Isaiah 29 by Pastor Don
Notes from Friday Bible study of 3/26/10
These are theological and foundational stories left for us. This chapter covers woes and blessings. The seven woes are specific to the time period we are dealing with.
Isaiah 29:1-5 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! Add year to year; let feasts come around. Yet I will distress Ariel; there shall be heaviness and sorrow, and it shall be to Me as Ariel. I will encamp against you all around, I will lay siege against you with a mound, and I will raise siegeworks against you. You shall be brought down, you shall speak out of the ground; your speech shall be low, out of the dust; your voice shall be like a medium’s, out of the ground; and your speech shall whisper out of the dust. Moreover the multitude of your foes shall be like fine dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones like chaff that passes away; yes, it shall be in an instant, suddenly.
Ariel is a reference to Jerusalem.
Isaiah 29:6-7 You will be punished by the LORD of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire. The multitude of all the nations who fight against Ariel, even all who fight against her and her fortress, and distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.
These verses speak of the future. The enemy will be like a dream, a night vision. God will deal with the enemies that come against Israel. He permits them to apply judgment to Israel, but then they will be dealt with for their treatment of Israel.
Isaiah 29:8 It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams, and look—he eats; but he awakes, and his soul is still empty; or as when a thirsty man dreams, and look—he drinks; but he awakes, and indeed he is faint, and his soul still craves: so the multitude of all the nations shall be, who fight against Mount Zion.”
This is a diagram of a spiritual situation. A person is hungry and dreams of eating but wakes up and finds there is no food. The nations that come against Israel will wake from their delusions that they can win the battle against God’s chosen.
Isaiah 29:9 Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.
There is a shift here
Isaiah 29:10 For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.
The seers’ and prophets’ eyes are closed for God has poured out deep sleep.
Isaiah 29:11-14 The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I am not literate.” (13) Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, (14) therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”
Jerusalem is the City of David. The prophets were there, entrenched and studying the Word. They were educated and had resources to study from. But God points out in verse 13 that they were saying all the right things, but they were not right in their hearts toward God. They were bound not by the love of God but by the commandment of men – bound by fear.
All of us are blinded by tradition and conditioning of man and the intellect. Many are holding on to theology they love, but that is not always based on the truth. Pastor Don called them sacred cows.
For example, evangelists teach about the love of Jesus, implying that Jesus is soft and always kind, not judgmental. They end up saying that we win them with the love of Jesus. It is true that Jesus is kind and loving, but there is also the aspect of judging that people do not want to remember. The Jesus of the new age does not look like the Jesus of the Bible. We make an idol of the Jesus we like, but not the WHOLE JESUS. It is like getting married and finding out your spouse has aspects of their personality that made them different from what you thought they were – they had not changed, you just are seeing their whole personality. We projected Jesus on our need, rather than reaching to the Jesus portrayed by the Scriptures.
Jesus was gentle and meek but he also braided a whip and beat the money changers out of the temple and turned over their tables.
Pastor Don used as an example the parable of the 10 talents. One was given 10 talents and doubled it, another was given 5 and doubled that, and one was given one talent. Instead of investing the talent and earning more income the man hid the talent, telling Jesus, Matthew 25:24-25 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, “Lord I know you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.”
This man had everything taken from him and was cast into outer darkness. We will be judged by our words. What the man said was not the truth about God. The truth is all is God’s and God has sown all. The man should have invested what God had given him and he did not. Poor people are kept poor by the system of charity that we have set up. Charity becomes slavery. Jesus wants us to invest the talents He has given us.
Mark 7:1-3 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.
This speaks of the tradition of the elders, not what God ordained. The disciples did not wash their hands in a special way like the elders ruled. We want our traditions to be based on who Jesus is and scripturally based.
Mark 7:4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
God gave the Israelites 10 Commandments and the Jews turned those Commandments into 663 Biblical laws to keep.
Mark 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
Whose tradition are they to obey? God’s or the elders?
Mark 7:6-7 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Doctrines are commandments of men, and we are all guilty of teaching and following doctrines.
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
The hand and pitcher washing that the people were questioning Jesus about was not Biblical. The law was meant as a tutor to guide us to Christ. Jesus pointed out to the leaders of His time that they were missing the heart of the matter. The heart of the issue was not the keeping of hand-washing rituals, but rather keeping the Sabbath.
God writes the laws on our hearts. If we look to a rule book we will end up establishing rules that fit our personality. Why do you think there are so many denominations? The truth of the Bible is the same. The only thing that should vary is the worship styles. We create denominations not on truth but on personality. This is out of order if behavior is not based on truth.
Mark 7:9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Living Word Chapel left a traditional denominational system to flow in the Holy Spirit. When this happened there was a church split, and many left to go to another church that was more comfortable for them. LWC chose to follow the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. Some pastors assert that there are no gifts of the Spirit. Their thinking is that they are pastors, they are righteous, and then something happens in their lives. For example, if the pastor’s wife suffers a disease and all his praying for her does not bring about a healing, the pastor could conclude that God does not do healings in this day and age. But God does heal, he requires faith in Him and believing in Him to work. If a pastor is praying out of hope, not faith, and the wife is not praying in agreement it binds God’s hands for healing. That does not mean that God will never do a supernatural healing, but the positive results increase with our knowledge of the understanding of having faith in God.
We need to know Jesus in ALL HIS ASPECTS. Not only His love, but His suffering anger, wrath, judgment, compassion, mercy. If we do not portray the full Jesus we are conveying a false Jesus.
We can’t have His love and a lie. We can’t live outside of truth. God is love. God is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Can truth be real without bringing love in it? God’s is Love, but He is also justice and judging.
If a rabid dog is attacking your child you will protect your child even if it means the death of the dog. God will protect His children.
Are we prepared to accept the truth?
The Pharisees and Scribes were looking for a Messiah who would come as a military leader and kill the Romans. Jesus Christ came as the suffering servant, who died for the forgiveness of sins not only for Jews but also for the Gentiles (which included Romans). Because He did not come the way that the Jewish people thought He should come, they rejected Him. He did not reject them, but they rejected Him.
We erect God and religion in the way we want. Do we have enough heart for God to examine our stuff? We use our mind to do a dance to keep the tradition of our denomination.
Anything we do that lays aside the commandment of God creates a problem, for our hearts are wrong.
Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Mark 8:15-16 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “ It is because we have no bread.”
They REASONED. They substituted ungodly reason of what they attributed to Godliness for the truth.
Mark 8:14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.
The disciples figured that they had forgotten to bring a physical loaf of bread, they reasoned that was what Jesus was talking about. He was not.
Mark 8:17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?
Their hearts are hardened which can prevent understanding.
Mark 8:18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?
What are we to remember?
Mark 8:19-21 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said, “Seven.” So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”
It was not physical bread, for Jesus could produce bread if needed.
What was He talking about?
Mark 8:11-12 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”
What bothers the Lord deeply in His Spirit is when you substitute or make up religion. Why create signs when it’s not a sign He has given us? He is the sign but they were too blinded to see that.
Isaiah 29:13 Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,…
Recognize that the church you belong to has a social and cultural aspect. Look at what you are doing from the Truth.
Pastor Don gave an example – if the wife tells her husband that she would like to go to Cape Cod for a weekend and he replies, “Who cares about Cape Cod?” It shows his heart is removed from her. He needs to hear her heart and respond to what she needs not just give lip service to their relationship.
Jesus is questioning their motive, for they couldn’t recognize the Messiah and that He was speaking the Truth.
Let’s examine ourselves to make sure we have no nonsense in our hearts, and that we are seeking the person of Christ, not the traditions of men. Ask ourselves, when was the last time I was in church and focused on the Lord? Make sure that we are spending time to pray and talk to the Lord.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Praying this blesses you.
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