Why is it that gloom spreads faster than good news – here is it Old Testament Israel, so it’s not just the Brits who love gloom. They are taking on board grasshopper theology and rebelling in fear. First they rebel against the leaders then God.
Thankfully Joshua and Caleb are not confirmist consensus people – they are men of faith. As an aside – this is an interesting article about how the not allowed to debate gay marriage, intolerant tolerance has grown because of confirming consensus. we must go with what God says and not conform!
The leaders fall facedown to plead with the people. Joshua and Caleb tear their clothes. We need that kind of passion to stir people to God and to not fear man v9. fearing man is rebelling against God.
The glory of God is at stake – the Egyptians will hear about it v13
Moses asks God to fulfil what He has said v17 and reminds God of His great love and mercy
- Persistent love – slow to anger v18
- Geneous – abounding v18
- Reliable – hesed = steadfast covenant love
- Pardoning – forgiving sin and rebellion v19
- Righteous – punishing the children – not this is not generational curses, four generations of a family would often live under one roof and sin reproduces so they are all sinning and hating God (note the full version of the quoted portion Ex 20:5-6)
God forgave them, but the consequence is that the rebels wouldn’t see the land – they would be in the wilderness for a generation
The ten leaders who were sent as spies and feared man, were struck down and died – only Joshua and Caleb survived. Much is demanded of leaders.
Soldiers who were afraid to go now decide to go to the land, against God’s will – they were beaten by the Amelekites and Canaanites – they were indeed grasshoppers against them!
v2 From Zion, now the Church, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. We are the new covenant people of God, shining forth God’s glory, grace and mercy!
These chapters are sandwiched between the prophecy of the nations attracted to God’s people 2:2-5 and the prophecy of God’s people visited by him 4:2-6. In between God is speaking bluntly of the mess people are in now! The confrontation is real but it stands within the larger context of grace. God will save His people, He will bless the nations.
3:1 – God is taking something away form Judah, but in 4:2-6 he will create something new and better!
what God is taking away was everything that stabilised corporate life of Isaiah’s generation.
Food supply v1
On way God judges is depriving people of worthy leaders. During 9/11 in New York Mayor Guliani was an exceptional leader in a time of crisis – trustworthy leaders are a gift from God. Under the new covenant God gives the church the most important leaders – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
The reason for the judgement is revealed in 3v8-11 – their speech is against God and they are defying His glorious presence. Oh God, have mercy on our generation too.
The next section 3:16-4:1 God takes something else away – the women loose their outward finery they have flaunted.
A terrible vision of judgement, followed by a beautiful vision of restoration.
In that day – not more loss, but something new!
The branch of the Lord – Jesus! (Isa 53:2) – Jesus replaces false beauty with true beauty.
The survivors – not everyone will get to be part of it – there will be no rival agendas, pet causes and swollen egos crowding the church of Jesus Christ. The cleansed will be there, the fire of judgement will have been done – 1 Cor 3 talks of us being saved by grace and our deeds thereafter being judged by fire – so that gold and silver will remain, straw and stubble will be burned up.
Receive God’s grace and live in the strength of God’s Spirit, walking in God’s Spirit to receive a well done good and faithful servant.
Faith is sure and certain! That list is beautiful, time has passed to write anymore! – but live a life full of faith in God, not in the fear of man, for Jesus’ well done!
Never judge a book by it’s cover!
“Isaiah God Saves Sinners” by Ray Ortlund has probably the worst cover ever in both editions but is an absolute gem of a commentary on Isaiah. easy to read and the best I’ve got in my library. It suits preachers and those wanting to devotionally read Isaiah!
Get it now on Amazon!*