Daily Bible Observer for Day 173: Isaiah 1 - 2


observations by Matt Carter

1

1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, 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 has spoken:
  “Children have I reared and brought up,
    but they have rebelled against me.
  The ox knows its owner,
    and the donkey its master's crib,
  but Israel does not know,
    my people do not understand.”
  Ah, sinful nation,
    a people laden with iniquity,
  offspring of evildoers,
    children who deal corruptly!
  They have forsaken the LORD,
    they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
    they are utterly estranged.
  Why will you still be struck down?
    Why will you continue to rebel?
  The whole head is sick,
    and the whole heart faint.
  From the sole of the foot even to the head,
    there is no soundness in it,
  but bruises and sores
    and raw wounds;
  they are not pressed out or bound up
    or softened with oil.
  Your country lies desolate;
    your cities are burned with fire;
  in your very presence
    foreigners devour your land;
    it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
  And the daughter of Zion is left
    like a booth in a vineyard,
  like a lodge in a cucumber field,
    like a besieged city.
  If the LORD of hosts
    had not left us a few survivors,
  we should have been like Sodom,
    and become like Gomorrah.
  Hear the word of the LORD,
    you rulers of Sodom!
  Give ear to the teaching of our God,
    you people of Gomorrah!
  “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
    says the LORD;
  I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    and the fat of well-fed beasts;
  I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
    or of lambs, or of goats.
  “When you come to appear before me,
    who has required of you
    this trampling of my courts?
  Bring no more vain offerings;
    incense is an abomination to me.
  New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
    I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
  Your new moons and your appointed feasts
    my soul hates;
  they have become a burden to me;
    I am weary of bearing them.
  When you spread out your hands,
    I will hide my eyes from you;
  even though you make many prayers,
    I will not listen;
    your hands are full of blood.
  Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
  cease to do evil,
    learn to do good;
  seek justice,
    correct oppression;
  bring justice to the fatherless,
    plead the widow's cause.
  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
  though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
  though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.
  If you are willing and obedient,
    you shall eat the good of the land;
  but if you refuse and rebel,
    you shall be eaten by the sword;
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

  How the faithful city
    has become a whore,
    she who was full of justice!
  Righteousness lodged in her,
    but now murderers.
  Your silver has become dross,
    your best wine mixed with water.
  Your princes are rebels
    and companions of thieves.
  Everyone loves a bribe
    and runs after gifts.
  They do not bring justice to the fatherless,
    and the widow's cause does not come to them.
  Therefore the Lord declares,
    the LORD of hosts,
    the Mighty One of Israel:
  “Ah, I will get relief from my enemies
    and avenge myself on my foes.
  I will turn my hand against you
    and will smelt away your dross as with lye
    and remove all your alloy.
  And I will restore your judges as at the first,
    and your counselors as at the beginning.
  Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
    the faithful city.”
  Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
    and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
  But rebels and sinners shall be broken together,
    and those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
  For they shall be ashamed of the oaks
    that you desired;
  and you shall blush for the gardens
    that you have chosen.
  For you shall be like an oak
    whose leaf withers,
    and like a garden without water.
  And the strong shall become tinder,
    and his work a spark,
  and both of them shall burn together,
    with none to quench them.

(ESV)

What do you notice in Isaiah 1? Was God pleased with Judah's sacrifices and festivals? What three types of sinners will be consumed by the Lord? How were the people of Judah lower than the ox and donkey? How could Judah's sins become white as snow?

2

2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

  It shall come to pass in the latter days
    that the mountain of the house of the LORD
  shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be lifted up above the hills;
  and all the nations shall flow to it,
    and many peoples shall come, and say:
  “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
    to the house of the God of Jacob,
  that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
  For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
    and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
  and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
  nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war anymore.
  O house of Jacob,
    come, let us walk
    in the light of the LORD.

  For you have rejected your people,
    the house of Jacob,
  because they are full of things from the east
    and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines,
    and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.
  Their land is filled with silver and gold,
    and there is no end to their treasures;
  their land is filled with horses,
    and there is no end to their chariots.
  Their land is filled with idols;
    they bow down to the work of their hands,
    to what their own fingers have made.
  So man is humbled,
    and each one is brought low—
    do not forgive them!
  Enter into the rock
    and hide in the dust
  from before the terror of the LORD,
    and from the splendor of his majesty.
  The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,
    and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled,
  and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
  For the LORD of hosts has a day
    against all that is proud and lofty,
    against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low;
  against all the cedars of Lebanon,
    lofty and lifted up;
    and against all the oaks of Bashan;
  against all the lofty mountains,
    and against all the uplifted hills;
  against every high tower,
    and against every fortified wall;
  against all the ships of Tarshish,
    and against all the beautiful craft.
  And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,
    and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,
    and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
  And the idols shall utterly pass away.
  And people shall enter the caves of the rocks
    and the holes of the ground,
  from before the terror of the LORD,
    and from the splendor of his majesty,
    when he rises to terrify the earth.
  In that day mankind will cast away
    their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
  which they made for themselves to worship,
    to the moles and to the bats,
  to enter the caverns of the rocks
    and the clefts of the cliffs,
  from before the terror of the LORD,
    and from the splendor of his majesty,
    when he rises to terrify the earth.
  Stop regarding man
    in whose nostrils is breath,
    for of what account is he?

(ESV)

What do you notice in Isaiah 2? How will the mountain of the Lord's house established? What are the rocks and caves that people will hide in?


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