September 29th Isaiah 9
1: Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 3: Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4: For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5: For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7: Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. 8: The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. 9: And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 10: The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. 11: Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; 12: The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 13: For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts. 14: Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. 15: The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. 16: For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. 17: Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 18: For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. 19: Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. 20: And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: 21: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
1: Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; 2: To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! 3: And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? 4: Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 5: O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6: I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7: Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. 8: For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? 9: Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? 10: As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11: Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? 12: Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13: For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: 14: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. 15: Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. 16: Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 17: And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; 18: And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. 19: And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. 20: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21: The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. 22: For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. 23: For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. 24: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. 25: For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. 26: And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. 27: And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. 28: He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages: 29: They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. 30: Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. 31: Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. 32: As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33: Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. 34: And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.
Today we are reading Isaiah chapters 8 & 9. In chapter 9 Isaiah continues the section he began in ch 8v11 – 9v7 where he describes Gods divine intervention of Immanuel. From v1-7 he describes the coming of Christ to his people. Part of these prophesies refer to Christ’s first coming and part of them to his second coming and they treat the whole thing as if the interregnum of the Church will never occur. (The time of the Church was at this time a mystery hidden in God awaiting the revelation to Paul.) Verse 2 is quoted by the Gospel writers saying - The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. We see this in the life of Christ when he preached repentance to Israel in person. Then Isaiah speaks of a day to come when Israel will suffer under oppression. This is probably speaking of the Roman occupation is Christ’s day. Then Isaiah says that to Israel will be born a child and for Israel a son will be given. This summarises the life of Christ, from birth to death. Then seamlessly he says that government will be upon his shoulder and he will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. This is of course still future. One day all government will be laid on the shoulders of Christ and he will be called by these names. This has not happened yet. His government and peace will increase to include the whole world and he will sit on David’s throne to order and establish his kingdom rule. It will be a rule of judgment and justice and it will go on forever. The Lord of hosts will bring this about but his own determination. From v8 – 10v32 Isaiah writes of The Confederacy of the LORD. It will be established with Israel’s enemies in judgment 9v8-10v4 but it will be broken with the enemies for Israel’s deliverance 10v5-32. From v8-9 we see that the Lord speaks of the sin of self confidence. They threaten to rebuild and to restore the land who the Lord has destroyed v9-10. So the Lord will not turn away his anger from them v12. The Lord will bring the Syrians and Philistines against Israel. In v13 he describes another sin an unwillingness to repent and seek the LORD of hosts. (The phrase the LORD of Hosts or God of heaven, is always the title given to God when addressing Gentiles.) The Lord v14-17 will kill the heads and tails of Israel. The heads are the Elders and the tails are False prophets and they are destroyed because they lead Israel astray. There will be no joy on the Lord for the young men, nor mercy for the orphans and widows, because their religion is a sham and they do evil and speak foolishness. In v18 he speaks of the sin of living without the Mosaic law. The wrath of the Lord v18-21 will go out against the people of the land. They will burn like chaff. They will eat each other for hunger. In chapter 10 Isaiah speaks of the sin of the leaders who pass unrighteous laws. Their laws oppress the poor and refuse justice to the weak and they rob the inheritance of the orphans. The Lord says who will come to your aid? v3-4. From v5-32 Isaiah speaks of the covenant broken with Israel’s enemies and their deliverance. He describes the Assyrian invasion v5-6 who he calls them, the rod of my anger. The Lord will use them to discipline Israel in their hypocrisy and godlessness. Israel will be spoiled and trodden down in the streets. In v7-11 The Lord says that the Assyrians intend to totally destroy Israel. However the Lord will punish Assyria for their invasion v12-15. Assyria will think that their invasion was the result of their might and skill but the Lord will deal with them in judgment. In v16-19 Isaiah describes the destruction of the Assyrian army. But from v20-27 we read of the LORD’s deliverance of Israel in her day of trouble. The Lord will save a remnant of Israel to return to the land. The Lord will bring the invasion to an end in Israel. The Lord encourages them not to be afraid of Assyria because he will only inflict Israel for a limited time. In v28-32 the Lord describes the coming of Sennacherib against Judah. It was at Nob a city of the priests where Sennacherib could see Jerusalem that he shook his fist at the city. Verse 33 is the beginning of a new section 10v33 – 12v6 in which Isaiah describes the Divine intervention of The Son of David. It is the Lord, the LORD of Hosts that will cut off the branch that has extended into the land bringing terror to the people. The high trees (men) of Assyria will be felled. The proud – humbled. The Lord will continue the analogy in the next chapter.