We Reject God's Sure Foundation by Our Faulty Reliance on Man (Isaiah 28)

Man always defaults to trusting in himself and other men, instead of trusting in God. Proverbs 29:25 warns: "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe." We fear man because we depend on man and fall into fear, instead of fearing God by trusting in God (Pro 3:5,6). Thus, Isaiah warns his people (and Assyria) against the folly of self-trust by promising God's abundant blessings to those who trust him (Isa 28-33). God is always the most powerful ally of his people. So the wisest course of action is to trust God always in every situation. Yet in Isa 28, God's own people do not trust God by trusting his word, thus choosing death for themselves (Isa 28:15).

Man Refuses to Trust God amidst Impending Judgment (Isa 28:1-13)

Ephraim--northern Israel--(Isa 28:1) will fall to Assyria in 722 B.C. (Isa 28:2-4), while God preserves his true people (Isa 28:5,6). The southern kingdom shares the same drunken distaste for God's word (Isa 28:7-13). They ridicule and scoff at Isaiah's message as beneath their intelligence, mocking his corrective advice as a young child's babbling (Isa 28:9,10; 1 Cor 2:14). Because they refused rest in God (Isa 28:12), God would send them foreign oppressors (Jer 5:15; Isa 28:11,13).

God Lays His Sure Foundation (Isa 28:14-29)

God cannot but rebuke the scoffing stupidity of Judah's leaders (Isa 28:14-22). Despite choosing death by trusting Egypt to defend themselves against Assyria (Isa 28:15, 18), Isaiah prophesied that God himself will lay a foundation for them in Zion, ultimately fulfilled in Christ (Rom 9:33, 10:11; 1 Cor 3:11; Eph 2:20; 1 Pe 2:4-8; Ps 118:22). This glorious message of salvation (Isa 28:29) will bring sheer terror (Isa 28:19) and restlessness (Isa 28:20) when they soon face their calamities. Like a farmer who knows what he is doing, God, in his wisdom, knows exactly how to fulfill his own plan and purpose (Isa 28:23-29).

Briefly, so far in Isaiah (loosely adapted from Ortlund, McArthur's outline/overview):

  • Isa 1-5: God indicts his people for their sins (Judah)

  • Isa 6-12: God reveals grace through judgment for his people

  • Isa 13-27: God reveals judgment and grace for the world

  • Isa 28-35: God pronounces woe to worldly alliances

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