Isaiah 31-33
(Folly and Redemption for Judah)
July 23rd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.

-Isaiah 33:5-6 (KJV)

Summary of Chapters

The section of “Oracles from Isaiah’s Later Ministry” continues and concludes with chapters 31-33. Chapter 31 carries on with the theme from the previous one regarding the folly of Judah for going to Egypt for help and protection from Assyria:

At the end of the chapter Isaiah calls for the people to return to God and reject their idols. He predicts that “Assyrians will fall dead, killed by a sword-thrust but not by a soldier (Isa 31:8 - MSG ).”

In Chapter 32 Isaiah envisions victory over Assyria and a re-establishment of righteous rulers in Judah. Isaiah foresees the world turning right side up again. At that time, the people’s eyes and ears will re-open for them to receive wisdom and “No more will fools become celebrities, nor crooks be rewarded with fame (Isa 32:5 - MSG>).”

Because a righteous king will rule, Judah will experience peace, quietness, and confidence, says Isaiah. Isaiah then presents the last of the five woes in chapter 33. This one is directed at Assyria, who had been attacking other nations and breaking their agreements:

Isaiah describes how the LORD will be exalted as he expunges the occupiers.

The corrupt people will no longer be found in Zion. Instead, Zion will once again be “the city of our festivals (33:20 -NIV)” and “a tent that will not be moved (33:20 - NIV).”

Reflection and Application

In the recurring theme of man vs. God, God always wins. God rules over man, animal, weather, disease, and death. It seems reasonable that we can create alliances with credible partners in business, politics, and other arenas. However, our first alliance should be with God. The first one we should turn to with your questions should be God. The first one we go to when we are concerned should be God. If we listen for his response, then we can go to our partners with the wisdom to proceed.

Once again we have the theme of people who did not listen or hear, but now they can. Which group are we in today?

A king who listens and obeys God’s law will be better placed to achieve peace because he will deliver justice fairly, just like the king at the end of this section, and the people will not rise up against him.

The defeat of Assyria and restoration of Jerusalem reminds us of God’s power to destroy and redeem. He wants us to celebrate our festivals in his house and worship him. We may suffer the sting of his rebuke from time to time, but we can always come home to him.

The King James Version of Isaiah 33:6 that was quoted above can also be found inscribed above the main doors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, in New York, also known as 30 Rock, a building which houses the studios for "Saturday Night Live," "NBC Nightly News," and other productions. The scripture, as shown in the picture above reads as follows:: "And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times." This scripture is a reminder to who enter and pass by the building that wisdom, not war or greed gives us the stability that we need.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

Related Questions
  1. What have been your experiences with horses?
  2. What earthly sources of help have disappointed you?
  3. What are the parts of your life that God wants to expunge?

Recommended Prayer
Father in heaven, we know you control our world and that your wisdom is the key to our happiness. Help us to hear and respond.

Suggested Prayer Concerns

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow's reading: Isaiah 34-35 (A Vision of Zion)

Comments and Questions
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