August 3, 2007
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Following Scripture Verses
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- 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!
- 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.
- The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
- 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.
- 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,
- And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
- 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.
- 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.
- For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
- For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
- Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
- 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?
- For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.
- 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.
- 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.
- This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.
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- Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.
- Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.
- And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.
- And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
- Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
- Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.
- And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.
- It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.
- Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
- For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
- And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
- And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
- Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
- Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
- Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
- Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
- Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
- And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
- The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
- For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:
- That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
- Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.
- But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.
- They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.
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- Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
- That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
- Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
- For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.
- They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.
- The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.
- For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.
- Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
- That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
- Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
- Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
- Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
- Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
- And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.
- For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
- But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
- One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.
- And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
- For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
- And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
- And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
- Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.
- Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.
- The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan.
- And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.
- Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
- Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
- And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
- Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.
- And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.
- For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
- And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the LORD shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.
- For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.
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Thought for the day:
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In Isaiah 28 the prophet moves on to declarations against Israel, referred to in this passage as Ephraim. Israel was filled with pride, but their behavior was certainly nothing to be proud of! They are referred to as drunkards, and there is no reason to take this in any other way except literally. Verse 1 concludes by saying that they were "overcome with wine" , which leads us to understand that the sin of alcohol consumption was running rampant through the kingdom. This drinking had caused them to make serious errors in judgment (7). They were walking in the wrong spiritual paths, and they could not see what they were supposed to be doing. Interestingly, the problem was not confined to the average citizen, but was epidemic among the priests and prophets as well (7). This sin so corrupted the nation that verse 8 tells us that "all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean."
In spite of their sinfulness and impending judgment, God still makes a promise to His people. He tells them that while the beauty which they had would become a fading flower (4), yet the day would come when He would be the crown and beauty of those in the kingdom who chose to believe and follow Him (5). In spite of their current inability to make sound decisions, there would come a day when the Lord would empower judges and leaders to choose exactly as He would have them to do (6). This gives us a wonderful picture of our God. He desires to forgive His people, and wants to bless them. He also keeps His promises. He had established that the Messianic Kingdom would someday come, and even Israel's drunken rebellion against Him would not make Him break that vow.
In spite of warnings of judgment and promises of blessings, Ephraim continued to ignore God's message and messenger. Verses 9-10 are the sarcastic utterances of the Jewish people in response to Isaiah's prophecies. Here what they say,
"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. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little."
The people are accusing Isaiah of treating them like children. They say that he is only capable of teaching small children who have recently been weaned. They mock his delivery of truth, saying that he delivers it one line after another, using much repetition, teaching a little bit from here and a little bit from there, just like a kindergarten teacher might instruct her young pupils. Of course, the children of Israel were infants - spiritual babies. They had neither the desire for nor the interest in the Scriptures. Thus God pronounces a special judgment upon them. He says something like this, "If you don't want to learn from the words of my prophet, I will teach you through the lips of a foreign nation which shall rise up against you (11). Then, when you are in captivity, you will have plenty of time to learn the truth line upon line and precept upon precept (13). Again note the graciousness of God in verse 12. He reminds them that He had offered them rest and refreshing, but they refused it. In spite of everything, He would have blessed them if they had only returned. But they refused, and the price was that they would "go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
I want to take a moment to point out something in verse 11 that has great relevance to the modern charismatic movement. I Corinthian 12-14 contains the most extensive discussion of the spiritual gift of tongues in the New Testament. In I Cor. 14:21, right in the middle of his explanation of tongues, Paul writes,
"In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people."
He then says,
"Wherefore, tongues are a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not" (14:22).
He is using the Old Testament reference to explain the New Testament gift. The verse he is referring to is Isaiah 28:11, which spoke of the impending judgment of God. Therefore, Paul is saying that the gift of tongues was given so that unbelievers, specifically Jews (I Cor. 1:22) would realize that the judgment of God was about to fall. Of course, the great judgment against Jerusalem which occurred after Paul's writing was its destruction by Titus in 70 A.D., which coincides with the historical beginning of the demise of the gift of tongues. Of course there are other reasons that this gift is no longer operative today, the main one being that since we now have the completed Word of God there is no longer any need for new and direct revelation from God through tongues and interpretation (I Cor. 13:8-10).
I would like to briefly point out one last reference in Isaiah 28. The New Testament refers on several occasions to the chief corner stone which is laid in Zion (Matt 21:42; I Peter 2:6-8; Rom 9:33). Of course, these passages are referring to Jesus Christ. The Old Testament basis for this is found in Isaiah 28:16, which reads,
"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."
Praise God the Jesus Christ is the foundation of our belief, and that we can have the assurance of eternal life through Him.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery