Bible Study: Isaiah 31:1-9
Today's lesson expounds on the error of looking for help in the wrong places.
Isaiah Chapter 31
Lessons from the text
A Humbled God
In this chapter God says that He will not be abased even though men shout together against Him. In other words, He will not be humbled by the threats of men. It is amazing that the God who is so high above, who is so much more powerful and wiser than men, who cannot be humbled by any man, would choose to humble himself on the cross. Jesus had 10,000 legions of angels at His command, yet He chose to suffer humiliation and shame (Mt 26:53). When the soldiers came to arrest him in the garden of gethsemane a single word from Him knock them all to the ground (Jn 18:6). No one took Jesus' life; He gave it!
The Second Commandment
God makes a comment in verse 7 that the Jews had made their own idols. Got explicitly God explicitly commands that we are not to worship any image of any god. As the Hindus worship their figurines, many of the false religions have particular statues which they prayed to believing that object to be a god. It's the same thing as if I were to pray to a wooden cross believing that that cross was God, instead of praying to the invisible God who is the one true God.
Did you know it does no good to pray to your Bible? It does no good to pray to an image of Jesus. Instead, we are to pray to God the Father who dwells in heaven. This is why God in the second commandment forbids His people from making an image that represents Him. He doesn't want there to be any confusion as to who it is we are praying to. The cross itself cannot save anybody. It's the person who died on the cross who saves. Pray to the invisible God in heaven, and if you have excepted on faith His son Jesus, then He will hear from heaven and withhold nothing from you (Jn 14:12-13).
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 Just because something looks strong does mean that person is strong. One should not judge strength by outward appearances.
2 In contrast to physical strength, God has wisdom and the authority to perform His words. He will also fight against evil and those who approve of evil.
3 The strength of man is nothing compared to the strength of God. One should not look for what one sees but for the invisible hand of God that is more powerful than anything here on earth.
4 God has no reason to be afraid of men. Even if a whole army is come against him, He is undeterred. God will not be humbled by anyone.
5-6 The Jews have revolted against God all the way from Moses to today; they failed to obey God's law, wanting to return to Egypt, worshipping idols, and finally having the Son of God crucified by the Romans. Yet for all this, God will still defend them. Salvation is not dependent upon man but upon the actions and choices of God. He extends His grace to man by calling for people to turn to Him. Since the Jews have rejected him, He turns His attention to all other peoples (preach to the Jews then to all the earth).
7 In the day God shows Himself by fighting for the Jews, it will be clear that all false gods are the inventions of humans and are unable to help anyone.
8 Assyria will be defeated not by valiant men or by cruelty but by discomfort.
9 When fights against His enemies, they are forced to recognize the divine authority He has from Mount Zion. Compare with chapter 30 verse 33.
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