Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation

Part XLII: God's Judgment On Israel's Leaders For Rejecting The Message Of God's Prophet

(Isaiah 28:1-13)


I.              Introduction

A.    Israel stood in need of judgment for the sin of disobeying God's Word, but her leaders rejected the warning of God's prophet, Isaiah, to repent, so they left themselves open to divine judgment.

B.    Isaiah 28:1-13 records this event, with applicable insight and lessons for us (as follows):

II.           God's Judgment On Israel's Leaders For Rejecting The Message Of God's Prophet, Isaiah 28:1-13.

A.    Isaiah predicted the tragic fall of the Northern Kingdom of Samaria due to her leaders' alcoholism, Isa. 28:1-4:

1.     Introducing his prophetic message against the Northern Kingdom by use if the interjection, "Woe!" Isaiah suggested "impending doom or grief" on the kingdom, Isaiah 28:1a; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1077.

2.     That woe was spoken against the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the city of Samaria that crowned the top of the hill of Samaria that overlooked a beautiful, agriculturally productive valley, Isaiah 28:1b; Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, vol. II, p. 262-264.

3.     The reason for this woe was the drunkenness of the leaders, which vice would cause Samaria like a flower about to fade to be crushed under the trampling feet of Assyria's invading soldiers, Isaiah 28:1c-3; Ibid.

4.     Like a ripe fig that a man quickly plucks from a fig tree and devours, Samaria's fall would be sudden, implying the lack of hope for the people of Ephraim, Isaiah 28:4; Ibid., p. 268.

B.    Yet, in contrast to Ephraim's fall, God Himself would be seen by Israel as her glorious crown, Isaiah 28:5-6:

1.     Though Israel's people viewed their capital city as their crown on the hill of Samaria, in their fall to Assyria, they would come to see their true crown of beauty as the Lord in His Kingdom, Isaiah 28:5:

                        a.  In Isaiah 28:1, the crown of Samaria was a crown of pride (ge'uth), but in Isaiah 28:5, God will one day in the Kingdom be viewed as a crown of beauty (tzevi), Ibid., Young, p. 269.  The word beauty, tzevi,  is "a striking alliteration with tsephirath," a "diadem," Ibid.; Isaiah 28:5.

                        b.  To explain that beauty, Isaiah 28:6 claims that God will give a spirit of justice to him who sits to judge and strength to those who turn back the battle to the gate of the city of the attackers, Ibid., p. 270-271.

C.    Returning to the sinful people of Samaria, Isaiah mentioned how even the supposed spiritual leaders of the people, the priests and prophets, were getting drunk with their tables becoming covered with vomit even when they were supposedly seeing prophetic visions as prophets and rendering decisions as priests, Isaiah 28:7-8.

D.    However, these spiritual leaders of Samaria reacted negatively to Isaiah's prophecy, refusing to believe his message and mocking his method of presenting it to them, Isaiah 28:9-10:

1.     The speakers of verse 9 are revealed in the context at verses 7-8 to be Samaria's wayward prophets and priests, and they expressed anger at being addressed by Jeremiah as if they were little children, Isaiah 28:9.

2.     They belittled Isaiah "as if he were speaking 'baby talk' to them," Isaiah 28:10 ESV: they said, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept [saw lasaw, saw lasaw], line upon line, line upon line [qaw laqaw, qaw laqaw], here a little, there a little" much as one would teach a little child, thus "acting as if he were an adult 'lecturing' a little child," Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T.

E.     In response, Isaiah announced that God would speak to these people in a foreign language by people of foreign lips, a signal of coming judgment in fulfillment of the Mosaic Covenant in Deut. 28:49; Isa. 28:11.   [This passage is the basis for God's sending the gift of tongues of foreign languages in Acts 2 -- that gift was a sign of national judgment for Israel's having rejected her Messiah, cf. Acts 2:1-40 with 1 Corinthians 14:21-22.]  Since Samaria had refused Isaiah's message of gaining God's rest by faith and obedience (Isaiah 28:12), God's Word would indeed be precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little in destructive judgment and national captivity, Isaiah 28:13.


Lesson: For acts of sin and rejecting the warning of God's prophet, mocking how he was presenting his message, God would cause the prophets and priests of Samaria to see that message become horrifically applicable to them in severe judgment.   Yet, in the Kingdom, God would become the crown of glory and blessing for Israel's remnant.


Application: (1) May we avoid substance abuse, be it alcoholism or anything else.  (2) May we repudiate false pride and glory only in the Lord.  (3) May we never mock the presentation of Bible truth even if it is given to us in simplicity, for simple Bible truth is still God Almighty's authoritative truth, and He fully applies it to us!