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Book of Isaiah
Isaiah Chapter 1
I have had God’s Word deeply affect me before as I wrote articles and commentaries, especially the apostle John’s writings, but I have never had a Book of the Bible affect me quite as Isaiah has. Maybe it is because I feel I am a lot like Isaiah, in the respect that I desperately want to bring the Truth to a world that does NOT want the Truth! Isaiah speaks with such bold, unflinching and straightforward condemnations on sin and hypocrites. He had no fear of those whom he warned of the consequences of their sin.
I have been extremely blessed, as I try to explain the Book of Isaiah, to the many who have little or no education. Most writers use big words. I wore out a dictionary looking up what those big words meant. If or when I use a big word, I state what it means, so people do not have to wonder or search for the meaning as I did. I was shocked when we first started receiving letters from prison inmates years ago, and saw that so many had very little education. I myself have only a 10th grade formal education, and that is why when the LORD called me to teach His Word, and then to write, I seriously considered that He had made a mistake. But, He does not make mistakes. It was not long before I knew without a doubt, that He put me where He wanted me, because this tiny ministry has helped so many find their way to Jesus. The hundreds upon hundreds of Evangelical poems He has given me, have touched so many! I am NOT a poet! I simply write down words that are given to me by the Spirit of Christ (Rom.8:9). The poems are His! http://www.hisservantsministry.org/
The Holy Spirit has been my All in All, in my life and in our ministry. He has given me wisdom and words with each new day. He is always available when I need Him, which is all the time! I can do nothing on my own. He also gives me knowledge about computers, because this old woman has absolutely none on her own.
I, like Isaiah, am of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips but, unlike Isaiah, my eyes have not seen the King, the LORD of hosts (Isa.6:5), in a vision or a dream as he did. The LORD simply laid the command on my heart, and I could not rest until I surrendered to His will. I, like Isaiah, am a humble and willing servant of the LORD, and have a deep, heart-felt desire to bring Truth to people, and I want to bring this Truth in words even a child can understand. Then said I, Here am I; send me (Isa.6:8).
This chapter contains a charge of a very serious sin against the Jews: God rejects their ceremonial sacrifices and service; He pleads with them to repent and obey, with a Promise of pardon; a restoration from their sad estate; a prophecy of their being restored to a better time; and a Promise of the destruction of idolatrous sinners. The subject of the prophecy is Judah and Jerusalem. The charge against the Jews is rebellion against the Lord, and the heavens and earth are called as witnesses of it.
THEME: God's charge against the nation Israel.
This chapter is God's earnest call to the Universe to come into the courtroom to hear God's charge against the nation Israel.
Isaiah lived in a time of tension. In many respects it was a time of crisis in the history of the world. World-shaking events were taking place. Catastrophic and disastrous judgments were taking place. There was commotion in the social order.
A new nation had arisen in the north, and it was moving toward being a world power. Assyria was the most cruel and ruthless nation to ever put an army on the battlefield, and was marching to world conquest.
The northern kingdom of Israel had already been taken into Assyrian captivity. The southern kingdom of Judah was in a dangerous position, and the Assyrian army, 185,000 strong (Isa.37:36), was just outside the walls of Jerusalem.
In this dire, desperate and difficult day, Hezekiah entered the Temple and turned to God in prayer. God sent His prophet with an encouraging word. He declared that Assyria would never take Judah, the army of Assyria would never set foot in the streets of Jerusalem, and they would never cross the threshold of any gate of the city of the great King. But God was preparing another nation, Babylon, the head of gold (Dan.2:32, 38), down by the banks of the Euphrates River; this nation would eventually take Judah into captivity unless she turned to God.
God gave Judah another chance. To establish the justice of His cause, God called Judah before His bar of justice, giving her the chance to answer the charge against her, to hear His verdict, and to throw herself on the mercy of His court. God invites us all to consider the court to see if He is just. It would be wise for the people in today’s world to look into the courtroom and see Almighty God on the throne of judgment in this sensational scene.
The way that most of the world today thinks, God is no longer on the throne of judgment. Most people today strip Him totally of His authority, rob Him of His royal privileges, and never once consider Him as the Moral Ruler of His Universe. It is as though He has been pushed to the edge of the world and they simply consider Him refuge at the garbage dump. Dear one, this is wrong! Almighty God is still the Moral Ruler of His Universe. Even if you refuse to believe it, God is still on the throne of justice; He has NOT resigned, nor will He ever! He still punishes sin.
Isaiah records the principles on which God judges the nations. God raises up nations . . . and He puts them down! The kingdoms of this world today are in Satan's hands (Jn.12:31; 14:30:16:11; Eph.2:2), but my dear friend, God overrules them. God has allowed great nations to rise, and He has permitted Satan to use them as he sees fit . . . BUT . . . when God decides that certain nations must be removed; He shall remove them . . . Satan CANNOT stop Him! I think that the nation of Israel is proof of the FACT that He rules in the affairs of the nations of this world.
God will NOT compromise with sin, ever! He is moving forward in constant, firm and rigid fury against it. There would be hope for people today if they could say with Isaiah, "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne" (Isa.6:1). Dear one, “heaven is his throne, and the earth is his footstool” (Isa.66:1). He does NOT change!
Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (KJV)
The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz . . . this is either the specific title of the prophecy contained in chapter 1, as some think; seeing chapter 2 begins with another title, "the word that Isaiah saw", or maybe it is the common title of the whole book of Isaiah; since it is the vision which Isaiah saw in the reign of four kings, as is later confirmed; and so it is in reality, "the prophecy of Isaiah."
Which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem . . . Isaiah mainly saw in his vision what concerned Judah and Jerusalem, for although Ephraim, or the ten tribes of Israel, are mentioned, yet rarely. Judah is put for the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and is mainly mentioned, because the Messiah, so much spoken of in this Book of Isaiah, was to spring from there, whose title is the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev.5:5).
In the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah . . . Uzziah, was the tenth king of Judah, became a leper because he intruded into the holy place (2 Ki.15:5), which even a king was not permitted to do. However, Uzziah is classed as a good king. Jotham, his son who followed him, was also a good king. But Ahaz, the grandson of Uzziah, was a very bad king. Finally, Hezekiah, the last king mentioned, was a good king. He was the king who asked that his life be prolonged, and God granted his desire (Isa.38:1-8). Asking this was probably a mistake on Hezekiah's part, because many bad things took place during his last years that actually were the undoing of the kingdom.
The teachers of the ancient church were of two kinds: #1. The ordinary ones, the priests and Levites. And #2. The extraordinary ones, the prophets. The prophets were called by God, and inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim.3:16), along with other remarkable gifts and graces, and with a supernatural knowledge of Divine mysteries, and of future things, and invested by God with a superior power. These holy prophets, whose writings are contained in the Sacred Scripture, are sixteen. Of these Isaiah is first in place, and, as may seem probable, in time also.
The Jews tell us that he was of the blood royal of Judah, which is uncertain. But undoubtedly he was the prince of all the prophets, whether we consider the great extent and variety of his prophecies, the beauty and excellency of those mysteries which were revealed to him and by him, the majesty and elegancy of his style, or the incomparable liveliness and power of his sermons. Isaiah so clearly and fully describe the Person, offices, sufferings and Kingdom of Christ, that some of the ancients called him the fifth evangelist. And it is observed, that there are more testimonies and quotations in the New Testament taken out of the Book of Isaiah than out of all the other prophets.
Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. (KJV)
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth . . . hear, what the Lord was about to say about His argument with His people, which was to be managed openly and publicly before them as spectators and witnesses; this means the Heavens and the Earth. The address is sincere, and means something of importance to be done and attended to (Deut.32:1).
For the LORD hath spoken . . . not only by Moses, and the prophets that were before Isaiah, but He had spoken to him the words he was now about to deliver; for they were not the prophet’s own words, but the LORD'S Words: Isaiah spoke by the inspiration of God, and was moved by the Holy Spirit; and therefore what he said was to be received, NOT as the word of man, but as the Word of God.
I have nourished and brought up children . . . meaning the Jews; God’s people, the house of Israel, whom God has called children (Ex.4:22).
And they have rebelled against me . . . the Jews rebelled against their LORD and King; for the Jews were under a theocracy; God, who was their Father, was their King, and they rebelled against Him by breaking His laws . . . this rebellion is intensified by its being not only of subjects against their king, but of children against their father; and the law concerning a rebellious son (Deut.21:18). The Jews were a rebellious people from the beginning: in Moses's time, in the time of the prophets, down to the times of the Messiah, and still yet today!
*****God, through Isaiah, begins this prophecy in a majestic way. This is God's general judgment against Judah. He is in reality, calling the world, to come into the courtroom and listen to the proceedings as He tries His people, Israel. God NEVER does anything in a closet or in the dark of night. It is always out in the open! The language is oddly similar to: Deut. 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. (KJV)
When God put the nation Israel in the land, after taking them out of the land of Egypt, He set a condition for them in the Promised Land (obedience), and He called the created intelligences of heaven and earth to witness the condition.
Here in Isaiah after centuries, God says, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. He is ready to take them out of the land and send them into Babylonian captivity. He calls the created intelligences of heaven and earth to witness that He is just and right in His dealings. His charge against them is rebellion. They were disobedient; and according to the Mosaic Law, when a man had a rebellious son, that son was to be stoned to death (Deut.21:18-21).
This was what the Law did with a prodigal (uncontrolled) son. The crowd that heard Christ tell of the Prodigal Son was dumbfounded when He said that the father told the servant to kill the fatted calf instead of killing the son (Lk.15:11-32). When the Prodigal Son got home, he asked his father for forgiveness, and even before he finished his confession, his father had thrown his arms around the boy, kissed him, and forgiven him. Instead of stripes, the son was given a wonderful feast. God is not only just, but also merciful; but the rebellion of a son is a serious thing. Scripture has much to say about it.
Isaiah 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. (KJV)
The ox knoweth his owner . . . knows his voice, when he calls him, and follows him where he leads him, whether to plough in the field, or feed in the meadows.
And the ass his masters crib . . . or manger where he is fed, and to which he goes when he wants food, and at the usual times. These animals put Israel to shame, who were weary of the worship of God in the Temple, where spiritual food was provided for them, but chose not to go for it.
But Israel doth not know . . . their Maker and Owner, their King, their LORD and Master, their Father, Saviour and Redeemer. They do NOT own and acknowledge Him, but reject Him (Jn.1:10-11). Israel doth not know their Owner and Master, which is certainly understood by the former clause. Even the birds and animals knew their place, but not the Jews (Jer.8:7). Knowing here includes reverence and obedience, as it usually means in Scripture.
My people doth not consider . . . the Jews, who were the people of God by profession, did not make use of the means of knowing and understanding divine and spiritual things. Israel did not consider the fear of the Lord (Pro.1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10); nor do they obey His Law (Num.14:22-24; Lev.26:14-46).
*****This verse is pure sarcasm. The two animals, ox and ass, do not have a reputation for being very intelligent. Neither the ox nor the long-eared donkey has a very high I.Q. The expression "dumb as an ox" is still often used. But, even these animals have enough smarts to know who feeds them.
There are a great number of people today who do not have brains enough to know that God provides for all their needs. They do not realize that God feeds them. They do not even recognize that He does exist. What a comment on this supposed well-educated generation that no longer need God.
Do YOU thank God for your food? The next time you are in a restaurant, simply look around and see just how few bow their head before they start to eat! When as a child, I would dump feed in to my grandparents’ pigs, they would dive in, just like so many people today. Multitudes of people today live just like animals. God said, The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib, but my people do not know. I think what the Lord said, when He opened up court reveals that, and He continues His charge in verse 4.
Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. (KJV)
Ah sinful nation . . . or sinning nation, that was continually sinning, doing nothing else but sin, the reverse of what they were chosen to do (Deut.7:6). Woe to them who are called a holy people, and have sinned, for their ruin is at hand. Ah, this implies both God’s wonder, anger, grief and shame that they were such.
A people laden with iniquity . . . full of sin; they multiplied offences. Laden with iniquity, of heavy or great sins; heavy is often used for great or grievous (Isa.21:14; 30:27).
A seed of evil doers . . . this is not said of their fathers, but of themselves. A seed of evil-doers, the children of wicked parents, whose guilt they inherit, and whose evil example they follow.
Children that are corrupters . . . of themselves and others by their words and actions. That corrupt themselves or their ways, or others by their counsel and example. Or, that destroy themselves and their land by their wickedness.
They have forsaken the Lord . . . forsaken the worship of the Lord, the ways and ordinances of God, rejected the assembling of themselves together, neglected the hearing of the Word, and attendance on the worship of the Lord's house: They have forsaken the Lord, not in profession, but in practice and reality, neglecting or corrupting His worship, refusing His yoke and conduct (Mat.11:28-30). They have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger; they have lived as if it were their great plan to provoke Him.
They have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger . . . by their numerous sins, both of omission and commission:
They are gone away backward . . . became backsliders and revolters, had apostatized from God and His worship (Deut.13:13; Heb.3:12), turned their backs on Him, and cast His Law behind them. The characters here given not only agree with the Jews in the times of Isaiah, but also with those in the times of Christ and His apostles (Mat.12:39). They are gone away backward, instead of going forward and growing in grace, which was their duty, they all had fallen from their former professions, and grown worse and worse, and have brazenly turned their backs on God.
Isaiah 1:5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. (KJV)
Why should ye be stricken any more? . . with afflictions and chastisements, with which God smites His people by way of correction for their sins (Isa.57:17), the sense is, either that they did not consider what they were afflicted for, that it was for their sins and transgressions; they thought they came by chance, and so they went on in sin, and added sin to sin (Isa.30:1; Rom.2:5; 2Tim.3:13). The meaning is, that the chastisements that were laid upon them were to no purpose; had produced no good effect, were of no avail, and unprofitable to them; and which is mentioned as an aggravation of their sins, stubbornness, and impenitence (Jer.5:3). Why should ye be stricken any more? . . . it is of no purpose to try to reclaim you by one punishment after another; so I will utterly forsake and destroy you.
Ye will revolt more and more . . . go on in sin, and apostatize more and more, and grow more stubborn and determined in it. Ye will revolt more and more, I see you are hopeless, and turn even your afflictions into sin.
The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint . . . which may be understood either of their chastisements, which were universal, and had reached all sorts and ranks of men among them, without any improvement, and therefore it was in vain to use more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint; your disease is mortal, as being in the most vital parts, the very head and heart of the political body.
Isaiah 1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. (KJV)
From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it . . . every member of the government was afflicted in one way or another, sadly infected with the disease of sin (Ps.28:3). From all the people, even unto the princes, there is none among them who feared the LORD (Dan.9:8). From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, they all have sinned from the highest to the lowest, from the best to the worst.
But wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores . . . to which either public calamities on a city or nation may be compared (Hos.5:13), or the sins and transgressions both of single persons, and of whole bodies of men (Ps.38:6).
They have not been closed . . . that is, the wounds and sores have not been healed; or they have not been pressed or squeezed to get the infected matter out of them.
Neither bound up . . . with bands, after the problem is squeezed out, and a bandage laid on it.
Neither mollified with ointment . . . which is used for the healing and soothing of wounds (Lk.10:34). The sense is either, #1. that they were not reformed by their afflictions; or #2. that they did not repent of their sins, nor seek to God for healing and pardon, nor #3. make use of any means for their more healthful state and condition. They have suffered under God’s judgments all in vain, without applying any remedies, that might work to calm or cure the problem.
Isaiah 1:7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. (KJV)
Your country is desolate . . . or shall be. This is either a declaration of what is before symbolically expressed, or rather a prophecy of what would be their case because of transgressions . . . which had its accomplishment partly in the Babylonian captivity, and fully in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans; when not only their city and Temple, called their house (Mat.23:38), was left unto them desolate, but the whole land; and they were carried captive, and scattered among the nations, where they have been ever since.
Your cities are burned with fire . . . or shall be, as Jerusalem had been, and other cities in Judea (Mat.22:7).
Your land, strangers devour it in your presence . . . before their eyes, and it would not be in their power to prevent it; meaning either the Babylonians or the Romans, or both, and especially the latter, who were strangers and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. In your presence, which your eyes shall see to torment you, when there is no power in your hands to deliver you.
And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers . . . who ravage, plunder and destroy all they meet with, and spare nothing, not intending to settle there, as those who are near do, when they conquer a neighboring nation. Some think this prophecy was delivered in the times of Ahaz, and refers to the desolation in his time (2 Chron. 28:17) but since Joel and Amos prophesied before Isaiah, he may refer to those desolating judgments, they speak of, by the locusts, caterpillars, and fire (Joel 1:4), but to consider the words as a prediction of what should be in latter times seems best.
*****What God says in verses 5-7 is absolutely true. There was a moral awfulness and political anarchy. I think we today, should take special note of God’s Words through Isaiah, because the world today is in a very similar position!
Isaiah 1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. (KJV)
And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in the vineyard . . . a cottage in the vineyard was a booth, which was erected in the middle of the vineyard for the keeper of the vineyard to keep watch in night and day, that the fruit might not be hurt by birds, or stolen by thieves. It was a very, lonely place; and when the clusters of the grapes were gathered, this cottage or booth was left by the keeper himself; and such it is suggested Jerusalem would be, not only stand alone, the cities all around being destroyed by the besiegers, but empty of inhabitants itself, when taken. The daughter of Zion or Jerusalem; for these two names are often used of the same place . . . the name of daughter being often given to cities or countries. The daughter of Babylon is put for Babylon itself (Ps.137:8; Isa.47:1). In the same sense we read of the daughter of Tyre (Ps.45:12), and daughter of Zidon (Isa.23:12), and daughter of Egypt (Jer.46:11, 24), and daughter of Edom (Lam.4:21).
As a lodge in a garden of cucumbers . . . a lodge in a garden of cucumbers was built up for the gardener to watch in at night, that nobody came and stole away the cucumbers, this also was a lonely place; but when the cucumbers were gathered, the gardener left his lodge . . . this refers to what a forsaken place Jerusalem would be at the time of its destruction (Lk.19:43). Is left as a cottage in a vineyard as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers; is left solitary, all the neighboring villages and country round about it being laid waste.
As a besieged city . . . which is in great distress, and none care to come near it, and as many as can make their way out of it.
Isaiah 1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. (KJV)
Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant . . . this is an example of the super abounding goodness of the LORD of hosts. He shall in those very evil and devastating times, leave and reserve a few, a remnant (Gen.7:13; 12:1-3, 7; 19:30), from being defiled with the sins of the age, and from being involved in the general calamity of it; which was true of the Christian Jews at the time of Jerusalem's destruction. That this prophecy belongs to these times is clear from the application of it by the Apostle Paul (Rom.9:27-33), which confirms the sense given of the above passages . . . a very small remnant is the remnant according to the election of grace, the little flock, the few that entered in at the strait gate and are saved, or the few that believed in Christ (Mat.7:14).
We should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah . . . cities that were infamous for their sins, and notorious for the punishment of them, being consumed by fire from heaven (Gen.13:13; 18:20; 19:4-11). This did NOT just apply to the Jews alone, but to ALL individuals and nations who turn their back on God!
*****In other words, if there had not been a faithful remnant, God would have destroyed Israel, just as He did Sodom and Gomorrah. But there has always been a remnant of God's people . . . and there still remains a very small remnant in the world today . . . both of Jews and Gentiles! A very small remnant it is indeed!
Isaiah 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. (KJV)
Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom . . . these are called to attend to the Word of the Lord; either #1. The Scriptures, which should be the rule of faith and practice, from which they had veered; or #2. To the word which now came to them by the prophet, and is contained in the following verses; or #3. rather to the Gospel preached to them by John the Baptist, Christ, and His apostles (Isa.2:3), which being rejected by them as it was, it is declared that it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgment, than for them (Mat.11:24). The rulers of Judea; they and their people having sinned in such a manner, and as openly as the rulers of Sodom (Isa.3:9). Rulers of Sodom so called because of the same similarity of them in wickedness (Deut.32:32; Eze.16:46, 48).
Give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah . . . the inhabitants of Judea; for both the civil and religious rulers were, as were the people both in Isaiah's time, and in the times of Christ and His apostles. The LORD is spelling it out. The whole problem is spiritual apostasy.
Isaiah 1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. (KJV)
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord . . . these people neglected the weightier matters of the law, and the more substantial duties of religion, as did the Scribes and Pharisees in Christ's time (Mat.23:23), yet were very diligent in the observance of the ceremonial law, and repeated their sacrifices almost without number, on which they placed all their trust and dependence . . . so, to take away their confidence in these things, the Lord observes the sacrifices to be unprofitable; they could be of no avail to them, for they could NOT amend their sins, nor atone for them; and the sacrifices could not be profitable to God, for He had no need of them (Ps.50:7-14). To what purpose? They are vain and useless, being neither accepted by God, nor beneficial to you. Unto me, who am a Spirit (Jn.4:24), so He cannot be satisfied with such carnal offerings, but expect to be worshipped in spirit and truth, and to have your hearts and lives, as well as your bodies and sacrifices, presented unto me (Rom.12:1; Heb.13:15-16).
I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts . . . God was overwhelmed with them, and therefore loathed them, and therefore would no more eat their flesh, and drink their blood, or accept of them in sacrifice (Ps.50:12-13).
And I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats . . . as He did in honest, moral services, in acts of generosity and mercy, and in sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving (1 Sam.15:22; Hos.6:6). God did NOT delight in the sacrifices of these creatures, when offered by such wicked hands and without faith in the Blood and Sacrifice of Christ; and still MUCH less when these were outdated and repealed by Christ on the cross; for this prophecy belongs to the times of the apostles, as appears from verse 9 and Psalm 40:6. The different creatures mentioned were used in sacrifice, and their blood was sprinkled round about the altar (Lev.3:2), and before the vail (Lev.4:6). The blood; he mentions the fat and blood, because these were in a special manner reserved for God (Lev.3:15; 17:11), to mean that even the best of their sacrifices were rejected by Him. The LORD will NOT accept sacrifices of wicked people (Pro.15:8; 21:27; 28:9; Amos 5:21-22).
*****God specifies His charges against His people. He has put His Hand on a definite thing, and He is going to prove that specific point in which they are wrong. He puts His finger on the best thing in Judah, not the worst. He shows them what is exceedingly wrong. Israel has a God given religion and a God appointed ritual in the Temple which was His House (Judg.20:18, 26; 21:2; Ps.42:4; Isa.2:3).
They are bringing sacrifices and going through the ritual according to the letter of the Law, but their stubborn hearts are in rebellion against God. Their religion does NOT affect their conduct. That is the same problem among believers today. So many people have reached the place where they have a form of godliness (2 Tim.3:5), but they deny the power thereof.
Isaiah 1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? (KJV)
When ye come to appear before me . . . at the grand festivals of the Passover, Pentecost and tabernacles, at which times all the males in Israel appeared before God. When ye come to appear before me, in the three solemn feasts (Ex.23:17; 34:23), or upon other occasions.
Who hath required this at your hand . . the thing that the LORD commanded was not only that they should offer external sacrifices to Him, but that they should do it with TRUE repentance for all their sins, with faith in His Promises, with deep, wholehearted love to Him and sincere perseverance of devoting themselves to His service . . . for without these things, they offer Him a dead carcass instead of a living sacrifice (Rom.12:1-2; Heb.13:15-16; 1 Pet.2:5).
To tread my courts? . . . His courts; the two courts of the Temple, the one of the priests, and the other where the people assembled (2 Chron.4:9). This rebuke seems to be directed against both the priests and the people, as being unworthy to enjoy this privilege in the inappropriate, improper and hypocritical way they did, with such wicked hearts and bloody hands.
*****They were NOT to go on offering deceitful oblations of vanity; for incense was an abomination (atrocity, disgrace, hatred, outrage) to Him. He cannot tolerate iniquity, and they were NOT repenting of their sin before coming before Him in a supposed, most solemn congregation.
Isaiah 1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. (KJV)
Bring no more vain oblations . . .oblations, meat-offerings(Lev.2:1; Num.15:4). Bring no more, He would not accept nor desire any more on the terms as all such offerings were made, which were offered up without faith in Christ, in hypocrisy, and with dependence on themselves for pardon and atonement, and especially when the offerings were put an end to by the Sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Mat.15:9; Jn.1:29; Rom.3:25; 8:3; Gal.2:21; Heb.7:27; 9:28; 1 Jn.2:2; 4:10). Oblation is a solemn (earnest, sincere, serious) offering. IF an offering does not come from a person’s heart, God will NOT accept it!
Incense is an abomination . . . to God, it was far from being a sweet aroma to Him.
Incense was burnt on the altar of incense, and put upon the sacrifices (Ex.30:1), and was symbolic of prayer (Ps.141:2), but now under the Gospel dispensation was to be abandoned, and so displeased God, as if an idol was blessed (Isa.66:3).
The new moons . . . the feasts were kept on the first day of the month, at the appearance of the moon. The new moons were holy to God, and observed with great solemnity (Num.28:11, 14; Ps.81:3).
And Sabbaths . . . observed every seventh day, every seventh year, and every seven times seventh year . . . . . . . . . . . http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12962-sabbath
The calling of assemblies . . . the calling of assemblies of the new moon and Sabbath, were the holy convocations (large, formal assembly) on the seventh day Sabbath, at the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and tabernacles, at the blowing of the trumpets, and on the day of atonement (Lev.23:3; Num.28:26). These solemn times were when the people were obliged (legally or morally bound) to meet together, at the three great yearly feasts, and other extraordinary times.
I cannot away with . . . I cannot bear it, it is grievous burden to the LORD. It is also iniquity; so it is FAR from pleasing Him. It is a vile offence to Him, and instead of reconciling Him to them, it provokes Him all the more against them.
It is iniquity, even the solemn meeting . . . the stopping from work on any of the above festivals did not help because they did not stop their sin. The solemn meeting, the most solemn day of each of the three feasts, which was the eighth day, which is called by this very name (Lev.23:3; Num.28:26).
*****Even when people do that which God commands, it becomes wrong when the heart is not in it. If the Lord Jesus were to come into your house, would He praise you for your love and faithfulness to Him? I know that I fall short far too many times. This One who has feet like unto fine brass, whose eyes were as a flame of fire and from out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword (Dan.10:6; Rev.1:14-16), would not praise us. I think He would tell most of us that all of our outward form, all of our beautiful testimonies and loud professions, make Him sick. I think that He would tell us that we need to repent and come to Him in humility. I think that most of the people in the world today are like the people in Isaiah’s time and they are sinners and need to be warned that Judgment day is coming!
Isaiah 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. (KJV)
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth . . . the Messiah is the Essential Word. This is the same as before in verse 13.
They are a trouble unto me . . . the LORD hated the appointed feasts in the way that they were kept and observed by the Jews, for they were kept in an improper way.
I am weary to bear them . . . because of the sins with which they made him to serve (Isa.63:10; Mal.1:14) . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/malachi_ch1.htm
He hated their festivals and holy days, they were a burden that He was tired of bearing.
Isaiah 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. (KJV)
And when ye spread forth your hands . . . (Ps.66:18; Pro.28:9; Lam.3:43-44).
Spread forth your hands in prayer (1 Ki.8:22).
I will hide mine eyes from you . . . will not look upon them, nor regard their prayer; God will not hear prayer of the wicked: (Deut. 31:17; 32:20; Isa.59:2; Mic.3:4).
Yea, when ye make many prayers . . . as the Scribes and Pharisees did in Christ's time, and thought to be heard for their much speaking, like the Gentiles (Mat.6:7; 23:14, 26).
I will not hear . . . God will NOT answer, nor fulfil their requests: the reason follows, I will not hear: (Deut. 31:17; 32:20; Isa.59:2; Mic.3:4).
Your hands are full of blood . . . from the prophets of the LORD, of Christ and His followers, whom they put to death. Full of blood, for all their heinous sins, and persecution of God's servants especially (Mat.23:35). It was the job of the prophets to cast out false thinking (Isa.30:10), so contrary to the law itself (Deut.10:16-20), that outward rites and rituals would satisfy God. It will NOT satisfy God!
*****God does NOT disown His foundations, nor does He refuse to stand by His own commands . . . He refused to stand by and accept their sin, just as He does today, and that means Jews AND Gentiles!
Their attention to God's commands was all lost labor, and did not serve to answer any good intention, because:
#1. It was not looked upon as any act of duty or obedience to God. God simply did not see eye to eye with them, because their hands were full of blood and who continued defiant and unrepentant.
#2. It did not place them in God's favor. He did NOT delight in the blood of their sacrifices, nor was He honored by it.
#3. It would not bring any relief for them. They pray, but God would NOT hear because they regard iniquity in their heart (Ps.66:18). The LORD will NOT hear them nor will He deliver them. Like millions today, they make many prayers, but NONE come from an upright heart. Millions go to ‘church’ and practice rites and rituals that can NEVER put them in God’s Holy Presence! NONE of their religious service will ever do them any good!
#4. Their offerings were hateful and offensive. Not only did God not accept them, but He loathed and was disgusted by them (Ps.50:10). He did not want them, He had had had enough of them.
God is NEVER weary of hearing the prayers of the righteous, but very soon weary of the costly sacrifices of the wicked. He hides His eyes from their prayers, as that which He has a dislike to and is angry at. All this is to show:
#1. SIN is very hateful to God, so hateful that it makes even men's prayers and their religious services hateful to Him.
#2. That pretended piety is double iniquity. Hypocrisy in religion is the most abominable thing to the God of Heaven. Some apply this to the Jews in Christ's time, who pretended a great zeal for the Law and the Temple, but made themselves and all their services abominable to God by filling their hands with the blood of Christ and His apostles, and so filling up the measure of their iniquities; treasuring up unto thyself wrath (Rom.2:5; 2 Tim.3:13).
Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; (KJV)
Wash you, make you clean . . . these two phrases are to be considered as one, since they mean the same thing. The persons spoken to are unclean in God’s eyes. Their legal sacrifices and ceremonial washings were NOT doing the job. Make you clean, the LORD wanted them to cleanse their hearts and hands from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and not to content themselves with their ceremonial washings. NO one has the ability to cleanse themselves in God’s eyes! Only when a person washes in the fountain of Christ's Blood, will they be clean (1 Pet.1:18-19; 2:22-24; 3:18; Rev.1:5).
Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes . . . the appeal is not just to put away their evil doings, but the evil linked with them, for the eyes of God see everything everywhere. The LORD’S justice is only done by the Sacrifice of Christ; and the meaning of this warning is to show the need to put away sin, and reach out to salvation available ONLY in Christ . . . NOT in the insufficiency of the blood of bulls and goats to do it.
Cease to do evil . . . either #1. From ceremonial works done with a wicked mind, or #2. from outward sins, such as shedding innocent blood, oppressing the fatherless and widow, meaning to stop from their course of sinning.
Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes . . . they were to reform themselves so thoroughly, that they would not only be approved by men, but to the LORD, who searches their hearts, and try all their actions (and ours). God searches the heart: (Ps.44:21; 64:6; 77:6; 139:23; Jer.17:10).
Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (KJV)
Learn to do well . . . many people are naturally ignorant of doing good, for they have no knowledge; nor can they that are used to doing evil learn to do well by themselves. Only the LORD can teach them to profit, and it is of Him alone that they should ask wisdom (Jam.1:5), and they should desire to be under the influence of His amazing grace, to learn to keep up good works. Learn to do well, start to do well, and toughen themselves to live soberly, righteously and godly.
Seek judgment . . . seek to do justice without respect of persons (Rom.2:11; Jam.2:9). Show your love of, and beliefin God, by studying and practicing honesty and righteousness to men, and neither give nor obtain any unrighteous judgment.
Relieve the oppressed . . . the poor that are oppressed by their neighbors that are richer and mightier than they, right their wrongs, and deliver them out of the hands of their oppressors. Be not only just, but merciful.
Judge the fatherless . . . do justice (do right) to them who have none to take care of them, defend and deliver them (Ps.7:8; 9:4).
Plead for the widow . . . that is abandoned, and has none to plead her cause; help maintain the righteous cause of poor and helpless persons, against their unjust and powerful enemies; showing love and mercy, and that you fear God more than men (Ps.56:4; Heb.13:5).
*****In verses 15-17, God is telling the Jews that they are a bunch of hypocrites (Mat.23), coming into His Presence as if they were really sincere. They offered sacrifices, but all was absolutely meaningless to them. God spelled out His charge against them: they are guilty of apostasy, which led to moral awfulness and to political anarchy in the nation. God has called Israel into court and has proved His charge against them. Israel is like a prisoner standing at the bar waiting for the sentence of judgment. The Judge has something else to say, and we stand amazed and astonished at what He says next.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (KJV)
Come now, and let us reason, together, saith the Lord . . . these words stand not in connection either with the former or following, but are here for the sake of the small remnant (Mat.7:14) that God had left among this wicked people, in order to comfort them, being distressed with sin. Divine preservation of a remnant: (1 Ki.19:18; 2 Ki.17:18; Isa.1:9; Eze.6:8; Mic.5:7-8; Rom.9:29; 11:4).
Though your sins be as scarlet . . . red and bloody, as theirs were (vs.15), great and wicked.
They shall be as white as snow . . . they shall be washed and purged by the precious Blood of the Messiah (Rom.5:9; Eph.1:7; 2:13; 1 Pet.1:18-19), whereby you shall be made white and pure in God's eyes. They shall be as white as snow means sins are said to be purged (Heb.1:3), when men are pardoned from their sins (Heb.9:14).
Shall be as wool . . . wool, which for the most part is white, and is compared to snow for whiteness (Rev.1:14).
After the Lord brings His charges against Judah and offers them salvation and a way out of their trouble, He continues gently with a warning.
Isaiah 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: (KJV)
If ye be willing and obedient . . . if they were willing and fully committed to obey all God’s commands.
Ye shall eat the good of the land . . . the land of Canaan; as the Jews had possession of that land, before the times of Christ, by their obedience to the laws of God, for as long as they obeyed, they continued in the quiet and full enjoyment of all the blessings of it. So, IF when Christ came, they received, embraced and accepted Him as the Messiah, and been obedient to His will, they would have remained in their own land, and enjoyed all the good things in it undisturbed by enemies. Ye shall eat the good of the land, along with the pardon of their sins, they would receive many temporal and worldly blessings.
Isaiah 1:20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (KJV)
But if ye refuse and rebel . . . against the Messiah, either His Person, or His doctrines and ordinances: If ye refuse and rebel, if they stubbornly persist in their disobedience to Christ and His Gospel, as they had previously done, God’s wrath will come down on them.
Ye shall be devoured with the sword . . . as when the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem, as it was under Titus Flavius Vespasian (Mat. 24:1-2).
For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it . . . now, by Isaiah, as well as in former times (Lev.26:25). The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, when the LORD speaks, it shall be accomplished just as He has said! Because He cannot lie (Tit.1:2), He shall do exactly as He has spoken! Count on it!
*****The LORD tells the Jews in Isaiah’s time, and ALL people today, that while their hands are full of blood (sin), He would have nothing to do with them (or us), even though they would bring Him a multitude of sacrifices . . . BUT He says IF they wash, and make themselves clean, they are welcome to draw nigh to Him. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Those, and only those that break off their union with sin, shall be welcome into fellowship with Almighty God. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (KJV).
The government of God and the amazing grace of God are two features highly stressed in the Book of Isaiah. During the remainder of chapter 1, the LORD is trying to move Judah back to Himself. He is warning the people (and us).
Isaiah 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. (KJV)
How is the faithful city become a harlot! . . . the city of Jerusalem, is where the Temple was, and where the pure worship of God should have been. The tribe of Judah, which ruled with God, was very faithful with the saints when the ten tribes revolted, but fell in with the sin of Jeroboam (1 Ki.16:19, 26), but now, in Isaiah's time, was become like a unfaithful wife to her husband, unfaithful to the Lord, went after other lovers, committed spiritual adultery, which is idolatry. In the times of Christ there was a wicked and an adulterous generation (Mat.12:39; 16:4; Mk.8:38), corrupting the Word and worship of God (Mat.12:39). How, a note of surprise at so strange, sad and sudden a change, is the faithful city, Jerusalem, which in the reign of former kings was faithful to God, become an harlot is filled with idolatry, which is commonly called whoredom.
It was full of judgment . . .judgment was duly and truly executed in all its courts. Righteousness lodged in it; it was famous for being the seat of justice, which did not only pass through it, like a wayfaring man, but had its settled abode in it.
Righteousness lodged in it . . . meaning righteous men, who walked in all the commandments of the Lord, and lived soberly, righteously, and godly (2 Pet.3:13).
But now murderers . . . of the prophets whom they stoned, who were sent unto them, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom they were the betrayers and murderers (Mat.23:37). But now, they were murderers . . . thegross kind which included all kinds of unrighteous men and practices. Only their involvement of the horrid crime of murder is noted, to assure us that other crimes of a lower nature were not only unpunished, but even encouraged.
*****Jerusalem here represents all of Judah. God compares the actions of His people to a prostitute. The people had turned from the worship of the true God to worshiping idols. Their faith was worthless, impure and diluted. Idolatry, outward or inward, is spiritual adultery, breaking our commitment to God in order to love something else. Jesus described the people of His day as adulterous, even though they were religiously strict. As the church, we are the bride of Christ (Rev.19:7), and by our faith (Rom.5:1), we can be clothed in His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30).
Isaiah 1:22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: (KJV)
Thy silver is become dross . . . they were woefully deteriorated from their former purity. If there was any remainder of religion and justice in them, they were mixed with many and great corruptions, meaning either that such persons, who had the appearance of goodness, looked like genuine silver, were now become wrongdoers, and, as the wicked of the earth, like dross (Jer.6:30; Eze.22:18-19), or that the Word of God, which is as silver purified seven times (Ps.12:6), was now corrupted with false brightness and human traditions, which were as dross (trash).
Thy wine mixed with water . . . it was usual to mix water with wine and drink it, and this was not at all reproachful, but commendable. If we consider wine to be faith, let me ask you: Has your faith become watered down, thus impure? This has happened to many people, and if it has happened to you, you have a big problem! There is an answer! Ask God to restore you. Ask Him to increase your faith. Luke 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. (KJV) . . . If the apostles had trouble with this problem, we can expect to also. Keep your devotion to the LORD strong and pure.
Isaiah 1:23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. (KJV)
Thy princes are rebellious . . . stubborn and inflexible, refusing to receive and acknowledge the Messiah; such were the Jewish rulers, both civil and religious, in the times of Christ.
And companions of thieves. . . who devoured widows' houses (Mk.12:40); made the Temple which was a house of prayer, a den of thieves (Mk.11:17); and took away the key of knowledge from the people, and would not allow them to attend the ministry of the Gospel (Acts 8:3; 9:1).
Everyone loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards . . . justice is perverted when people accept bribes, and look after easy, fast money (Ps.26:9; Pro.15:27; 17:23; 21:14; 25:14; 28:21; 29:4).
They judge not the fatherless . . . they do not take their cause in hand, if they do, they do not do them justice, but wrong them of their goods and estates, which rightly belong to them.
Neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them . . . there being no money to be gotten by undertaking it. See the case of the unjust judge, a picture of judges in those times (Lk.18:2).
Isaiah 1:24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: (KJV)
Therefore, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel . . . all these names and titles, which express the majesty, power and authority of God, are used to give the greater seriousness and weight to what follows; and to show that He is well able to accomplish what He determines and threatens to do.
Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries . . . ah, expresses grief at their wretched and miserable condition. I will ease me, or I will comfort myself, ease my mind, and satisfy my justice, by taking vengeance, as the next clause explains. The same expression is used in the same way in (Eze.5:13). Of mine adversaries, of the Israelites, who, though they have called themselves God’s children and friends, yet by their anger, displeasure and way of acting towards Him have showed themselves to be His enemies. The Jews were enemies to Christ and His Gospel in Christ’s time on Earth, and refused to have Him to reign over them, and which was the cause of the destruction of their city, Temple, and nation (Lk.19:14).
Isaiah 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: (KJV)
And I will turn my hand upon thee . . . the remnant, according to the election of grace, left in Jerusalem (vs.9), meaning not His afflicting Hand, not even as a fatherly chastisement; though the LORD does at times purges away the iniquity of His people (Isa.27:9), much less His Hand of wrath and vengeance, the lighting down of his arm (Isa.30:30), with the outrage of His anger; but instead, His Hand of effective grace in conversion, with which He graciously plucks sinners as brands out of the burning (Judg.15:5); delivers them from the power of Satan; turns their hearts to Himself; opens them to attend to and understand divine things; breaks their hardness in pieces with the hammer of His Word (Jer.23:29), works grace in them (Eph.2:8-9), and carries on the good work in their souls by the Holy Spirit (Jn.14:16; Rom.8:9). This was accomplished in part in the conversion of a large number of the Jews on the day of Pentecost, and afterwards; and will be more fully accomplished in the latter day, when that people shall turn to the Lord, as the result of His Hand of powerful grace being turned upon them. The phrase is used of the display of divine grace and mercy (Zec.13:7).
And purely purge away thy dross . . . the LORD will by His Word, and by the furnace of affliction (Isa.48:10), purge out all that hypocrisy and corruption that yet remains in them, that requires so sharp a cure. Only the precious Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19), can cleanse away all the dross and filth of sin. The guilt is removed from the conscience (Ps.40:12; 51:4; Isa.59:12), perfect peace sets in (Isa.26:3), and full pardon takes place (Ps.103:12; Mic.7:18-19; Heb.8:12; 10:17). All iniquity is caused to pass from them, and they are clothed with change of raiment (Rev.3:5, 18), the righteousness of Christ (Rom.1:17; 3:21-24; 4:6, 25; 5:21; 1 Cor.1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil.3:9), by which they are justified from all things (Rom.5:1), and are pure, spotless, and without fault before the throne (Rev.14:5).
And take away all thy tin . . . some interpret tin to be iniquity, but it may be better to think of it as self-righteousness; which, as tin is of more worth than dross, and looks like silver . . . self-righteousness has the appearance of some good, and that was what the Jews were fond of, trusted in and depended on. The Lord, by His Spirit, convinces people of the weakness and insufficiency of self-righteousness to justify in His sight; and shows that our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa.64:6). Only the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30) can cause the soul to drop and renounce its own righteousness, and put on that of Jesus!
Isaiah 1:26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. (KJV)
And I will restore thy judges as at the first . . . this seems not to refer to the times after the Babylonian captivity, when the Jews had judges and rulers, such as Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, and as they had in the times of Moses, Joshua and the judges, or as in the times of David and Solomon . . . it seems to refer to the times of the Messiah; when the apostles of Christ, would be set on twelve thrones, and saints shall judge on Judgment Day (Mat.19:28; Lk.22:30; 1 Cor. 6:2-3; 1 Thes.2:13; Jude 1:14-15; Rev.2:26-27; 3:21). In the latter day at the Jews' conversion, the watchmen shall see eye to eye, having a clear discerning and judgment of things (Isa.52:8).
Watchman, Spiritual Guardians: (Isa.21:11; 52:8; 56:10; 52:6; Jer.6:17; 31:6; Eze.3:17; 33:7; Hab.2:1; Heb.13:17; 1 Pet.5:2).
And thy counsellors as at the beginning . . . their princes shall have wisdom and hearken only to wise and faithful counsellors, which is a remarkable blessing to the princes and people. This could be understood of the apostles at Jerusalem, giving advice and counsel in matters of difficulty, and were consulted in special times, of which there is an instance in Acts 15:1.
Afterward thou shall be called the city of righteousness . . . as the Jews’ degeneracy had shown itself most in the magistrates (vs.17-23), so, at their restoration, these shall be like the theocracy (God Himself as the Head), at the first had intended, namely, after the Babylonian restoration in part, but fully and under the Messiah (Isa.32:1; 52:8; Jer.33:7; Mat.19:28). This will be in the last days when many Jews shall be converted through the Hand of the LORD. In that day, Jerusalem will again be called the righteous and faithful city (Isa.4:3; 61:6; Mat.5:9)..
The faithful city . . . to Christ, to His Gospel, His ordinances and one another, as the first Christians at Jerusalem were (Acts 2:12-47). A TRUE church is a congregation of faithful people, who keep the decrees as they were delivered and stand fast in the faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
*****Judah's destiny depends on the people's response to God's offer of forgiving grace. If they are willing to turn from their sin and obey God, He will bestow His gracious favor upon them both physically and spiritually and protect them from their enemies. This goes for all people in today’s world.
Isaiah 1:27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. (KJV)
Zion shall be redeemed with judgment . . . the blessing of redemption by Christ is the source and foundation of all the other blessings of grace, before mentioned, the little remnant are favored with justification, pardon of sin and conversion (vs.18, 25). This blessing is spiritual, the redemption of the soul delivers people from the captivity of sin, Satan and the law, and is abundant and eternal! Personally, I believe that the Greatest Blessing that God the Father has ever bestowed on this sinful Earth is Christ Jesus!
And her converts with righteousness . . . not the world, but only the church is redeemed by Christ; for by Zion is meant . . . Zion is not a place but the people of God, who often bear the name of Zion in this prophecy, and in other passages of Scripture (Isa.4:3-4; 37:32; 41:27; 49:14; 51:16; 52:7; 59:20; 62;11). Zion is symbolic for God's love and His choice of the place of His habitation; and where His worship is, He grants His Presence, and distributes His blessings; for its being a perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth, well-fortified and immovable.
Isaiah 1:28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed. (KJV)
And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together . . . and or rather but, for here is a clear opposition. Although the LORD will deliver His people from the Babylonian captivity, yet those who shall continue on in their sin and wickedness shall NOT benefit from His mercy, but are reserved for a more dreadful and total destruction (Rev.20:15). The beast and false prophet (Rev.13), and of the followers of the Antichrist, the man of sin (2 Thes.2:3), who are transgressors of the law of God and sinners against the Lord; the destruction of these, or the breaking of them into shivers (Rev.2:27), will be at the time of Zion's redemption. These sinners will be all together consumed out of the earth, and these wicked anti-Christians will be no more (Ps.104:35).
And they that forsake the LORD . . . His Word, His worship and His ordinances; as the Papists have clearly done (as one commentator states), by setting up their own unwritten traditions against the Word of God, by polluting His ordinances, and introducing new, non-Biblical ones (Mat.6:7; 15:9; Mk.7:7), and by worshipping images of gold, silver, brass and wood, which is idolatry! Exodus 20:4-5 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (KJV) http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/satanic.htm
Shall be consumed . . . with the spirit of Christ's mouth, and with the brightness of His Coming (2 Thes.2:8), and by the sword proceeding out of His Mouth (Rev.19:21).
Isaiah 1:29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen. (KJV)
For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired . . . not with a sincere and regretful shame for the sin, but with an impulsive, vengeful shame for the disappointment of their hopes which they had in their idols. Which ye have desired which, after the manner of the heathen, they had set themselves apart to worship their idols (Isa.57:5; Jer.2:20; 3:6; Eze.6:13; Hos.4:13).
And ye shall be confounded for the gardens ye have chosen . . . gardens was yet another place where idolatrous practices were performed (Isa.65:3; 66:17). The sense is the same as before and both clauses should be understood of the destruction of sinners, who at that time will be filled with shame and confusion, and they in vain pray to their idols for help. That ye have chosen for the place of your worship, which is clearly opposed to the place which God had chosen and appointed for His worship.
Isaiah 1:30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water. (KJV)
For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth . . . they shall be stripped of all their dependencies and self-confidence, and be as naked and as bare as an oak that has cast its leaves in the fall. Since they have desired oaks, and sacrificed under them, they shall be like them in the winter, stripped bare of all their riches, honor, substance and desirable things (Rev.18).
And as a garden that hath no water . . . in which the herbs and plants are dried up and withered: means the uncomfortable condition such shall be in, as before.
*****All through history, the oak tree has been a symbol of strength, but the people were worshiping supposed sacred oaks. Ezekiel clearly mentions that oak trees were used as places for idol worship (Eze.6:13).
If you are addicted to symbols of strength and power that rival God's place in your life, it would be wise if you changed your views on life. If your commitment to any of your interests border on worship of them and NOT the LORD, again, it would be wise if you changed your views on life. God should be your FIRST loyalty, no matter what! Everything else is temporary and will fade in time, but the LORD is eternal, and so is your soul!
If you have sinned under the oaks and in gardens (or any other place), so you shall be made like unto oaks and gardens when they are not green and thriving, but when they wither and decay. BEWARE!! God warns us in His Word. Pay attention!
Isaiah 1:31 And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them. (KJV)
And the strong shall be as tow . . . the beast (Antichrist) who had great power and authority given by the dragon (Rev.13:2), shall in the last days be cast alive into the lake of fire (Rev.19:20), when he will be like tow (fuel) in those devouring flames, easily, quickly and irrecoverably consumed.
And the maker of it as a spark . . . the maker of the idol, can neither save himself nor his idol or image. His wicked course of life shall bring him to ruin.
And they shall both burn together . . . both the beast and the false prophet shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev.20:10).
And none shall quench them . . . the fire there shall NOT be able to be quenched and shall be everlasting; they will be tormented for ever and ever, and so will all the worshippers of the beast (Mat.25:41).
*****God has been misrepresented in the way that He has been pictured as losing His temper and breaking forth in judgment. Dear one, that is NOT a true picture of our awesome Triune God. The fact is that our sin is like a wick, and when we mess around with the spark of sin, fire will follow! Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (KJV)
Something to consider: A spark set to dry kindling can ever so quickly ignite into a devouring fire. God compares the evil deeds of powerful people to a roaring fire that will devour them. A life without Jesus can be destroyed quickly by a small but deadly spark of evil. BEWARE!!!
In this Chapter, we see God as the Judge of all the Earth and of His people Israel. There are many who think it strange, as Almighty God as a Judge, because in the thinking of the majority of the world today, God has been removed from the Throne of Judgment. He has been stripped of His authority by the vast majority of the world’s population. He has been deprived of His royal privileges and cut off as Moral Ruler of the Universe. ALL that is FALSE!
I think that modern teaching has given us an extremely warped idea of God. He is considered by some as a senile old man with long whiskers. People do not think that He has enough courage or backbone to swat a fly. Boy, are they wrong! God is going to judge this Universe just as He judged His own people. That ought to be a warning not only to nations but also to individuals.
Israel is described as a people laden with iniquity (vs.4). What about the Gentiles of the world today? If the people of Israel were laden with sin . . . so are the people of the world today! (Gen.6:5; Mat.24:38; 15:19; Mk.7:21-23; Eph.2:1-3; Tit.3:3).
Israel began, in their prosperity, to turn away from God, and they finally turned to idolatry, like people today (covetousness, idolatry Col.3:5).
They were in rebellion against God; in fact, they completely forgot Him, so God delivered them into the hands of the enemy. It was not long before they began to cry out to God for deliverance. When they were sincere and turned to God, He delivered them from their enemies and put them back in the place of blessing. This picture follows all the way through Scripture, and history verifies the fact that there are three steps in the downfall of any nation: #1. religious apostasy, #2. moral awfulness, and #3, political anarchy. Most people do not pay any attention to this cycle until political anarchy is reached, and then they cry out that the government should be changed and a new system adopted. The problem in Jerusalem was not in the government, the problem was with the sin of the people! The trouble began with spiritual apostasy with the Jews, and with the people in our day!
Commentaries on Old Testament Books
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page