And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
and inscribe it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come
as a witness forever.
For they are a rebellious people,
children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lord;
who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
I thought these verses coincided with much of what I see in the world today. I guess it’s always been like this.
Israel is seeking salvation from Egypt, which would upset anyone who knows their history with Egypt. Here is a people who were previously enslaved by the Egyptians and now they are willing to buy protection from the Egyptians. They are willing to potentially give up their freedom in order to have the perception of being safe. Continue reading
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me
This is God talking to King Cyrus.
In this verse God is reminding Cyrus where his power and authority come from. God reminds Cyrus not to get too full of himself and start thinking of himself as a god.
As king of Persia, Cyrus conquered Babylon which was a great power at the time. So Cyrus was a pretty powerful king to conquer such a powerful nation. Continue reading
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
Biblical scholars’ commentaries on this verse say that Isaiah is referring to the defeat of the Assyrian army and that the great light mention may be referring to the coming of Christ.
I thought differently when I read this verse and decided to write about it. Continue reading
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” That is a question we all should ask ourselves every day, and then we should honestly answer it. Continue reading
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
Isaiah is speaking of the Messiah. If you read further into chapter 11, specifically verses 6 through 9, you will read about the peace that the Messiah will bring to the world. What I wanted to write about is what Isaiah is saying in verses 3 through 5, and how they apply to the present, especially with all the technology and how easy it is to manipulate the truth. Continue reading
All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
The English Standard Version of the Bible titles these verses: The Folly of Idolatry”.
Isaiah speaks of how we take man-made objects and give them powers they do not possess. We turn them into false gods that meet our human expectations. We do this today just as it was done in the time of Isaiah. It is done within the conventional organized religions, where symbols are professed to deliver us from evil. And there are those who claim that some man-made objects can possess evil powers. These are obvious examples of idolatry. But many of us fall to the folly of idolatry in a more subtle manner. Continue reading
“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
Thus says the Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
“Ask me of things to come;
will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?
I made the earth
and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.
Before I sat down to write this post I read some commentaries about theses verses, in order to get a better understanding of what Isaiah is saying, and to whom these words are directed.
Isaiah is speaking to the Jews who are grumbling against God. They are complaining about how God has allowed them to be taken into captivity before sending them salvation. Some of them are wondering why God didn’t just cut out all the drama and turmoil of being enslaved by foreign invaders and just save them from being captured in the first place. Continue reading