FOLLOW THE LORD’S WILL
Isaiah 29:13-16;30:1-3,15-18 March 22 2009
The security of sinners in sinful ways, is cause for
lamentation and wonder. The learned men, through
prejudice, said that the Divine prophecies were obscure;
and the poor urged their want of learning. The Bible is a
sealed book to every man, learned or unlearned, till he
begins to study it with a simple heart and a teachable spirit,
that he may thence learn the truth and the will of God. To
worship God, is to approach him. And if the heart be full of
his love and fear, out of the abundance of it the mouth will
speak; but there are many whose religion is lip-labour only.
When they pretend to be speaking to God, they are thinking of
a thousand foolish things. They worship the God of Israel
according to their own devices. Numbers are only formal in
worship. And their religion is only to comply with custom,
and to serve their own interest. But the wanderings of mind,
and defects in devotion, which are the believer’s burden, are
very different from the withdrawing of the heart from God,
so severely blamed. And those who make religion no more than
a pretence, to serve a turn, deceive themselves. And as those
that quarrel with God, so those that think to conceal
themselves from him, in effect charge him with folly. But
all their perverse conduct shall be entirely done away.
1. THE SENSELESSNESS AND HYPOCRISY OF THE JEWS.
Isa. 29:13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me
with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their
hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only
of rules taught by men. 29:14 Therefore once more I will
astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom
of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent
will vanish.” 29:15 Woe to those who go to great depths to
hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness
and think, Who sees us? Who will know?” 29:16 You turn
things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like
the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, He
did not make me”? Can the pot say of the potter, He knows
Quoted in part by Jesus to show the hypocrisy of the
Pharisees (Matt 15:8-9). These people . Not “my people”
(Isa. 8:6,11-12; Jer 14:10-11; Hag 1:2). Quoted in part in
(1Co 1:19). Wonder upon wonder . He who showed them
wonders in the exodus (Ex 15:11; Psalms 78:12) will now
show them wonders in judgment. Wisdom . . . Will perish .
(isa. 44:25; Jer 8:9). Woe . A new woe begins
(Isa. 28:1-35:10). Their plans . Perhaps the alliance
between Ahaz and Assyria or between Hezekiah and Egypt
(Isa. 30:1-2). Who sees us ? ( Psalms 10:11). Quoted in
part in (Romans 9:20) the creation of Adam in
(Gen. 2:7; Isa 10:15).
2. THE JEWS REPROVED FOR SEEKING AID FROM EGYPT.
Isa. 30:1 “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the
LORD, to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon
sin; 30:2 who go down to Egypt without consulting me;
who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s
shade for refuge. 30:3 But Pharaoh’s protection will be
to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace.
Woe. (Isa. 28:1-35:10). Obstinate Children . (Isa,1:2 . Plans
. . . Not mine . (Isa. 29:15 ). Alliance. After Shabako became
pharaoh in 715 B.C., the smaller nations in Aram (Syria)
and Canaan sought his help against Assyria. Judah
apparently joined them (Isa. 20:5 ). My spirit . Who spoke
through his prophet. Hezekiah did this (2Kings 18:21).
Shade . A metaphor for a king as one who provides
protection (Jdg 9:15; La 4:20). The Lord should have been
Israel’s “shade” (Isa. 49:2; 51:16; Psalms 91:1; 121:5).
(Isa. 30:3,5) Shame . . . Disgrace . (Isa.20:4-5; Jdg 9:14-15) .
3. JUDGEMENTS IN CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR CONTEMPT
OF GOD’S WORD. (Isa. 30:15-18)
Isa. 30:15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One
of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in
quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have
none of it. 30:16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift
horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! 30:17
A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of
five you will all flee away, till you are left like a
flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.”
30:18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises
to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
(Isa.26:3). Repentance and Rest . The true way to salvation
and security. Horses . (Psalms 33:17). A thousand will flee .
A fulfillment of the curse of (Dt 32:30). Flagstaff . . . Banner.
(Isa. 5:26 ; isa. 1:8 ). Longs to be Gracious. After punishing
Israel, God will once again bless them (Isa.40:2).
It was often the fault and folly of the Jews, that
when troubled by their neighbours on one side, they sought
for succour from others, instead of looking up to God. Nor
can we avoid the dreadful consequences of adding sin to sin,
but by making the righteousness of Christ our refuge, and
seeking for the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. Men have
always been prone to lean to their own understandings, but
this will end in their shame and misery. They would not
trust in God. They took much pains to gain the Egyptians. The
riches so spent turned to a bad account. See what dangers
men run into who forsake God to follow their carnal
confidences. The Creator is the Rock of ages, the creature
a broken reed; we cannot expect too little from man, or too
much from God. Our strength is to sit still, in humble
dependence upon God and his goodness, and quiet submission
to his will.
The Jews were the only professing people God then
had in the world, yet many among them were rebellious. They
had the light, but they loved darkness rather. The prophets
checked them in their sinful pursuits, so that they could not
proceed without fear; this they took amiss. But faithful
ministers will not be driven from seeking to awaken sinners.
God is the Holy One of Israel, and so they shall find him. They
did not like to hear of his holy commandments and his hatred
of sin; they desired that they might no more be reminded of
these things. But as they despised the word of God, their sins
undermined their safety. Their state would be dashed in pieces
like a potter’s vessel. Let us return from our evil ways, and
settle in the way of duty; that is the way to be saved. Would
we be strengthened, it must be in quietness and in confidence,
keeping peace in our own minds, and relying upon God. They
think themselves wiser than God; but the project by which
they thought to save themselves was their ruin. Only here and
there one shall escape, as a warning to others. If men will not
repent, turn to God, and seek happiness in his favour and
service, their desires will but hasten their ruin. Those who
make God alone their confidence, will have comfort. God ever
waits to be gracious to all that come to him by faith in Christ,
and happy are those who wait for him.