic? Yes, but Isaiah 59:2 is indicative of the spiritual condition of all men and women! Paul reminded believers living in Rome, “There is none righteous, no, not one…23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23).

An Ugly Portrait of Man’s Sinful Condition (59:3-9)

Lest any of Judah dismiss the thought of their depravity, Isaiah painted a picture of that nation’s wickedness that sounded like the news headlines of our day. Murder and violence (“hands…defiled with blood,” 59:3a) lies and slander (59:3); injustice, deception, and dishonesty (59:4). Their words were like poison (59:5), and they lived under the delusion they might conceal their sins (59:6). Judean society was violent (59:6c), and they treated life with contempt (59:7a). They were guilty of waste and destruction (59:7b), and there was no peace or justice in the land (59:8).

The Effect of Sin Upon a Nation (59:9-11)

What becomes of a nation when its citizens turn from God? What consequences befall a society when its people reject God’s Law and Commandments? – Lawlessness (“judgment is far from us,” 59:9); despair (for “we grope for the wall like the blind,” 59:10a); spiritual blindness (“we stumble at noonday as in the night,” 59:10b); hostility (“we roar all like bears,” 59:11a); mourning (“mourn sore like doves,” 59:11b); and no justice, hope, or salvation (59:11c). Sadly, the consequences of sin are seen everywhere in our day.

Isaiah’s Spiritual Diagnosis (59:12-16)

Like a surgeon, the prophet cut to the heart of Judah’s spiritual degeneracy and moral depravity. Identifying with Judah’s transgressions, Isaiah confessed His people’s sins (59:12), hypocrisy (59:13), and rejection of truth (59:14). Not only had they failed to abide by God’s truth, they had persecuted the righteous (59:15).

Closing thoughts – Isaiah warned, “the Lord saw it [the sins of Judah], and it displeased him that there was no judgment [justice]” (59:15). Though there was none who interceded for Judah, Isaiah promised the LORD would provide a Redeemer and He would “come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob” (59:16-20).

Who was the Redeemer? The LORD Jesus Christ, whose substitutionary atonement was described in Isaiah 53:12, where we read: “He hath poured out his soul unto death: And he was numbered with the transgressors; And he bare the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors” (53:12b).

Is Christ your Savior, Redeemer?

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith