Skip to main content
25th April

Isaiah 28-30, Psalm 115

Bible in a Year
6 minutes
In this article
25th April

Isaiah 28-30, Psalm 115

Bible in a Year
6 minutes


So far in Isaiah, we’ve read through the section focused on the judgement and future hope of Jerusalem, and the section focused on the judgement and future hope of the nations.

Through these different preaches and visions, we gathered a series of images. We saw Isaiah in God's courtroom, purified to be in God's presence and then commissioned to be a warning to the people that they will ultimately ignore. God was about to pour judgement on the Israelites for their wickedness and corruption. This punishment was described like God laying an axe to a tree and just a stump remaining. It was destruction intended to purge and purify.

Out of the remnant of his people, this tree stump, God would raise up a branch from the line of David, who would be king who reigned over the earth and brought peace. Isaiah mentioned a future son who would be born and who would come after the period of judgment. He would be king over, God's people, bring peace to the world, and restore all nations under his rule.

Focusing on the foreign nations, we got mention of a 'day of the Lord'. On this day, God will bring judgement, waging war on evil and wickedness. He will destroy powers that set themselves up against him, whether they be human kings or spiritual beings. These foreign nations are judged for their pride, oppression, and wickedness. Isaiah specifically mentions Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Cush (Ethiopia), Egypt, and Tyre.

But through these preaches, Isaiah highlights some key ideas. The Israelites are not to turn to these foreign nations for support and protection. God is in control and will use all this for his purposes. Eventually even these foreign nations will be brought into God's future kingdom. In that time all people will celebrate, feast, and worship God. 

Isaiah 28-30

Yesterday we finished the section of Isaiah focused on the foreign nations. This next section of Isaiah doubles down on the area of trust. Over the next few chapters, we will see Isaiah attack to groups that the Israelites have put their trust in; their own foolish leaders, and Egypt, who represent the foreign nations. Isaiah will then point the people back to God as the best place to put their trust. Let's jump in.

Isaiah first mentions the crown of Ephraim, the northern kingdom of Israel. The crown represents the leaders of the northern kingdom, and the northern leaders are both proud and drunkards. These leaders will be trodden underfoot by God to humble them. But 'in that day', think long in the future, God will be the crown, the one who leads his people. He will lead with justice in strength.

Isaiah then turns his focus to the priests and prophets in the southern kingdom of Judah. These guys have been getting drunk, and so the things they are meant to be teaching God's people are just coming out as babble. Because of this, God will speak to his people through a 'foreign tongue'. This is a threat that if his people will not listen to him and speak clearly, he will make them listen through the oppression of foreign nations.

They have rejected his teachings on rest, so he will send them into slavery so at least the land can get rest. These leaders have built their own false security and hope, rejecting God's secure foundation, so God will bring terror to show how false their hope is. Isaiah then uses the analogy of a farmer. Farming would seem rather simple, but rather than just doing what he wants, a good farmer listens to God for the right time to act, both in the planting of seeds and then harvesting them. If something as mundane as farming benefits from listening to God, how much more should the leaders of God's people listen to God?

Then Isaiah calls out to the city of Jerusalem, which here he calls Ariel. God will humble Jerusalem. He will bring them low. But the army he will use to do it will disappear as quickly as they appeared. To put it a different way, God will let an army, likely the Assyrians, come and terrorise Jerusalem and its people to humble them. But before they can do any real damage, God will intervene and send them away.

The problem is the people will not understand the point of this lesson. God describes them as a people who "honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me". These people pay God lip service, but they don't really know God or serve him faithfully. So, God focuses on those who are actively rebellious and disobedient. 'In that day' (well in the future) God will pour out blessing on his people, so that the blind can see, the death can hear, and the meek and poor will be exalted and receive joy in the Lord. During that time, all those who are wicked and disobedient will be cut off and punished.

Having attacked the leaders of Israel for abusing the people's trust, Isaiah then turns to the other place that the people often put their trust, the foreign nations. Specifically, Egypt. Isaiah first points how worthless Egypt are as protection, saying how they will be destroyed and then bring shame to the Israelites for trusting in them. Next, he accuses the people of Israel of being rebellious in not trusting in God, but trusting Egypt instead. God offered them rest and salvation, but they chose the strength of Egypt's horses instead.

But despite all this, God will still be gracious to his people. He will restore his holy city, Jerusalem, the new city Zion. In that new city, the people will get rid of all their idols, and will trust in God. And God will bless them abundantly, with good crops and lots of livestock. He will lead them in the light.

Finally, Isaiah once again prophecies Assyria's fall. Assyria was the main threat to Jerusalem at the time, and so it was because of them that the people were going to Egypt for help. But Isaiah assures the people that not only is God strong enough to defeat Assyria, he will definitely do it.

Psalm 115

This psalm isn’t attributed to anyone in particular and falls into the category of praise psalm.

Psalm 115:1 - The Lord’s name be glorified

Psalm 115:2-8 - A contrast between the living God and lifeless idols

Psalm 115:9-11 - An encouragement to trust in the Lord

Psalm 115:12-15 - The Lord will bless his people

Psalm 115:16-18 - The heavens are the Lord’s

The psalmist opens with a declaration that Lord’s name be glorified because he is loving and faithful. Other nations might ask if the Lord is even real, but he is. He sits in heaven with ultimate authority. He can do what we wants.

The other nations worship and pray to idols of silver and gold. These idols cannot hear their prayers or reply to them as they don’t have working ears or mouths. They might have noses and hands and feet, but they are not living. They cannot smell or touch or walk. They are useless. And those who make idols, or put their trust in idols, are similarly made useless. As for the Israelites, they should trust in the Lord, for he will rescue them and protect them. The Lord is mindful of his people and will bless them who fear him.

All of creation belongs to the Lord. The heavens are his domain, but he has given the earth over to humans. Therefore, while we are on the earth, we should praise him and bless him, for he is worthy of it all.

The psalm reiterates the power and authority of the Lord, as well as the intimate access that his people have to him. Other people might worship idols that cannot hear or speak, but the Lord’s people can speak to their God and he, in turn, blesses and protects them.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

Share this article