Isaiah 1-2

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Greetings!

Isaiah

1     The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Isaiah’s tenure as a prophet covered the reigns of many kings.

He launches into a critique of a sinful country:

A Rebellious Nation

2 Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth!

For the Lord has spoken:

“I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.

3 The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manger,

but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”

4 Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt,

a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption!

They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel

and turned their backs on him.

5 Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion?

Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted.

6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head

there is no soundness— only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.

7 Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire;

your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you,

laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.

8 The Daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,

like a hut in a field of melons, like a city under siege.

9 Unless the Lord Almighty had left us some survivors,

we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.

10 Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God,

you people of Gomorrah!

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the Lord.

“I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals;

I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

God had instituted the sacrificial system where animals were sacrificed to represent the punishment for sins.  But the Israelites were not doing the sacrifices with the right spirit.  They were just going through the motions.

12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?

13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me.

New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates.

They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you;

even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen.

Your hands are full of blood;

16 wash and make yourselves clean.

Take your evil deeds out of my sight!

Stop doing wrong,

17 learn to do right!

Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.

Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord.

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

 Verse 18 is good to point out to folks who think Christians don’t use reason or logic.  The Bible encourages us to use reason and discernment at all times. 

And make special note of how God will make our blood-red sins as white as snow!

19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land;

20 but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

21 See how the faithful city has become a harlot!

She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her—

but now murderers!

22 Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water.

23 Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves;

they all love bribes and chase after gifts.

They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;

the widow’s case does not come before them.

Israel was condemned not just for the bad things they did, but for the good things they didn’t do.

24 Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares:

“Ah, I will get relief from my foes and avenge myself on my enemies.

25 I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross

and remove all your impurities.

26 I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counselors as at the beginning.

Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.”

27 Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness.

28 But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the Lord will perish.

29 “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks in which you have delighted;

you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen.

30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water.

31 The mighty man will become tinder and his work a spark;

both will burn together, with no one to quench the fire.”

The Mountain of the Lord

2     This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

2 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established

as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills,

and all nations will stream to it.

3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

to the house of the God of Jacob.  He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”

The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

5 Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

The Day of the Lord

6 You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob.

They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans.

The Israelites had become indistinguishable from the pagans around them.  That is a risk for us in our culture.  Are we really different than our unbelieving neighbors?

7 Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures.

Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots.

8 Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands,

to what their fingers have made.

9 So man will be brought low and mankind humbled— do not forgive them.

10 Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the Lord

and the splendor of his majesty!

11 The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low;

the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty,

for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),

13 for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,

14 for all the towering mountains and all the high hills,

15 for every lofty tower and every fortified wall,

16 for every trading ship and every stately vessel.

17 The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled;

the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,

18 and the idols will totally disappear.

19 Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground

from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth.

20 In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats

their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship.

21 They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags

from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty,

when he rises to shake the earth.

22 Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils.

Of what account is he?

Men fail so often and will soon die – why trust in them?  In an instant, the “idols” we worship now will be revealed to be worthless.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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2 Responses

  1. 2:10 “majesty!” – The Hebrew for this word is translated “pride” when used of man. Pride is an attempt by man to be his own god. (See Isaiah 14:13-14).

    2:22 “Stop trusting in man…” – Literally means “Cease from man” or “Give up on man.” The term describes the rejection of the Messiah in 53:3. Ironically, the one Man who should have been trusted and “esteemed” was “rejected,” “given up on” by men. He alone was worthy of the esteem wrongly given to frail leaders.

  2. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and there was given to him authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.

    If any man hath an ear, let him hear. 10 If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth: if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

    Make search for the Lord, all you quiet ones of the earth, who have done what is right in his eyes; make search for righteousness and a quiet heart: it may be that you will be safely covered in the day of the Lord’s wrath.

    9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
    “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying,
    “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
    13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    15 “For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple;

    I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

    14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

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