“In That Day” is a frequent phrase found in our reading this week from Isaiah 26-30. The struggle readers will have is what is reflecting the “then” and what is pointing to the “future” in prophetic writings? Often there doesn’t need to be a then and future choosing, because the writing applies to both situations. Such is the case here with Isaiah. Obviously, Isaiah is writing to warn Judah of the coming judgment and devastation because of the rebellion. Judah has not learned from the previous destruction of Israel [Northern Tribes and Samaria] and have continued to commit gross idolatry towards God. The case Yahweh has against Judah doesn’t stop with just being disobedient to Him, but how that their rebellion has affected “life in Judah” and the citizens. Treacherous dealings in the market places, the drunks and care free lifestyle reflect total disregard for others welfare and the willingness for communal living. I cannot help but think of the stature and condition of America and the world as a whole in respect to this book. Everyone wants what they want, at the expense of either loss of freedoms to others or at the expense of corruption in civility.
In chapter 26, we have the prophecy of the “rock” of God, we find this also addressed in 28:16; where the Stone becomes a stumbling block – this reflects the impact and offense of Jesus and the Gospel. [1 Peter 2:6-8] The LORD God was being rejected. I wonder if it was because of the ROTE knowing of God? [29:13] or because they were more enticed with Baalism and the sensuous aspects of the cult. Our passage declares the empathy of God for His people. While He must discipline and bring the foreign nations against Judah, the is always the element of restoration. If people will repent, God will hear the cries of His people and respond. In that day, regardless of the time, place and people, – In that Day – means that God will act. When modern nations who profess to be Christian, act like Israel and Judah they can expect to be treated with harsh discipline from the Lord. But, God has limits to His dealings with His people. Chapter 28:24-25, reveal there are limits to what is done, and even the way things are done.
God will deal with His people for restoration, He will not destroy them completely. However, this cannot be said of the pagan, unbelieving nations. Then as in the future, God will deal with the unbelieving nations.
One cannot overlook the strong language of how Judah will have everything destroyed, crushed, and laid to waste. The nation and all of its pride in buildings, fields, and culture will be laid to waste by the enemy. While there is warning after warning, people just won’t pay attention to them. Isaiah’s message is met with a counter message from the priests and prophets who were “drunkards” saying everything was well. [28:1, 3; 7-8]
I was confused at first with the repeated verses of 28:10 and 13, but illuminated when I put – yada, yada, yada in place of the words. Israel and Judah had heard all of the word of God; to them to hear the messages of Isiah, was like – yeah, yeah yeah – been there done that!
Chapter 29:11-12; finds its future fulfillment in Daniel 12 and Revelation 5. Worthy is the Lamb who can open the scroll. The scroll contains the judgment of God, both now and then. I hold to the Seals and Trumpets as the working of God through man-made tragedies and natural disasters to bring the Lost to Him in repentance. Even though we have warning signs; we will live out our disobedience thinking we are “hiding” from God. [29:15-16]
Yet through all of this, there is a light at the end, a ray of hope for all. Chapter 30:18-22 is descriptive and prescriptive of 2 Chronicles 7:14 – God is ready to forgive and restore, but we have to be responsive to the “hand of discipline” from our creator and sustainer – Jehovah God! If . . . . then; the LORD longs for you and me to come back to Him.