Suggested Bible Reading: Isaiah 28
Isaiah sees the storm clouds of judgment gathering over Jerusalem, as he reminds Judah of what God judged in Ephraim. Ephraim lived as if they could never be captured or destroyed. Proverbs 19:25 tells us, “Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware…” and Proverbs 21:11 says, “When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise…” Isaiah warns Judah of Ephraim’s arrogance, drunkenness, and Amos mentions their luxurious indulgences. (Amos 6) It is interesting to note that alcohol and cigarette nicotine are American’s favorite legal narcotics. In 1989, Dr. Arnold Washton put out a book that stated illegal drugs kill approximately 6,000 people every year while drugs and cigarettes kill 450,000 annually. As Isaiah is rebuking Samaria for priding herself in her beauty, he reminds Judah that God is to be their crown of glory and diadem of beauty. The prophet then tells Judah, you are doing the same things and in danger of the same judgment. The question for us is, “are we guilty of spiritual arrogance, fleshly vices, or selfish living at the expense of obeying the word of God?” The people of Judah said to Isaiah, “You talk to us like we are children. You keep saying the same things over and over, while using simple vocabulary. We don’t believe you. We don’t believe anything will happen.” Do we live as though judgment will never come? People are so intoxicated with intellectual pride that they have no fear of God and no respect for the preacher who is trying to sound the warning. Judah was trusting their political alliances and treaties to offset what Isaiah was warning them would happen if they did not change their ways. Judah watched as Assyria destroyed Israel in 722 b.c. while saying, “It will never happen to me.” As we know, God is patient, but it did eventually happen to Judah. Isaiah concludes this chapter by illustrating how a farmer adjusts his work according to the weather, soil, need, and timing. God, in all wisdom makes the same adjustments as He deals with us in love and justice.
• Lord, help me to always be sensitive to the warnings of scripture.
• Lord, as I see the consequences to sin around me, may I not think of myself more highly than I ought to think, but to realize the same thing can and will happen to me.
• Lord, may I exalt you to your rightful place to confront my heart through the reading and preaching of your word.
• Lord, help me to thank you for dealing with me appropriately and may I never learn to reject conviction.