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God Knows Better (Isaiah 28:9~22)
9 "Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?
10 For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there."
11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people,
12 to whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose" -- but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there -- so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured.
14 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place."
16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.
17 I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through." The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.
20 The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.
21 The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon -- to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task.
22 Now stop your mocking, or your chains will become heavier; the Lord, the LORD Almighty, has told me of the destruction decreed against the whole land.
Sheer Arrogance (28:9–13)
Isaiah criticizes the stubborn leaders of the community for their unwillingness to hear and apply God’s teachings. They resent Isaiah’s instructions because they believe themselves to be wiser than God. They even go so far as to mock his message. God is appalled by their arrogance and will respond by teaching them through foreign oppressors. We might believe ourselves to be humbler and wiser than these corrupt leaders, but haven’t we all at one point or another trusted in our own knowledge and judgment above God’s? We too are prone to the kind of arrogance that questions God’s instructions. May we confess today that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and submit wholeheartedly to His will.
- What are the areas of your life in which you trust your own wisdom over God’s? How can you cultivate a humbler attitude toward reading His Word and listening to His teaching?
The Way to Life (28:14–22)
Many people believe that following God is about following rules. The leaders to whom Isaiah is speaking certainly seem to think so. God’s indictment against them, however, is not only that they disobeyed His instructions—it goes much deeper than that. His indictment is that they refused the rest and protection He offered them (v. 12). They also failed to reflect His heart of justice and righteousness, and instead of depending on Him for protection, they made a “covenant with death” and foolishly believed that it would protect them from destruction. They failed to understand that God gives us laws not to control us like little children but to guide us in the way of life. His commands are an expression of His love for us, and our obedience is an expression of our worship and devotion to Him.
- Do you trust that obedience to God’s commands will lead to joy, peace, and abundant life? How can you express this trust through greater obedience to His Word?
A letter to God
God, thank you for Your Word, for it is life to me. Humble my heart and help me to understand that Your ways are higher than mine and that You are always good. Keep me on the path that leads to eternal life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.