12/18/2010

Empty Ritualism, Clandestine Politics (Isaiah 29:13,15)

Immorality was not necessarily the grievous sin of God's people in Jerusalem, but empty habitual ritualism and secretive politics behind the scenes were. How would God deal with them?

God Will Punish and Save Jerusalem (Isa 29:1-14)

Out of great sorrow and compassion, God laments at "Ariel" (Isa 29:1), which may mean "lion of God" or "hero," perhaps referring to Jerusalem's former strength and glory. God will distress them greatly through the Assyrians (Isa 29:2-8), for they depended on Egypt (Isa 28:15,18), instead of trusting God, their sure foundation (Isa 28:16). Because of their stubbornness, God would blind them (Isa 29:9-12). They worshiped God ceremonially and habitually, while their hearts were adrift (Isa 29:13; Matt 15:8,9). Though their ritualistic worship was worthless, God's purpose would prevail (Isa 29:14; 1 Cor 1:19).

God Will Expose Clandestine Underhanded Human Politics (Isa 29:15-24)

What was their problem? They made their own secret plans by their politicking (Isa 29:15), thus rejecting God as Creator. They were like clay thinking itself as the potter (Isa 29:16; Rom 9:19-21). But one day, God himself, through Christ, would transform them (Isa 29:17), until "the deaf shall hear" and "the eyes of the blind shall see" (Isa 29:18, 35:5, 61:1-3; Matt 11:5). The oppressed would be liberated, while the powerful oppressor's dominance will end (Isa 29:19-21). God will keep his promise to the descendants of Abraham (Isa 29:22-24). Secrecy, furtiveness, surreptitious behavior will one day be replaced with openness and transparency.


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