Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 246 – Woe To The Crown Of Pride Through Wonderful Counsel (Isaiah 28:1-29)
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1. Were the leaders of Ephraim, at the time Isaiah prophesied about them here, humble?
No: “(1) Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! (2) Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. (3) The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: (4) And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up” (Isaiah 28:1-4).
Ephraim was a tribe of Israel (Jeremiah 31:9), sons of Joseph (Genesis 46:20).
Pride of Ephraim (Hosea 5:3-5), but that was not all (Hosea 6:10 and Hosea 7:1).
Pride = not good (Psalms 10:2-6, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 15:25, Proverbs 16:18-19, Proverbs 28:25, Proverbs 29:23, Isaiah 2:11-17, Jeremiah 13:15, James 4:6-10, I Peter 5:5, and I John 2:16).
What was beautiful was temporary (Hosea 6:4 and Hosea 9:16).
The mighty and strong one the Lord used against Ephraim, and Israel as a whole (II Kings 18:9-12).
We’ll discuss the drunkard aspect in the 3rd question (Isaiah 28:7-8).
2. In the day God judged them, what was God going to do for the residue of His people and for them that turn the battle to the gate?
A crown of glory to the residue of His people and strength to those who turned the battle to the gate: “(5) In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, (6) And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate” (Isaiah 28:5-6).
Glory back to whom it belongs (Isaiah 45:25 and Jeremiah 9:23-24).
The residue, the remnant (Isaiah 1:9, Isaiah 10:20-21, Isaiah 11:16, and Isaiah 37:31-32).
Spirit of judgment (Psalms 72:1-4 and Isaiah 32:15-18).
He would be strength to them that turn the battle to the gate (Deuteronomy 20:4, Psalms 46:1, Proverbs 10:29, and Isaiah 40:31).
3. What did wine and strong drink do to some in Ephraim?
Caused them to err: “(7) But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean” (Isaiah 28:7-8).
Alcohol perverts judgment (Leviticus 10:9-10, Proverbs 31:4-5, and Isaiah 56:10-12).
God’s people should be sober (I Thessalonians 5:7-8, I Peter 4:7, and I Peter 5:8).
Alcohol is not to be used by God’s people (Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 21:17, Proverbs 23:20-21, Proverbs 23:29-35, Isaiah 5:11, Isaiah 5:22, Hosea 4:11, Luke 21:33-34, Romans 13:13, I Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:17-18, and I Peter 4:1-5).
Stupidity results from drunkenness (Habakkuk 2:15-16).
4. Was the word of God going to bring about repentance for Ephraim?
No: “(9) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (11) For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. (12) To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. (13) But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” (Isaiah 28:9-13).
There appears to be some mocking going on here [basically saying, who is he truing to teach - babies] toward Isaiah (II Chronicles 36:14-16).
Sometimes people just don’t want to learn (Psalms 50:16-17, Proverbs 1:27-30, Isaiah 30:10-12, Jeremiah 5:31, and Jeremiah 6:10).
They could not understand his speech (cf. John 8:43).
They heard the commands of God one upon another, but didn’t hearken (Jeremiah 25:3-7).
They could have had a message of rest, but they would not (Isaiah 30:15).
Here is a great summary: “(10) Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes. (11) Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin. (12) I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. (13) They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.(14) For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof” (Hosea 8:10-14).
5. With whom [what] did the rulers of Ephraim make a covenant?
Death and hell: “(14) Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. (15) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves” (Isaiah 28:14-15).
You cannot “make a deal with the devil” to escape the judgment of God (Ecclesiastes 8:8).
They actually thought God wasn’t going to do anything as they had false comfort in their lies (Isaiah 5:18-19, Jeremiah 5:12-13, Jeremiah 17:15, and Zephaniah 1:12).
There’s no hiding from God (Jeremiah 23:24) neither can anyone escape from God’s judgment of the past or to come (Psalms 98:9, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Matthew 16:27, John 5:28-29, Acts 17:30-31, and II Corinthians 5:10).
6. As a result of the covenant they made, what prophesy does Isaiah reveal?
Christ, the corner stone: “(16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (17) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (18) And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. (19) From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. (20) For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. (21) For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act” (Isaiah 28:16-21).
Christ is prophesied (Acts 4:10-12, Ephesians 2:20, and I Peter 2:4-9).
Judgment is tied to this prophesy Christ (Isaiah 11:1-5 and John 9:39).
God is not going to permit imminent doom on His people (Matthew 1:21 and Luke 19:1-10).
The plans of man cannot undo those of God (Isaiah 8:10).
The message is of sure vexation [sure terror] when they’d understand the report (Isaiah 66:2-6). Things like the destruction of Jerusalem spoken by Christ (Luke 21:22-32) or even the Judgment Day (II Corinthians 5:10-11).
The bed they’ve made, doesn’t work (Isaiah 57:12).
Strange work? To whom? Maybe, that they didn’t get it (Luke 19:41-44)?
7. What should they have done to prevent their bands being made strong?
Don’t be mockers: “Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth” (Isaiah 28:22).
They didn’t listen (Jeremiah 20:7, Mark 15:31, and Luke 22:63).
Their bands were made strong (Lamentation 1:13-17).
The consumption (Isaiah 10:22-23 and Isaiah 32:12-14).
8. What is the Lord teaching when He talked about the plowman working?
That work is intended to bring forth fruit. The plowman does not just continually work to prepare the ground, he expects production. Thus, God is showing that His wisdom is not to keep destroying, but to bring forth a productive people through His judgment: “(23) Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. (24) Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? (25) When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? (26) For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. (27) For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. (28) Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. (29) This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working” (Isaiah 28:23-29).
Everything God was doing was for a reason (Romans 11:25-27).
He wasn’t doing all of this for nothing to come forth from it. His plan did get fulfilled (Galatians 3:14-29).
Index Of Old Testament Studies
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