In today’s lesson, God deals with Jerusalem, her sin, and her end.
Isaiah Chapter 29
Lessons from the text
Calling God a Liar
No one calls God a liar! That would be foolish!
Really? I guarantee that at some point in your life, you have called God a liar.
Verse 16 states that it is foolish for a man to say of his Maker, “He had no understanding.” The very one who knew how to align every molecule in my body to make it function perfectly obviously has to know what He is doing. No one thinks that humans should have been engineered with three legs for greater speed! We are made exactly as God intented us to be made.
What, then, about His word?
Do you believe that God knew exactly what He was doing when He had man pen the Scriptures? If you believe that God does not know what He was talking about when He discusses homosexuality, bestiality, being chaste before marriage, cursing, or even the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then you have said that God lacks understanding on those issues. You are saying that He is lying to you about it. Again, if you feel like you need to “update” God’s words to “modern” times, then you are saying that God’s ways are no longer valid. They are no longer true to modern times.
Don’t be fooled by “updates” or “improvements.” There are no such things in the word of God. It is holy, unchangeable, and perfect just the way it is; any teaching not based on the infallibility of the word and grounded in its principles should be disregarded.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1-3 Ariel physically is a city in the West Bank. However, the Hebrew word means “Lion of God” and is a reference to Jerusalem where David ruled all of Israel. Even though Jerusalem is the holy city where God once accepted sacrifices from man for atonement of sin, God Himself will fight against the city through the strength of other nations (the forts). This was fulfilled with the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions.
God, they trusted in trade and the knowledge of other nations; therefore, the thing they trusted will be brought down with them.
7-8 In a dream-like state, the nations that will come up against Jerusalem will be victorious but their victory will fade away as soon as they come to the reality of God’s righteousness. Consider God’s words against the king of Assyria in chapter 10; one lives in one’s own reality, believing to be acting according to one’s own will, but is actually performing the will of God. If one fails to acknowledge that will but continues to live according to one’s own desires, one is like an axe boasting against the one who swings it.
9-12 God will not disclose Himself to those who refuse Him. Jerusalem was given the word of God at the hand of Moses. They saw the wonderful works of God, yet they did not have faith. Therefore God will not give them understanding of the Scriptures. Being asleep is living in a false reality.
13-14 God does not like religion without sincerity. Though one may attend worship, give tithes, and even fulfill all the sacrificial laws, if it is nothing more than an outward effort, it is useless. God is interested in the heart, not what one professes with one’s lips.
15 God wants one to consult Him with one’s decisions. To not want to bring the decision to God is an indication that the deed is evil. See John 3:18-21.
16 To place one’s knowledge above the knowledge of the Lord is to, in fact, say that one is superior to God. Obviously, such is folly, yet every time one chooses to follow one’s own advice or the advice of another human rather than God’s advice, one commits this fallacy.
17-19 God sees the future and knows that liberation is coming for those who accept the Holy One of Israel, which is a reference to Jesus (Ps 16:10). The forest is the saints. See Isaiah 61:1-3 and Luke 4:14-21.
20-21 The enemy of man will be cut off when the forest grows. When Christ died and resurrected, He broke the power of death and defeated sin (I Cor 15:55-57). When one accepts Christ on faith, He comes to live inside of one, therefore freeing one from the bondage of sin and death. One can then overcome all the snares of this world.
22 God redeemed Abraham by removing him from his current place and imputing righteousness on him for his faith (Gen 12:1, 15:6). God will follow through on His promise to take care of Abraham’s descendents.
23-24 Jacob will see his children become the work of God’s hands and give glory to Jesus and the Father. This verse points to the eternal life of the soul. It supports Jesus’ rebuke of the Sadducees when He said, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mt 22:32). Also, in the time when Israel becomes God’s work, the false doctrine will be exposed and the truth will be plainly taught for all to understand. God’s ultimate plan is redemption for Israel.
Please comment below to share what you learned from today's lesson.