Lesson 9
Isaiah 28:7-20

Henry Mahan

The nation Israel was blessed above all nations. A careful reading of Rom. 9:1-5 will confirm this. Yet even with such advantages and revelations, they departed from God, from truth, and from true worship.

(Vs. 7-8) "For all their tables are full of vomit and filthiness." (1) The tables of THE PRIEST, where the Passover is supposed to be served, (2) the table of THE PROPHET, where the children's bread should be prepared, (3) the tables around which THE KING AND LEADERS sit are defiled. And from all these tables comes not the word of the Lord, but that which spews forth from bellies of men drunk with worldliness and evil. No place is clean, godly, nor honoring to Him. Human will, wisdom, and ways command the day.

(Vs. 9) "Whom shall God (or His true prophet) teach knowledge?" Who is there among these rebellious people who are capable or willing to be taught the true gospel of God's glory? "Whom shall He make to understand the doctrine of Christ (ruin, redemption, and regeneration)? One may as well attempt to teach infants as to teach these people. But, thank God, He does teach infants (spiritual babes—Matt. 11:25-26), those who are not too wise in man's wisdom. Those who hunger and thirst for the sincere milk of the word, He will teach (I Cor. 1:26-30).

(Vs. 10) When the reference is to these rebellions Israelites, because of their dullness and unwillingness to hear, it says that they have to be taught like little children, slowly, the same things being repeated over and over; but still they will not hear (I Cor. 14:20).

In the case of His TRUE CHILDREN, the reference is to teach them one thing at a time, to write and learn one precept, one line at a time, until all is learned. Repetition here'is desired, not avoided (Phil. 3:1).

(Vs. 11) This seems to be judgment and punishment upon these people, that God would subject them to hear teachers with stammering lips and strange languages, whom He will bring upon them and into whose power He will deliver them. Seeing they will not hear Him nor His prophets, God will speak to them with a strange and rough language. Some writers believe this refers to the day when the Jews will hear the gospel from Gentiles and from men not considered to be educated and gifted.

(Vs. 12) The gospel was preached to them, (Heb. 4:2; 1:1). The Lord, Himself, by His prophets said to the people (pointing to Christ in promise, prophecy, and picture) "THIS IS THE REST!" "All who are weary, distressed, laden with sin, come to the Saviour and find in Him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption" (Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:9-11). "Yet they would not hear!" "Ye will not come to me" (Jn. 5:39-47). They had no regard to God to His prophets, nor His Christ (Jn. 1:11).

(Vs. 13) The message of God was despised and ridiculed. They took the words out of the mouth of the prophet and ridiculed them as being too simple, too plain, and too repetitious! "This is all he can say—precept upon precept." They repeated it over and over, mocking the simplicity of it; but is this not true in all years and times, that the gospel of Christ crucified is ridiculed for its simplicity? its singleness? (II Cor. 11:3). The Jews seek a sign, the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ (I Cor. 1:22-24). Refusing the word of God, refusing the gospel of Christ—THE REST OF GOD—they fall backward upon their works, religion, and ceremonies, and so perish (Ezek. 33:30-33).

(Vs. 14) Now hear the judgment of the Lord, ye scornful men (scoffers and those who make fun of His message and messengers), ye that rule in religion and lead the people in error (Rom. 10:1-3).

(Vs. 15) This is what you have said: "We believe there is a God! We believe that men will die! We believe there will be a judgment and there is a hell! We believe that the flood of judgment will one day descend upon the sons of Adam! But it will not come to us because we have A COVENANT which we made among ourselves concerning these things. This is what we agree to be true. We have a refuge, a hiding place from the storm, and a foundation upon which we build our house and hope. This COVENANT is our religious denominations and organizations, our REFUGE is our professions of faith, and our FOUNDATION is our works, self-righteousness, and faithfulness to our religion!" God says it is "a refuge of lies," based on false doctrine and ignorance of the truth of Christ (II Thess. 2:7-12).

(Vs. 16) But there is an EVERLASTING COVENANT the lord has made (Heb.13:20-21; II Sam. 23:5). There is a REFUGE, a true hiding place from the storm (Isa. 32:1-2). There is a FOUNDATION which shall stand eternally and support all who build thereon. It is our LORD JESUS CHRIST (I Pet. 2:3-8).

(Vs. 17-20) TRUE judgment, according to the line and plummet (not by the eye and tongue). The exactness of God's holiness and faced with that test, the refuges of men and foundations of religion shall fall.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.