2/10/2016

Righteous King, New Society (Isaiah 32)


In a day of national emergency, Judah looked to Egypt (Isa 30:1-2; 31:1-3).

But what about us? What do we look at? Whom do we look to? These are vital questions. What direction are we moving in? Where are our eyes fixed? Are we ever and always getting closer to Jesus, ever and always "seeing him more clearly, loving him more dearly," turning our eyes on Jesus, looking full in his wonderful face?

In Isaiah's day, Judah was in a serious, life and death, national crisis. The Assyrian invasion spelled the end of all they had and hoped. They were in a "big" crisis that could destroy them. But it may not be the "big" occasions that defeat us. Often, out of sheer desperation, it sends us fleeing to Jesus in a more determined way. But what more often leads to our downfall are the "small" daily decisions.

Should I get up early to pray? Or take my time to make my coffee and check my emails? Do I read and reflect at night or watch late night TV and binge watch something on Netflix? These questions might be seemingly innocuous or silly sounding, but it could potentially be deadly serious. Does my heart long for Christ or for the world's attention? Do I enjoy dwelling in the presence of God? Is my inclination toward the kingdom that is not of this world?

Outline of Alec Motyer:
  1. The king (1-2). The messianic king of Isaiah 9 and 11.
  2. New people, new society (3-8). The light of the Lord's coming shines behind every darkness in our experience.
  3. Call (to complacent women) to listen in light of the future (9-14). This matches the call in 31:6-9.
  4. Outpoured Spirit, new society (15-18).
  5. Epilogue: humiliation and blessedness (19-20).
Gary Smith:
  1. God's Exaltation of a Righteous King (1-8).
    1. The rule of a righteous king (1-2).
    2. Opening the eyes of the blind (3-4).
    3. The folly of fools will be exposed (5-8).
  2. Mourning from Complacency, Life from the Spirit (9-20).
    1. Complacent women of Jerusalem must lament (9-14).
      1. Call for women to listen (9-10).
      2. Call for women to mourn (11-14).
    2. God's Spirit will transform the world (15-20).
      1. The Spirit's work of restoration (15-16).
      2. The fruit of righteousness (17-20).
Barry Webb: The true solution: divine government (Isaiah 32-33)
  1. Good government (32:1-8): The nature of good government (righteousness) and the results that flow from it.
  2. Complacent women (32:9-20): There is no shortcut to this ideal of righteousness; it comes only through judgment (9-14) and the outpouring of God's Spirit (15-20).
  3. The destroyer destroyed (33:1-6): The steps by which the new age will be ushered in -- the Lord will arise, destroy the destroyer and establish his rule.
  4. The Lord is king (33:7-24). Central to having a good go government of righteousness is the confession that the Lord alone can save (Isa 33:2, 22). The new age will come about not by political maneuvering. It will not be a human achievement at all, but a divine gift.
John Oswalt
  1. Good Leaders Rule with Justice (32:1-8).
  2. Quietness and Confidence Forever (32:9-20).