"Destiny's Children"; Isaiah 28-30
November 1, 2014

C. R. Oliver

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November 1, 2014

"Destiny's Children"
Isaiah 28-30


Chapters 28-35 are somewhat linked together to show the destruction of the Northern Kingdom, called Samaria, or in this case, Ephraim. Written before the fact, when Ephraim had made treaties with Damascus, the Samaritan leadership was heady with swaggering confidence that no matter what God thought, they were capable of prosperity and a bright future.

The reader will glean a sense of arrogance and disregard for all that would demand holiness and righteousness of them. The Northern Tribes were ten in number and their attitude was, "Little Judah and Benjamin would just have to fend for themselves if invasion took place." Samaria had "covered its bases and fortified itself. It had a military alliance that would be deployed upon attack. Samaria had made strategic contracts and would be safe." God canceled the contracts!

Similarly, the heads of Judah, and Jerusalem in particular, claimed immunity against invasion based on a "covenant with death." They rested on their "place in God." They pointed to deliverance by Divine Intervention as their strength while mimicking the arrogance of Ephraim. God negated their contract as well.

Isaiah 28:14-15
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we are in agreement.
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
It will not come to us,
For we have made lies our refuge,
And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves."
(Many have done the same today!)
Isaiah 28:18-21
8 'Your covenant with death will be annulled,
And your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
Then you will be trampled down by it.
19 As often as it goes out it will take you;
For morning by morning it will pass over,
And by day and by night;
It will be a terror just to understand the report.'

20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.
21 For the LORD will rise up

Chapter Twenty-Eight is one of the great "stand alone" chapters in Isaiah.

Therefore, the ones that follow may or may not relate to it. What is promised, in this set of verses, is enough to cause a quake in the corporate will and shaking in the legs of the most stalwart disbeliever, but not until "events" start happening.

Neither the Northern or Southern Kingdoms wished to hear what the prophet was saying and offered their defense for their lifestyle while he was giving them "God's Word." It is possible to "drown out the messenger," but not diminish the validity of his prophecy. Ephraim chose to regard Isaiah's message as repetitious and without relevance.

Within this prophecy are some "sealed" issues (Verses 2, 3, 6 & 22).

Isaiah 28:2
Who (the Lord) will bring them down to the earth with His hand.

Isaiah 28:3
(They) Will be trampled underfoot;

Isaiah 28:6
6 For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

Isaiah 28:22
A destruction determined even upon the whole earth.

It was as if the national attitude had become one voice. No objector stood their ground and called for a return to God and repentance. Even the prophets and priests were silenced by their own indulgences. Samaria had their own temple, their own phalanx of priests and their own set of prophets, all of which had been ordained by the establishment. Why should they listen to a man from Judah and Jerusalem whose message was against them?

Isaiah 28:7-8
The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink,
They are swallowed up by wine,
They are out of the way through intoxicating drink;
They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filth;
No place is clean.

Drunk from the wine of self indulgence, who among them remained to teach and how could they teach the unteachable?

Isaiah 28:13
13 But the word of the LORD was to them,
'Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little,'
That they might go and fall backward, and be broken
And snared and caught.

Parallels are no doubt coursing the minds of those familiar with the national scenes of their own countries. Ephraim becomes the sad commentary of a world drunk with its own self aims. Yes, you too have heard that either Great Britain or America is spiritual Ephraim. In such a case, the coming judgment can only be certain and without deterrent.

Within the walls of this chapter is a set of verse which Pentecostals have relegated to themselves. They have equated "stammering tongues" to "speaking in tongues."

Isaiah 28:11-12
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said, 'This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,'
And, 'This is the refreshing.'
Yet they would not hear.

But, there are bigger "fish to fry." The following verses constitute some of the greatest passages about the coming King. This "Rock of Offense" has become the chief cornerstone, so Paul could make it clear that our communion is with Him.

Isaiah 28:16-17
'Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.
17 Also I will make justice the measuring line,
And righteousness the plummet;'

Let me stop a minute and shout!

This "Rock of Offense Jesus" still calls for justice to be the measuring line and righteousness the plummet. Those who want His tenets to be something else will find their lamps are out when He comes again. There is no fence riding with a taut line. There is no variance, once the plumb -bob ceases its circle TDC (top dead center and straight) it calls for either correction or confidence.. OH CHURCH, it still does! Amos was right. Isaiah was right.

Drinking with the world leads to disaster, and the cup of communion has no place with indulgence.

Isaiah uses an example of a farmer for his final appeal. The farmer doesn't farm by the "seat of His pants;" he follows the rules that God sets out-- in order to have a bountiful crop. He keeps on following good principles through the stages of growth and when the harvest comes, he, again, is not foolish. FOLLOW THE PRINCIPLES OF GOD AND LISTEN TO HIS INSTRUCTION AND STOP THIS IRRATIONAL MADNESS.

Isaiah 28:23
Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my speech.

Isaiah 28:24-25
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?
Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface?
(The rhetorical answer is "NO," for His God teaches Him the rules of a successful farmer.)

Isaiah 28:26
For He instructs him in right judgment,
His God teaches him.

(Does the farmer keep doing the wrong things in spite of the results? No! Only the insane keep doing the same stupid actions and expecting a different conclusion. So, Ephraim and Jerusalem had best listen…this is advice from the Lord.)

Isaiah 28:29
29 This also comes from the LORD of hosts,
Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.

Isaiah declared he had heard from the Lord.

Isaiah 28:22
For I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts

In other words, do what He says in order to obtain His result:

Isaiah 28:21
That He may do His work, His awesome work,
And bring to pass His act, His unusual act.

(Note: The Mt. Perazim reference in verse 21 means, "Master of the Break Through.")

Chapter 29:

I will open the discussion of this chapter by immediately turning to some verses toward the end of the treatise. The reason for doing this is it pictures the sad state of affairs that characterized Israel in that day. Justice was turned upside down. No one defended righteousness. No one lifted a hand to throttle a system that had grown "out of hand" in its deployment of force. Lonely stood the prophet whose head would be severed…lonely, but undefeatable in his stance for God.

Look, how he takes "state-ism" to task with the point of a pen.

Isaiah 29:20-21
For the terrible one is brought to nothing,
The scornful one is consumed,
And all who watch for iniquity are cut off -
21 Who make a man an offender by a word,
And lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,
And turn aside the just by empty words.

Fear of reprisal and Fear of "religious incorrectness," characterized the day. Fears of one's neighbor turning him in to the authorities for a small infraction caused silence to prevail in the community. The same ones who made a man suffer over a "word (There are those who assist in these atrocities, they Watch for 'iniquity' and make a man an 'offender' for a wrong word. [Try Islamic republics. Try probation programs.])." Does this sound familiar, "Mr. Press?" Does this sound familiar, "Mr. Superintendent for the Assembly?" Does this sound familiar, "Mr.Keeper of the Daily News?" Sound familiar, church?

BUT, there is light for God's people; there is provision for the saints. There is even hope for those who repent late and come to understanding about their sin.

Isaiah 29:22-24
22 Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
'Jacob shall not now be ashamed,
Nor shall his face now grow pale;
23 But when he sees his children,
The work of My hands, in his midst,
They will hallow My name,
And hallow the Holy One of Jacob,
And fear the God of Israel.
24 These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding,
And those who complained will learn doctrine.'

This is a remarkable passage. I believe it is an event which will yet happen.

Let's examine now the path which leads to behavior deemed by God to warrant being "annihilated."

  1. Practicing a system of religion (Allowing religious activities to be a routine.)
    Isaiah 29:1
    Add year to year;
    Let feasts come around.

    Isaiah 29:13
    Therefore the Lord said:
    'Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
    And honor Me with their lips,
    But have removed their hearts far from Me,
    And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
  2. Making God your enemy Isaiah 29:10 10 For the LORD has poured out on you The spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. (With all the tragic and awesome judgments that are pointed out in the preceding verses, the sum of it all culminates in the ultimate "shut out," which is the loss of communication with God. [Note: For 400 years there was no word to Jerusalem].) Reader: with all the prophesying and visions of doom we hear today, there is still lacking, "The Word of the Lord."

  3. Offering excuses for not knowing the ways of the Lord. (I am blind; I am illiterate) Isaiah 29:13-14 13 Therefore the Lord said: 'Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, 14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.' The absolute punishment for moral excuse is a nation with "No Brains" leadership.

  4. Trying to "make it work" without God. Isaiah 29:15 Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, And their works are in the dark; They say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?" (A speech maker recently declared over the Union: "This is not a Christian Nation.")

Chapter 30: (and continuing to chapter 31, in order to complete this thought.)

Isaiah 30:1-2
'Woe to the rebellious children,' says the LORD,
'Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin;
2 Who walk to go down to Egypt,
And have not asked My advice,

(Few in the church have learned the power of the Spirit in determining all matters. How foolish are ventures that are initiated and advanced without Him.)

America has gone to spiritual Egypt, and it is not from God!

Isaiah 30:3
3 Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
Shall be your shame,
And trust in the shadow of Egypt
Shall be your humiliation.

Isaiah 31:1
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
And rely on horses,
Who trust in chariots because they are many,
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
Nor seek the LORD!

Chapter 30 is content rich. (We shall touch on some of the highlights.)

An "Ezekiel" type of command is given Isaiah, which he carries out to the "nth." This command is to write the word of God on a tablet of stone, as well as, a parchment scroll. The rebellious could possibly burn the scroll, as occurred to Jeremiah, but never the stone. What is written in stone is forever.

Isaiah 30:8-11
Now go, write it before them on a tablet,
And note it on a scroll,
That it may be for time to come,
Forever and ever:
9 That this is a rebellious people,
Lying children,
Children who will not hear the law of the LORD;
10 Who say to the seers, "Do not see,"
And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
11 Get out of the way,
Turn aside from the path,
Cause the Holy One of Israel
To cease from before us."

(Could "Easy Believe-ism" and Hyper-grace meet the qualifications of the prophet's invective? "Get out of the way! Turn aside from the path" simply means "stop standing in our way." Ever hear those words from a sovereign board? Ever hear those words from an Agency of government? These words get results. God hears!)

Isaiah 30:12-13
'Because you despise this word,
And trust in oppression and perversity,
And rely on them,
13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you
Like a breach ready to fall,'

(The similes of Isaiah, "Breach ready to fall;" "a bulge in a high wall," "a shard at the potters place," are graphic. All are without remedy. All are tenuous and unpredictable as to the moment of closure. They are the Humpty Dumpty's who cannot be put back together.)

God speaks of opportunity past:

Isaiah 30:15
For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel:
'In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'
But you would not,

(That opportunity is gone. You look now like a "forsaken pole on a hill.")

But God looks upon His hurting children and says, like a Father, "Let me fix it."

Isaiah 30:19
19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
You shall weep no more.
He (the Lord) will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.

His is the epitome of a compassionate heart…He hurts along with His people:

Isaiah 30:18 (Notice: there are two entities waiting.)

(1)Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;

(2)Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

I wrote a book, En Punto, based on the following passage and it is God's answer to a life of aimless living. Oh, that we might hear and obey the voice of the Spirit! Oh, that we might experience the joy of just following His guidance. THIS is a literal passage!

Isaiah 30:20-21
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
"This is the way, walk in it,"
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.

(It is the Spirit who has the right to say, "Stop," "turn right or left," "Do this, but not that." We, who are His People, must learn to depend entirely on those commands, shutting out all other voices but His!)

The subsequent verses tell of a life filled with prosperous abundance because a people listened when He spoke. It is summed with these words:

Isaiah 30:26
In the day that the LORD binds up the bruise of His people
And heals the stroke of their wound.

Rule: God pays back disobedience with punishment, and it is often rather cruel in carriage.

Isaiah 30:28
To sift the nations with the sieve of futility;
And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people,
Causing them to err.

(He causes the world to err through governmental regulation and social control.)

BUT HIS PEOPLE: Have a Song, and it's the, Mountain Song.

Isaiah 30:29-30
29 You shall have a song
As in the night when a holy festival is kept,
And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute,
To come into the mountain of the LORD,
To the Mighty One of Israel.
30 The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard.

(Joining in with His people, the Lord's voice can be heard…singing out judgment to the enemy. [Assyria's broken army had not yet been formed, yet their demise is prophesied along with Tophet's burning pyre.] Tophet was where Moloch sacrifices were made. God is going to sacrifice the Assyrian King and his army, so He digs a large grave for them. )

Last, there comes a rather striking passage that I believe is connected to the power and prowess of Worship.

I have been editing a work, Notes on the glory of God, which addresses the interactive aspects in worship when a person enters the "glory of God."

Isaiah 30:32
2 And in every place where the staff of punishment passes,
Which the LORD lays on him,
It will be with tambourines and harps;
And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.
Around Jericho, through praise and worship, came the army of the Lord.
Gideon stood with Shofars and lamps.
The praise of His triumphant People is in Revelation.
The SONG of Solomon is primarily that: His Song.
(Sing, O Church, Sing again the songs of Zion, of the overcoming blood, of the grace brought down to man. Sing like no worship team can emulate, Sing in the Spirit!

For: The next song coming out of your spirit may be the one overcoming your greatest enemy or fear. Sing it!)

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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