Isaiah 30

Isaiah 30  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
But at the moment the people had to be called “rebellious children” (30:1), and the prophet recurs to what they were doing at that time. He said of them, “who take counsel, but not of Me, and who make leagues, but not by My Spirit” (New Trans.). They were relying on Egypt, instead of turning to the Lord, and they are plainly told that Egypt would be a shame and a reproach instead of any profit to them. In the New Translation the latter part of verse 7 runs, “therefore have I named her, Arrogance, that doeth nothing,” with a note that the word used is “Rahab,” which has that meaning.
This was bad enough, but in the succeeding verses we get something worse. The people would not hear the word of the Lord. True prophecy they would not tolerate. They wanted, and would only listen to, “smooth” things, even if they were “deceits.” Words that were “right,” they refused. So when the Lord said that they would be saved in returning to Him and resting in Him, and that their strength would consequently be found in quietness and confidence in Him, they said, No. They preferred to flee upon horses—for which Egypt was famous. As a result, judgment should fall.
This reliance upon Egypt was specially offensive to God, since from that very people He had delivered them by His judgments at the start of their national history. It is equally offensive to God if the Christian, who has been delivered from the world system and its coming judgment, goes back to it, relying on its power or its wisdom, instead of finding his resource in God as emergencies arise. Egypt had its pleasures and its treasures, from which Moses turned, and they typify the things which are not for the believer.
In verse 18 of our chapter a different note is sounded, which continues to the end. The Lord speaks of mercy that shall yet be shown to them, since He delights in it. Just when everything seems lost, and they are left as a lonely “beacon upon the top of a mountain,” mercy will be shown; and as we read these verses (18-33) we see that though the Lord will afflict them in His holy government, yet He will ultimately guide them, so that when they might turn aside to the right hand or the left, He will say, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” Then they will cast away the idols that once they loved.
Prosperity will then set in, but the details of verses 25 and 26 go far beyond anything yet realized, and therefore look on to the last days. So also the tremendous judgments upon the nations, of verses 28 and 30, which will make the song to rise and the holy solemnity to be kept in the mountain of the Lord, who will be known as “the Mighty one [Rock] of Israel.”
The closing verses are remarkable. Tophet was a valley close to Jerusalem, defiled by horrible heathen practices (see, 2 Kings 23:1010And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. (2 Kings 23:10); Jer. 7:31-3231And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. 32Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place. (Jeremiah 7:31‑32)), so that it becomes a symbol of fiery judgment. Not only will the Assyrian be cast there but also “for the king it is prepared.” Who this “king” may be is not specified, but doubtless he is that willful king of whom Daniel 11:3636And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. (Daniel 11:36) speaks, and whom we identify with the second “beast” of Revelation 13; that one who will come in his own name, as the Lord Jesus predicted in John 5:4343I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43), and who will be received by apostate Jews as their king. He will be the foe within, as the Assyrian the foe without. The doom of both is fixed.
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