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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 28

Verses 1-29

  1. Intro:
    1. Announce - Tickets still available!
      1. Call Judy Terry at the church tomorrow (677-5667).
      2. Dinner Theatre (And the Word came with Power!)
      3. Filipino Cuisine.
    2. Prayer - Valeton in his work “The Prophecies of Isaiah” writes, “Never perhaps has there been another prophet like Isaiah, who stood with his head in the clouds & his feet on solid earth, with his heart in the things of Eternity & with mouth & hand in the things of time, with his spirit in the eternal counsel of God & his body in a very definite moment of history.”
    3. Intro - 6 Woes in ch.’s 28-33. (1st Woe here)
  2. NORTHERN TRIBES! (1-13)
    1. An Indictment against Drunkenness! (1-8)
    2. Crown Comparison!
      1. Note: Crown of Pride vs. Crown of Glory.
        1. Isaiah contrasts the dying wreathes of the drunkards w/the true & glorious crown of Judah, the Lord Almighty.
      2. A crown of pride - like the teenage girl when asked if she knew what to do in case of emergencies. Yes she responded confidently, Be sure your clothes match in case you're on TV.
      3. 1 Cor.9:25 “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
      4. Paul says in Phil.3:19 there are some “whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame; (why?) who set their mind on earthly things.”
        1. We wear things on our head to associate us with something!
        2. In our day & age it’s a baseball hat or surf beanies, cowboy hats for some.
          1. Why do we wear a CCM Hat? A Burke hat?
      5. Q: What crown do I see you wearing on your brow tonight?
        1. Is that a conceit crown I see there?
        2. Is that a tightfisted tiara you’re wearing?
        3. Is that a disputing diadem over there?
        4. Is that a grumbling garland on your brow?
        5. Is that a haughty headband I see on your forehead?
        6. Is that a wreath of shame I see on you?
        7. Or, is that a Christ Crown I see you sporting?
        8. If not, repent & receive the glorious diadem – the Lord Himself!
    3. It was a confident time in Israel but their prosperity would fade like:
      1. [1] A fading flower(1,3,4)
      2. [2] Be carried away in a storm & flood(2)
      3. [3] Be swallowed swiftly like fresh fruit(4).
    4. (7,8) Religious leaders should be filled w/the spirit, not with wine!
    5. An Indictment against an Unteachable spirit! (9-14)
    6. (9,10) The priests & prophets were angry Isaiah was speaking to them as if they were little children.
      1. “We’re adults!” “We can speak for ourselves!”
      2. So, they mimicked Isaiah as if to speak “baby talk” to them(10).
        1. ​​​​​​​Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, 3 bags full! (like in Classic Nursery Rhyme form)
      3. (NIV) “Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there.”
      4. This is a series of sounds in the Hebrew, listen…“Tsaw latsaw, Tsaw latsaw, qaw laqaw, qaw laqaw.”
      5. “a little here, a little there” – was a method used in teaching kids by frequent & forceful repetition.
    7. (11) Ok, so you don’t want to listen my prophet Isaiah, then listen to a foreign voice that speak no peace & show no love.
      1. Some use this to back up “speaking in tongues” in the OT.
        1. Now you know the context.
        2. But wait, Paul uses it in 1 Cor.14:21.
          1. Vs. 22 explains it. (i.e. if they are interpreted see 23,27)
    8. (12,13) I had for you rest & refreshing.
      1. Believer, look what he has for us also!
      2. Mt.11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
      3. So why do we worry again? Spurgeon said, “You are aboard such a large ship that you would be unable to steer even if your Captain placed you at the helm. You would not even be able to adjust the sails, yet you worry as if you were the captain or the helmsman of the vessel. Be quiet, dear soul – God is the Master!...Believe this & you will have peace. Don’t be afraid!”
      4. I had for you rest & refreshing but you didn’t want it! (sad vs.12b)
        1. The driver of a carabao wagon was on his way to market in the Philippines, when he overtook an old man carrying a heavy load. Taking compassion on him, the driver invited the old man to ride in the wagon. Gratefully the old man accepted. After a few minutes, the driver turned to see how the man was doing. To his surprise, he found him still straining under the heavy weight, for he had not taken the burden off his shoulders.
        2. Therefore God turns their mocking back on them! (13)
  3. SOUTHERN TRIBES! (14-29)
    1. ​​​​​​​(14,15) As the North went, so goes the south!
      1. Like 2 tennis balls tied together…& you throw one.
    2. Why would these rulers of Jerusalem say these things?
      1. Could be that Isaiah was using Semitic mythology.
      2. e.g. in the Ugaritic (An ancient and extinct Semitic language once spoken in the region that is now northern Syria. Closely related to Hebrew and Phoenician.) pantheon death was personified as the god of the underworld.
        1. Thus the Jerusalem leaders were trusting in other gods to save them from the coming scourge of Assyria.
        2. Yet, the only one to save them was the Lord God…“the Tested, Precious, & Sure, foundation Stone!” (vs.16)
        3. Not your wood gods – but only “The Branch, The Shoot, the Stump, The Door”!
        4. Not your stone gods – but only “The Foundation Stone, The Corner Stone”!
        5. Only He is the basis for physical & spiritual salvation.
    3. (20) To seek protection from false gods would be as inadequate as lying in a bed that is too short or trying to cover oneself w/a blanket that is too small. (Walvoord; pg.1078)
      1. I picture a 6’ man trying to get rest in a crib, or a woman wrapping herself in a Barbie blanket.
    4. The Master Farmer! (23-29)
    5. (23) If the farmer acts with wisdom…How much more God?
      1. God is seeking a harvest & knows exactly how to handle the soil & the seeds.
      2. Ahhh, here Isaiah ends with a word of comfort!
    6. (24) The only goal of plowing is to make the clods smaller!
      1. Wait, isn’t that exactly what He wants to do with us!
        1. “I must decrease!”
      2. No one step is done continuously. (plowing, planting, threshing)
        1. A farmer never plows just for the sake of plowing, but is simply preparing for his intended crop!
    7. (27) A farmer must crush his crops to get the desired results.
      1. e.g. caraway & cumin, aromatic herbs, are beaten out w/a rod or stick. (i.e. not threshed, seeds are too small)
      2. Various crops must be treated differently.
      3. So why should I be frightened or surprised by the plow of the Lord which makes deep furrows in my soul?
        1. He is not some arbitrary or irrational farmer – His purpose is to yield a harvest. (Samuel Rutherford; pg.260; July 4 Streams in the Desert.)
    8. (28) (NIV) Grain must be ground to make bread!
      1. Many of us cannot be used as food for the world’s hunger, because we have yet to be broken in Christ’s hands. “Grain must be ground to make bread!” (J.R.Miller; pg.238; July 19 Streams in the Desert.)
        1. The things most precious to us today have come to us through tears & pain.
        2. Children – They come into this world w/pain & tears & cause pain & tears through the years!
        3. Our Spouse – Our closest friends - Our ministries.
        4. Ignatius, “God has made me as bread for His chosen ones, & if it is necessary for me to “be ground” in the teeth of lions in order to feed His children, then blessed be the name of the Lord.”
        5. To burn brightly our lives must first experience the flame.
        6. We cease to bless others when we cease to bleed.
        7. Combat comes before Victory!
        8. The Plow before the Produce!
    9. There is an end to judgment. (28b)
    10. (29) He is the Master Farmer who knows how to handle each crop!
      1. Submit to Him Southern kingdom, submit to Him saint!
      2. He knows you intimately “little cumin”.
      3. We may not enjoy the plowing & threshing, but the results are worth it! - It IS for our profit!
        1. Heb.12:10 “For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”
      4. It is the weights of the grandfather clock that keep it running!
      5. The bible greats were 1st broken, threshed, & ground into bread for the hungry.
        1. Abraham was plowed up from his homeland; Jacob was seriously sifted; Joseph was threshed before he sat on Potiphar’s throne; David found himself kneaded through-n-through before he was made into bread for his nation; Jesus the Bread of Life had to 1st become a grain of wheat & die before he could bring forth much grain for His household; & Paul was ground into fine flour, but the result was personally getting served up for the Royal family.
      6. We’ll give Paul the final word, “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,… Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” (Phil.1:29, 2:17)
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 28". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/isaiah-28.html. 2017.