Good morning! Have you heard the phrase, “suffer fools gladly”? I’ve heard it in the context of someone who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and so is harsh on those who act thoughtlessly. Today in Isaiah 29-32, God does not “suffer fools gladly”, and the prophet speaks out on God’s behalf. Even though the near-term message of Isaiah is hard to handle, its ultimate goal is to deliver fools and wise alike into a day of promised peace.
When Jerusalem seeks an alliance with Egypt to defend against threatening Assyria, they ignore the far greater alliance they could have tapped into with God Almighty. Power comes in centering down, in Sabbath rest, but Jerusalem’s leaders have chosen a more difficult, more active response which will get them nowhere. Relying on Egypt when threatened by Assyria is foolish, Isaiah declares. It’s a trap, and unfaithful besides. As a result, God will besiege Jerusalem, inflicting it with all sorts of environmental turmoil and warfare. God has closed the eyes and the heads of even the prophets and others who are supposed to be professionally wise people. Insincere worship is the name of this game, because the prayers of the people are more habitual and “covering the bases” rather than truly trusting God.
Nevertheless, God insists on maintaining relationship, not writing off the rebellious Jews. Instead, God will manifest as a voice of conscience and intuition that guides them into right paths, and that supplants the idols that would clamor for their attention. In that day, the Assyrians will experience God as a mighty warrior that slays their armies and purifies the country by routing them. When “a spirit from on high is poured out” (chapter 32), justice and righteousness will be the order of the day, and peace will reign for human and animal kind alike. Happy reading!
Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is Isaiah 33-35. Thanks for reading!