“Human arrogance stands in opposition to the majesty of the LORD.” R. C. Sproul
The Prophet Isaiah heralded six woes, or oracles of judgment, against Israel, Jerusalem, and the surrounding Gentile nations in chapter’s 28–33. Today, we survey chapter’s 28 & 29.
There is a twofold theme contained in chapters 28 & 29 concerning the twelve tribes of Israel. It is the theme of Israel’s rejection of God and its eventual restoration by God. Israel’s rejection of God involved both the northern kingdom of Israel (consisting of ten tribes), and the southern kingdom of Judah (consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) in the 8th century B.C.
The northern kingdom, Israel, was guilty of arrogance and drunkenness (28:1). It was because of this that the LORD would bring the Assyrians against them as an instrument of God’s divine justice and judgment (28:2-4; 2 Kings 17).
The southern kingdom, Judah, was not only guilty of having drunken priests and prophets who were unable to fulfill their responsibilities (28:7-8), but it was also guilty of ridiculing faithful prophets like Isaiah (28:9-10), disbelieving God’s faithfulness (28:14-15; 29:9), and attempting to deceive themselves, and God, regarding their sin (29:15-16).
God’s punishment of Judah would not only include the Babylonian Captivity in the 7th century B.C. (28:11-13, 17-22; 29:1-4) in particular, but He would also bring a spiritual stupor upon Israel as a whole to reject their own Messiah (28:16; 29:10-13).
It is at this juncture within the oracle that the Holy Spirit leads Isaiah to share a parable. The parable consists of comparing God’s working among the nations to a farmer working the soil (28:23-29).
The LORD’s restoration of His people would be centralized in a Redeemer (28:16). He would be compared to a stone, a tested stone, and a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. This Redeemer would bring redemption to His people by providing justice and strength (28:5-6), protection (29:5-8, 20, 22), along with healing and joy (29:17-29; 21, 23-24).
Even a surface examination of these two chapters in Isaiah provide believers today with encouragement that as the LORD was faithful to Old Testament Israel, He will also be faithful to the New Testament church. Additionally, redemption from God is still in the person and work of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. May each of us seek to be salt and light in the midst of a spiritually polluted and dark culture (Matthew 5:13-16) which needs to not only hear about God’s judgment but also of His salvation.
Soli deo Gloria!