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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Isaiah 30

Verses 1-33

Chapter 30

Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not from me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to their sin ( Isaiah 30:1 ):

Now these people, the judgment was coming. They knew that Assyria was marching. But rather than turning to God for counsel and for help, they were sending ambassadors down to Egypt to make a mutual defense pact with Egypt so that they could hire the Egyptians to come and to help defend them against the Assyrians. But the prophet said it's stupid to call on Egypt for help, because Assyria's going to wipe out Egypt. But Assyria's not going to wipe out you. Now your strength is just to stand still and do nothing but trust in the Lord. And woe unto those that are seeking counsel but not from God. "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly" ( Psalms 1:1 ).

People today are seeking counsel, but not from God. They are many of them going to ungodly psychiatrists who are filled with humanism and Freudism. And they are giving you the garbage and charging you a hundred dollars an hour for garbage. That's ridiculous! Woe unto those that take counsel but not from God. That seek to find a covering but not from the Spirit.

That go down to Egypt, and have not asked from God; [they seek] to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and they trust in the shadow of Egypt! ( Isaiah 30:2 )

But there's no real substance to Egypt. It's a shadow. It's going to decline. It's going to fall.

Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and your trust in the shadow of Egypt will only bring you confusion. For the princes were there at Zoan, and the ambassadors they came to Hanes [the major cities of Egypt in that day]. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be able to help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach. The burden of the beasts of the south: To the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they carry their riches upon the shoulders of young donkeys, 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, Your strength is just to sit still ( Isaiah 30:3-7 ).

Now this is what the prophet Isaiah kept telling Hezekiah, "Don't worry about it. God's going to defend you. You don't have to worry about the Assyrians and their invasion, because God is going to take care of you. You're not going to have to fight the battle. God is going to fight for you. Now just trust in the Lord." And here he is saying, "Your strength is just to sit still and trust in God."

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 ( Isaiah 30:8 ):

Write it down for them so that when God does, you can take the book out and say, "Look, this is what I told you. See? There it is."

That this is a rebellious people, they are lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Don't prophesy to us right things, but speak smooth things, prophesy deceitfully ( Isaiah 30:9-10 ):

Only tell me good things about me. Don't tell me the truth. I don't want to hear that. They say to the prophets,

Get 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 you're resting on it: 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 ( Isaiah 30:11-14 ):

God's going to crack all of these pots.

This takes you out to the book of Revelation where it talks about the reign of Jesus Christ, who as with an iron, will pop the clay vessels and shatter them to pieces. Those that have exalted themselves, He'll pop them.

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 ( Isaiah 30:14 ).

There won't be enough left to even take water out.

For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall you be saved ( Isaiah 30:15 );

Don't go to Egypt. Just return and rest in the Lord and there you'll be safe.

in quietness and confidence shall be your strength: but you won't listen [you will not hear]. For you said, No; we will flee upon horses ( Isaiah 30:15-16 );

"We'll get away from the Assyrians. We'll get on horses and we'll flee." But he said, "Those who are chasing you will have faster horses than you do."

And a thousand will flee from one man; at the rebuke of five you will flee: till you are left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain. 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 ( Isaiah 30:17-18 ).

Now some of the more wealthy people were escaping to Egypt when they saw this Assyrian invasion coming. Get on their horses, head to Egypt, escape from. But Egypt fell to Assyria. However, Jerusalem stood. Those that stayed there in quietness and confidence trusting the Lord. The Lord wiped out the Assyrian army. The children of Israel didn't have to fight them. God delivered them. And we'll get to that as we move along here in Isaiah. God's judgment upon the Assyrians as He wiped out 185,000 in one night of the first line fighting troops. But here the prophet is telling them all along, "Quiet and confidence shall be your strength. Don't run. They'll chase you. They'll be faster than you are. They'll overtake you. But those that will wait upon God will be delivered."

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 ( Isaiah 30:19-21 ).

How glorious to be led of the Spirit and having God say, "This is the way, walk in it." What is the way? The way of waiting upon God and trusting in Him.

You 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 ( Isaiah 30:22-26 ).

Sounds like the sun will go into a supernova.

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 ( Isaiah 30:27 ):

Again, we're getting into the day of His indignation, getting into the day of the great wrath, and this moon shall be as light as the sun and the sunlight seven times increased. It reminds us of the book of Revelation, chapter 16, as the Lord is pouring out the vials of His wrath upon the earth. In the fourth vial He gives power unto the sun to scorch men who dwell upon the earth. And men will be scorched by the sun during that time. And so the sun increased in its brightness to a seven-times intensity so that the moon reflecting the sun at night under a full moon, it would be as bright on the earth as it is usually during the daytime. And it does sound like the sun will go into a supernova state. And there are a lot of interesting implications to the sun going into a supernova state of the effect that it would have upon the earth and so forth. Of course, it would be devastating to the earth if the sun went into a supernova state.

The astronomers believe that when stars are about to die that they go into the supernova state. And supernova is a phenomena that we observe in the universe. We've observed many stars as they are about to die. They go into this tremendous intensity of light and they call them the supernovas because it gets so bright and they begin to emit so much radiation and all. And the astronomers have watched these stars in supernovas. If the sun should go into supernova, it would just about do in the earth. But it sure sounds like it here. The sun being seven times brighter, the moon being as bright as the sun and the sun becoming seven times brighter. Sounds like a supernova. But it speaks about "the name of the Lord comes from far, burning in his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation."

In Revelation it says for the cup at the time of the sun giving power. The sun to scorch men who dwell upon the earth, it says, "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth for the cup of His indignation overflow and is pouring out the cup of the wrath upon the earth" ( Revelation 14:10 ). And so here His indignation, "the 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 show the lighting down of his arm, and the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, the tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod ( Isaiah 30:28-31 ).

Now we're coming back to the local situation. God's going to wipe out the Assyrian. However, the Assyrian here could also be a type of the antichrist who will be destroyed by the sword that goes forth out of the mouth of Christ when He returns.

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 [interesting scripture, Tophet] is ordained of old ( Isaiah 30:32-33 );

Tophet is hell. It is actually the Gehenna of the New Testament. And Hades is hell; Gehenna is another place. "Tophet is ordained of old." Jesus said that Tophet was prepared by God for the devil and his angels. It has been ordained of old, a place that God has ordained. The word means the place of a burning fire. In the New Testament it is described as the place that burns with fire, the lake of fire. And 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 ( Isaiah 30:33 ).

David said, "Where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, Thou art there. Yea, if I descend into hell, lo, Thou art there." Here very graphically it describes this place known as Tophet; in the Greek, Gehenna. The final place of the wicked dead. Hell is not a place of eternal punishment. Hades. Death and hell are going to give up their dead which are in them. Revelation, chapter 20, when he sees the great white throne judgment of God, "and death and hell delivereth up their dead. And those whose names are not found written in the book of life are cast into the lake that burns with fire" ( Revelation 20:13 , Revelation 20:15 ). Gehenna, Tophet, this is the second death.

So hell will come to an end. When it gives up its dead to stand before God at the judgment bar. And then they will be cast into Gehenna. Now of Gehenna, the scripture declares, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth from the ages through the ages" ( Revelation 14:11 ). "Aionios posto aionios" in the Greek, the strongest term there is for expressing eternity--from the ages through the ages.

Jesus said of Gehenna, "Where the worm dies not, neither is the fire quenched" ( Mark 9:44 ). Now there are those who say, "Well, hell is not a place of eternal punishment." We get, "Oh, but the Bible says." "No, the Bible does say that," and they can show you scriptures where hell is not a place of eternal punishment. Death and hell would give up the dead that are in them, Hades. But when you talk about Gehenna, you're talking about something else; Tophet, it's been ordained of old. And according to the scriptures, the smoke of the torment will ascend forever and ever. Jesus said, "Where the worm dies not, neither is the fire quenched."

You can read into that whatever you want. You can read out of that whatever you want. I personally just leave it alone. I have no intention of being there. And whether they are consumed and their smoke ascends forever and ever. But Jesus said, "Where the worm dies not." So to me the strong indications are that it will be an eternal separation from God and whether or not conscious, that's something that's in God's hands. I don't worry about that. I don't mess with that. It's out of my territory. That's in God's hands. And God will do what is right and what is fair.

But my great concern is with that new model that He's preparing for me. The new building of God that is eternal in the heavens. That's where I can get excited and really get into the glorious future that I have with Him. My eternal future with the Lord, that's the thing that can really get me excited.

Go ahead and read your next five chapters. You'll have a little while to read them. Some very interesting things. We get to the destruction of the Assyrian army that he has been predicting and chapter 33. And then chapter 35, the glorious light at the end of the tunnel after the earth goes through the Great Tribulation of chapter 34, coming into chapter 35, glorious Kingdom Age. I can hardly wait.

Shall we stand.

May the Lord be with you and bless you and keep you in His love and grace. May the Lord watch over you and may you be filled with His Spirit and walk in the strength and the power of the Spirit of God as He anoints you day by day. May you be enabled by Him, and may you enter into that fullness that He has for you. Walking with the Lord. Loving the Lord. Listening to the Lord. Alert unto the Lord in these last days when the world around you is walking in its drunken stupor. May your mind and heart be clear, sensitive to God and to the things of the Spirit. In Jesus' name. "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 30". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.