Summary of passage: Israel’s watchmen (leaders) are blind, ignorant, mute, lazy, gluttonous, drunks, and self-satifying. They seek their own way for his own gain. The righteous suffer at their hands but God will bring them peace. The watchmen mock the righteous when they themselves have turned to idols, lusting after them, human sacrifices, and pagan symbols. They have forsaken God and even though abandoning God has wearied them, still they turn to idols. The watchmen no longer fear God nor remembered Him instead relying on their own works. When they cry for help, let your idols whom a mere breath of the wind will blow away save them!
But he who makes God his refuge will inherit the land and possess God’s holy mountain. For God lives in a high and holy place but he also lives with those who are contrite and lowly in spirit. He will revive such people. God will not accuse nor be angry forever for He knows the spirit of man will grow faint before Him. Therefore, God will comfort, guide, heal man, creating praise on man’s lips. God offers man peace. But for the wicked there shall be no rest.
10a) Israel’s watchmen are the leaders of God’s people. They have disregarded God’s people in favor of drink and gluttony. They turn their own way and seek their personal gain instead of God’s way. What’s worse is they are supposed to be looking out for the people whom they have abandoned spiritually. The watchmen ignored the righteous people but God says they will enter into peace. The watchmen sneered at the righteous and persecuted them, thinking them better when the watchmen have turned to idol worship and would sacrifice their own children. They have embraced pagan symbols behind closed doors and worshipped Molech. Despite receiving nothing in return from these foreign gods, the watchmen do not turn to the One True God. In essence, the watchmen have committed spiritual adultery.
b) God says when those with false hearts cry for help, their idols will save them–these same idols that the wind will carry off! They do not fear God nor remember Him. They trust in themselves. No peace will be granted for the wicked. Yet those who make God their refuge will inherit the land and possess His holy mountain.
11) Contrite means grieving and penitent for sin or shortcoming. Lowly in spirit is humble. Constantly ask God for forgiveness for our sins, to be constantly striving to be better and do better. To be humble before God and others. To appreciate God’s great works in our lives.
12) Personal Question. My answer: God will live with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit and revive those person’s spirits. I think I feel God’s presence more in my life. I strive to be better more and be like Jesus. I think I’ve been revived by God shining through me and in His purpose for my life.
Conclusions: I love how God calls out those who disobey Him and who persecute the righteous. He rakes His supposed watchmen vehemently; yet, at the same time, He assures his people He will not accuse forever nor be angry. He understands “for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me–the breath of man that I have created.” The fact that God himself would love man enough to consider how the human spirit can only take so much blows my mind!
God is multi-dimensional. He condemns and judges yet always in love and not relentlessly. He will comfort us, heal us, and offer us peace–things man desperately needs.
The first part of Isaiah was tough for me at least. It’s hard to hear over and over again how man fails and God judges. And God knows this! Yet these last two lessons have been such a breath of fresh air to my soul. To fully grasp Jesus’s suffering for me. To have God declare He will be my husband. To have God promise not to be angry at me. To read Romans 1:16-17 and know I am righteous through no ability of my own but just because God made me so. Amazing!
At least for me who has been consumed by the book of Isaiah, it’s good to be reminded that Isaiah is just one book of the Bible. Just one. There are many, many more that speak of God’s love for me as well as Isaiah. And God planned that on purpose. To know repercussions and consequences; yet, also how everything is from His extreme love for me.