Scripture reading – Isaiah 30; Isaiah 31

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Many of the chapters in the Book of Isaiah are lengthy and challenging. My goal is to balance devotion and commentary, and I pray my efforts provide clarity and insight into the Scripture.

Isaiah 30 – The Reproof of Judah for Trusting Egypt

The Foolishness of Those Who Trust in Men (Isaiah 30:1-7)

Isaiah 30 is a prophecy of woe against Jerusalem (i.e., Judah). Facing the threat of the Assyrian king (Sennacherib), the leaders of Judah foolishly turned to Egypt for help rather than the LORD (Isaiah 30:1-7). Incensed by Judah’s rejection of His love and compassion, Isaiah declared, “Woe to the rebellious children [Judah], saith the Lord, That take counsel, but not of me…2That walk to go down into Egypt [seeking aid], and have not asked at my mouth; To strengthen” (Isaiah 30:1-2).

Isaiah warned that because the leaders of Judah had turned to Pharaoh and sought safety “in the shadow of Egypt,” the nation would be humiliated and confused (Isaiah 30:3). The prophet foretold that Judah’s attempt to buy Egypt’s protection would be in vain (Isaiah 30:7). 

The Character of Judah and a Declaration of God’s Judgment (Isaiah 30:8-11)

The Character of Judah (Isaiah 30:8-11)

Isaiah 30:8-17 painted a graphic portrait of Judah’s rebellion against God. Because that nation rejected the words of the prophets, the LORD commanded Isaiah to “note in a book” the warning of His judgment (Isaiah 30:8).

Consider the character of Judah before God’s judgment fell upon them: They were rebellious, lying, and refusing to “hear the law of the LORD” (Isaiah 30:9). They were intolerant of the prophets’ words, and said, “Prophesy not unto us right things, Speak unto us smooth things, Prophesy deceits: 11Get you out of the way, Turn aside out of the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (Isaiah 30:10-11).

Is that not the sentiment of many who profess to be believers today? The congregations of the 21st century have little or no tolerance for God’s Word. In my opinion, the majority of churches are what Paul warned would be characteristic of the last days before Christ’s Second Coming: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts [carnal desires; whims] shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears [wanting to be pleased]; 4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [myths]” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

A Declaration of God’s Judgment (Isaiah 30:12-17)

For rejecting God’s Word and failing to turn to the LORD and trust Him, Judah would become a crumbling wall (Isaiah 30:13). The nation would be crushed like a broken shard of pottery (Isaiah 30:14). Yet, despite their sins, if the people had only returned to Him, the LORD would have extended His rest and peace (Isaiah 30:15). Judah, however, refused. The people boasted they would be swift and save themselves (Isaiah 30:16), but the LORD promised an enemy would be swifter (Isaiah 30:16-17).

An Offer of Grace and the Millennial Kingdom of Christ (Isaiah 30:18-26)

Understanding that prophecies often have both immediate and far-reaching implications, the prophet revealed the LORD’s promise to one day bless and restore Judah (Isaiah 30:18). We read, “Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: For theLord is a God of judgment: Blessed are all they that wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18).

I believe the Millennial Kingdom was the subject of Isaiah 30:19. Isaiah foretold the day when “the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem” (Isaiah 30:19a). When that day comes, God’s people will no longer weep and will enjoy His grace and favor. When they call upon Him, the LORD will hear and answer their prayers (Isaiah 30:19b). 

In the immediate, Judah faced a season of adversity, but the LORD promised He would send faithful “teachers” (Isaiah 30:20), who would teach the people, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21). What is the way of the LORD? It is His law and commandments (Exodus 20). When that day came, the prophet foretold that the people would destroy their idols (Isaiah 30:22), and the LORD would again make Israel fruitful (Isaiah 30:23-24).

Yet, the Millennial Kingdom will not come until after the “great slaughter” (which I believe will be the Battle of Armageddon, Isaiah 30:25). After that, the land will be blessed with streams of water, the moon and sun will be bright, and the light and glory of the LORD will fill the earth (Isaiah 30:26; Revelation 21:23; 22:5). Then, the LORD will heal the broken hearts and lift the spirits (Isaiah 30:26c).

“Through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down” (Isaiah 30:31)

God’s Promise to Destroy Assyria (Isaiah 30:27-33)


The prophets foretold, and history supports Assyria’s failure to defeat Judah and conquer Jerusalem. In the hour when all of Judah’s attempts to save herself failed, the LORD intervened, and His judgment passed over the Assyrian army like floodwaters (Isaiah 30:27-28). With their adversaries removed, Isaiah promised the people would rejoice in song and go up to Mount Zion to worship “the Mighty One of Israel” (Isaiah 30:29).

Isaiah declared that God would demonstrate His power and presence (Isaiah 30:30), and “Through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down” (Isaiah 30:31; 2 Kings 19; 2 Chronicles 32). “Tophet,” a symbol of hell that was located in the valley of Gehenna, reminds us that the lake of fire awaited not only the king of Assyria but all lost sinners (Revelation 20:5).


Isaiah 31


Isaiah 31 continued the LORD’s rebuke of Judah for turning to Egypt and trusting man to save the nation (Isaiah 31:1-2). We read, “Now the Egyptians are men and not God… they all shall fail together” (Isaiah 31:3). The LORD warned that He would come as a lion, roar against Assyria, and defend Jerusalem (Isaiah 31:4-5).

Our study closes with the LORD again extending to Judah an opportunity to repent and turn to Him (Isaiah 31:5-7). Assyria would be defeated, and the fire of God’s judgment consume them (Isaiah 31:8-9).


Closing thoughts –

Some reading this devotional may realize they are in the same miserable, backslidden state as Judah of old. Do you have an appetite for spiritual truth? Are you guilty of minimizing your sins? Do you justify your rebellion by blaming others? Have you lived in defiance of God’s Word and authority? 

As the LORD was patient and longsuffering with Judah, even so, He has been with you. Nevertheless, God is just; your sins will find you out if you do not repent (Numbers 32:23).

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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