by Barry Newton
Work, school, sporting activities, shopping and planning all receive our concerted effort. But just how diligent are we in gleaning from the text, God’s intended message? Take the following challenge to dig into Isaiah 4.
Within Isaiah chapters 1-3, we learn about injustice and shallow worship within Judah. God was threatening to send a foreign power against her to destroy her idolatry, corrupt leadership and haughty women.
Throughout chapters 2 and 3, the prophet had spoken of what would happen in “that day.”
After reading Isaiah 4:2-6, how would you describe this message of hope? Is it a description of the state of blessedness, which would result from Jesus the Branch (4:2)?
A Savior who washes away our sins (4:4), causing us to be holy (4:3), thereby enabling an idealized relationship with God (4:5-6).
Are these words of hope to the repentant surviving southern Israelites (4:2), whom God determined would be saved from physical harm (4:3)?
Are those whom God purified through difficulties (4:4 = 1:25-26?), who would enjoy not only physical provisions (4:2), but a fellowship with God, recalling His closeness and protection in the wilderness (4:5-6)?
Many people understand the reference to “Branch,” in Isaiah 11:1 as referring to Jesus. Did you interpret “the Branch of the Lord” (4:2), to be a reference to Jesus?
Or did you interpret “the branch of the Lord,” as a poetic expression in Hebraic parallel with “the fruit of the earth” (4:2), signifying God’s glorious provisions? Is Jeremiah 18:9-10 relevant to this text?
This devotional thought is not about second-guessing ourselves. Rather, at a point in history when the trend in our society is to dumb-down, this is a counter-cultural call to diligent Bible study. It is the challenge to know why you believe what you understand.
So, what did you conclude about Isaiah 4? What does that message tell us about our God?
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 NASB
by Barry Newton