Isaiah 2

Isaiah 2  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Chapter 1 is introduced as a “vision”; chapter 2 is “the word”; but again concerning Judah and Jerusalem. The opening verses enlarge further upon the good things that will come to pass when redemption by judgment takes place. The first thing is that the house of Jehovah shall be established and exalted. Thus it ever is, and must be. God must have His rightful place, and from that blessing will flow out to men.
But the house of the Lord is here called, very significantly, “the house of the God of Jacob”, for then God will manifestly have triumphed over the self-centered crookedness that marked Jacob. This will be so clear that all nations will flow to the house to learn of God, so that they may walk in His law. Judgment having been accomplished, men will be marked by obedience Godward, and consequently peace among themselves.
How significant is the word “neither shall they learn war any more.” Of recent years men have certainly been learning war, and all too efficiently have they learned it, so that mortal fear grips their minds. It is beyond the power of mankind to achieve what is predicted in verse 4, though one day they will imagine they have reached it by their own schemes and say, “Peace and safety”, only to meet “sudden destruction”, as foretold in 1 Thessalonians 5:33For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
The succeeding verses of that New Testament chapter are in keeping with verse 5 of our chapter. The house of Jacob is entreated to leave the false lights of their idolatries and walk in “the light of the Lord.” That they will do, when the coming age arrives. It is what we are privileged to do today, since we are brought into the light as children of light, and of the day that is to dawn when Christ shall appear.
The prophet returns to the existing state of the people in verses 6-9. From other peoples they had imported various forms of spiritist practices. They were prosperous in material things; plenty of silver and gold and treasures, and also horses, which were a luxury forbidden to Israel’s kings, according to Deuteronomy 17:1616But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. (Deuteronomy 17:16). All this led to the land being full of idols, before which both poor and great abased themselves. Truly a deplorable state of things.
What then was to be expected? Just that which the prophet now had to announce. He looked beyond the more immediate, disciplinary judgments, that were impending through the Assyrians or Chaldeans, to Jehovah being manifested in His majesty, when His “day” will be introduced. Revelation 6:15-1715And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:15‑17) gives us an amplification of verses 10, 19 and 21, for men were filled with haughtiness and lofty looks, though they bowed down before their idols.
The list of things, upon which the day of the Lord will fall in judgment, is very impressive. It will evidently make a clean sweep of all the things in which fallen man boasts, even things pleasant and artistic. Instead of accepting and even enlarging the products of man’s inventive skill, as an introduction to the millennial age, as some have imagined, it will remove them, as well as the idols and the idolatrous notions that gave them birth. Today men are being humbled as they receive the grace and truth of the Gospel. Then men will be abased and their false glory depart, as the glory of the Lord shines forth.
What then is the spiritual instruction to be derived from this prophetic declaration? The last verse of the chapter supplies it. As it was with Israel in Isaiah’s day so in the world today, man is catered for, man is magnified; but if we “Walk in the light of the Lord” (verse 5), his littleness is seen, and we “cease from man”. He is but a dying creature because of his sin. Before God he counts for nothing in himself. We know, in the light of the cross of Christ, that he is worse than nothing. How amazing then is the grace that has stooped to bless such as ourselves.
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