corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.09.21
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Isaiah 1

 

 

Verses 1-9

Isaiah 1:1-2. The vision of Isaiah the son of Amos, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

The good and gracious God, having been treated ungenerously, makes his appeal not to men who themselves are guilty, but to the very heavens and each, calling on the silent stones of the field, and the trees of the wood, and the stars of heaven, to judge between him and his rebellious children. “I have nourished and brought up children “ — taken a nurse’s interest in them, shown a parent’s love to them, “and they have rebelled against me.”

Isaiah 1:3-4. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

More brutish than the brutes are men when they forget their God. The dog follows its master’s heels, but man will not be obedient to his Lord. The ox knows his owner, and gives some sign of recognition when he sees him; but alas! the ungodly sons of men know not the God that made them, feeds them, keeps them alive. Where art thou, oh! backslider? Mingling once again with the people of God, let these words come home to you. There is a “Thus saith the Lord” in the prophets words to them; and thus saith the Lord to you. You have gone away backward, provoking the Holy One of Israel to anger.

Isaiah 1:5. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

It was of no use chastising these people. They only sinned the worse for all the afflictions that were sent, and when the fire of affliction doth not melt the iron heart, what can do it? Why waste the fuel upon them? Ye will revolt more and more; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. They had been smitten, they had been afflicted, till the whole nation through and through had been brought low. Their head and heart had been made faint. And, oh! there are some that have passed through many trials and are none the better. They have seen poverty, and yet they go again to the sin that first brought them to it. They feel in their very bones the result of their transgressions, and yet they hug in their bosoms the serpent that has stung them.

Isaiah 1:6. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

The whole land of Israel was so destroyed through sin, it was like a body that is covered with sores that have not been touched by the surgeon’s hand. Yet they do not repent.

Isaiah 1:7-8. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers,

A mere shanty run up during the grape season, wherein the persons who took care of the vineyard found shelter from the rain.

Isaiah 1:8. As a besieged city.

For the same purpose.

Isaiah 1:9. Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Yet, though they were reduced to this, they kept on with their sins. It really seems as if men would suffer anything for their sins rather than give them up. It is not always the pleasure of sin which seems to fascinate, but the very bitterness of sin seems sweet to some.


Verses 1-20

May we be instructed of the Holy Ghost while we read this inspired Scripture!

Isaiah 1:1. The vision of Isaiah the son of Amos, which he saw—

Prophets were called seers, they saw what they were called to say; and every true preacher of Christ must first be a seer of Christ. He must see, that is, realize for himself; and then he must tell to others what he has seen. This Book is about “the vision of

Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw

Isaiah 1:1-2. Concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

It is an appeal of God to inanimate creation to bear witness to the ingratitude that he had received, as if it was of no use any longer to speak to men. The appeal is stated very solemnly and impressively, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth for the Lord bath spoken. I have nourished and brought up children,” cared for them, loved them, fed them, “and they have rebelled against me.” The ingratitude of a child is something shocking; and the ingratitude of man to God is of that character.

Isaiah 1:3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

Men are more brutish than the beasts that perish. The lower animals, as men contemptuously call them, acknowledge the hand that feeds them; but men receive the bounty of God through long years, and yet live as if there were no God at all, and feel no gratitude to him whatsoever. Israel was God’s peculiar people, highly favored, and greatly indulged, and this made it all the worse for the Lord to be able to contrast them and the brute creation: “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.”

Isaiah 1:4. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

Thus the prophet spoke to the people of his day, and we may say much the same to the people of our own time. The professing church of God has gone away backward, forsaken the doctrines of truth, and turned aside from the purity of its life. God have mercy upon the world when the church itself becomes thus defiled!

Isaiah 1:5. Why should ye be stricken any more?

What is the use of chastisement to such people? It is supposed that punishment is always healthful, and that we grow the better for it; but God says, “Why should ye be stricken any more?”

Isaiah 1:5-6. Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

The nation had been so beaten that it was covered all over with bruises and sores. It seemed to be of no use to afflict Israel any more; and there are some persons in the world who have been chastened in every conceivable way, and yet they are none the better. There are graves in the cemetery where lie asleep those they love; the house that was their joy has long ago been sold, and they have not a roof to call their own; they have been themselves at death’s door by fever and by other diseases; and yet all that God’s rod has done for them has come to nothing. The old Roman lictors carried an axe bound up in a bundle of rods; and, when the rods had been tried, and had failed, then came the axe. And if the milder forms of chastisement do not bring men to repentance, sooner or later will come the axe of destruction. Thus the prophet says it was with sinful Israel:—

Isaiah 1:7-8. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

The land had been so harried and worried by invaders that it was little better than a poor shanty; the nation was comparable to a poor hut which the Arabs put up in the vineyard just to sleep in: “As a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.” -

Isaiah 1:9. Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

And this is true of London as well as of Jerusalem. If there had not been a remnant of godly ones still left, “we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.”

Isaiah 1:10-11. Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

These people were a very religious people, although a very wicked people; and it is a strange thing that, when nations have become demoralized, and injustice reigns supreme at the same time, Ritualism and outward pomp and external religion come to the front. This is a wretched business, to give to God the husks when the kernel has long ago gone. What cares the Lord for “burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts . . . the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats,” when men have left off doing that which is right in his sight? The Lord may well say to those who bring offerings to him under such circumstances, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?”

Isaiah 1:12. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?

“Who invited you to come to my courts?” says God. “Who asked you to pretend to worship me, when you are living in sin, and your hearts are not reconciled to me?”

Isaiah 1:13. Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

If you are hypocrites, if your hearts are not right with God, you may multiply your church-goings, and your chapel-goings, and your sacraments; but all these are only a provoking of God to anger. There is nothing in it all that he could possibly accept; he cannot endure it. He says, “It is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.”

Isaiah 1:14-15. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

This is plain speaking; but God never sends velvet-tongued men as his messengers. They who are called to testify f or God speak out boldly, and faithfully denounce the sins of the day in which they live. Blessed be God for Isaiah and for men like him! When men are committing crimes, when they are oppressing the poor, when they are living in the daily practice of injustice, when they indulge in secret drunkenness, when their whole life is a lie, they may do what they will, but God will not hear their prayers. While we keep sin in our hearts, it is in vain for us to stretch out our hands unto God. He is a holy God, and he seeks holy hearts and holy lives; and nothing short of these can be acceptable to him.

Isaiah 1:16-17. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

This is what God asks for: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

1820. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

May the Holy Spirit make us to be willing and obedient, that we may “eat the good of the land”; and may none of us be found refusing God’s gracious invitation, and rebelling against his authority, lest we perish in our sins!


Verses 2-19

Isaiah 1:2-3. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

Heaven and earth might well be called to witness such strange ingratitude as this of which the Lord had to complain.

Isaiah 1:4. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

What a terrible indictment, and every word of it was true!

Isaiah 1:5-9. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

As the prophet’s vision proceeds, the true state of the people is seen.

Isaiah 1:10-15. Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

They were horribly wicked people, they could hardly have been worse; so bad that even their prayers were not fit for God to hear; yet he says, —

Isaiah 1:16-19. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

What blessed words of mercy! Oh, that every one of us may prove them true in our own case, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

This exposition consisted of readings from 2 Chronicles 33:1-20; And Isaiah 1:2-19.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Isaiah 1:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/isaiah-1.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, September 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology