The Book of Isaiah
WOE TO THE REBELLIOUS CHILDREN
Text: ISAIAH 30:1-14
1. We have seen in these chapters that Isaiah’s prophecies deal with God’s judgment upon Jerusalem. They extend from the invasion of Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, all the way through till the time when Jerusalem will be trodden down by the antichrist, to the second coming of Christ, when our Lord will establish His throne and His kingdom in Jerusalem.
2. Jerusalem is referred to in Isaiah 29:1ff as “Ariel” (“Lion of God” in Scofield margin).
3. Our Lord is referred to as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” in Revelation 5:5.
4. Isaiah’s prophecies were given before Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion marked the beginning of the “times of the Gentiles,” referred to by our Lord in Luke 21:24.
5. The city of Jerusalem has been destroyed many, many times, and each time it has been rebuilt on top of the wreckage. The final siege of Jerusalem is prophesied by Zechariah and is recorded in Zechariah 14. At that time, the LORD will intervene and deliver the Jews from their enemies (cf. Isa. 29:7, 8).
6. We saw in our exposition of Isaiah 28 that the Israelites were in a drunken stupor and a spiritual stupor (29:9; cf. 28:7, 8).
7. This stupor was the judgment of God (29:10). Just as a drunken man has a difficult time reading, the Jews (in their spiritual stupor) cannot understand the Word of God (29:11-13).
8. Our Lord quoted Isaiah 29:13 to describe the proud, stubborn Pharisees of His day (cf. Matt. 15:7-14). They are the same today.
9. In Isaiah’s day the Israelites thought they could hide their sin from God. Isaiah said, “Woe unto them…” (29:15; cf. 30:1).
10. But things will be much different when our Lord comes back. Now they are blind and will not see. But when Christ returns, “the eyes of the blind shall see” (29:18).
11. Isaiah 29:24 says, “They that erred in spirit (cf. 28:7) shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine” (cf. 28:9-13).
12. The name of the Lord shall be sanctified, and they will fear God (29:23).
13. This brings us to Isaiah 30, which deals with Judah’s alliance with Egypt (30:1-3; 29:15). God calls them “rebellious children” (cf. 1:2).
I. THEY WERE REBELLIOUS BECAUSE THEY DID NOT TRUST IN THE LORD
1. One of my favorite Scriptures is Proverbs 3:5, 6.
2. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
3. We often quote those two verses and stop there. The next verse, Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
4. But the people of Judah did not fear the LORD. They will when our Lord returns (Isa. 29:23b). But they did not in Isaiah’s day, and they do not today.
5. The people of Judah did not trust in the LORD. The LORD said, “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me…” (Isa. 30:1).
6. “That cover with a cover” (30:1) refers to Judah’s alliance with Egypt, their old enemy. Rather than God being their covering of protection, Judah sought help from Egypt. Ultimately they would find this arrangement unsatisfactory (cf. 28:20).
7. God denounced Judah. They were “adding sin to sin” (30:1).
8. When Moses, and Joshua, and David, and King Jehoshaphat were in trouble, they called upon the LORD, and the LORD delivered them. But now they were looking to Egypt for help.
9. Isaiah refers to Egypt as a mere “shadow” (30:2, 3). How foolish to trust in shadows!
II. THEY WERE REBELLIOUS BECAUSE THEY TRUSTED IN WORLDLY ALLIES (30:2, 3).
1. In the Bible, Egypt represents the world.
2. Through the prophet Isaiah, God warned Judah that their alliance with Egypt would be to their shame (30:3, 5; cf. 36:6; Jer. 42:18, 19).
3. Harry Ironside wrote, “How apt we are in times of stress to depend upon some human expedient instead of relying on the living God. It is always an evidence of declension when Christians look to the world for help rather than turning to the Lord Himself, whose chastening hand may be upon them because of unjudged sin. He always stands ready to meet His people in grace, and we are told that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). But we are ever prone to forget this and try to find a way out of our difficulties by human means instead of reliance upon the omnipotent God. Just as Judah involved themselves in deeper trouble by their folly in turning to Egypt, so do we always make conditions worse when, instead of looking to God, we endeavor by fleshly means to extricate ourselves from the difficult circumstances into which our own failures have plunged us” (Isaiah).
4. The princes and ambassadors of Judah had already left for Egypt (30:4). But Egypt was a “land of trouble and anguish” (30:6).
III. THEY WERE REBELLIOUS BECAUSE THEY DESPISED GOD’S WORD (30:9, 12).
1. Isaiah was to go and record God’s Word, “that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever” (30:8).
2. But the rebellious people of Judah did not want God’s Word (30:9). It is the same way today. In Isaiah’s day, God sent the Assyrians, and the Babylonians, and the Chaldeans, and the Syrians, and other nations to judge Israel and Judah.
3. Today we are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, with trouble coming from Iran, Syria, Russia, North Korea, China, and other Muslim and Communist countries.
4. We thought the Cold War was over but now we hear reports about a new “Cool War” with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a crafty old KGB spy. My understanding of Ezekiel 38 & 39 is that Russia, with the assistance of Iran (Persia), Ethiopia, and Libya, will invade Israel. We cannot trust the communists or the Muslims.
5. The people in Isaiah’s day said to the seers and prophets, “See not…Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”
6. The apostle Paul warned in II Timothy 4:3, 4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
7. That is the way it is today. Rick Warren is the # 1 preacher in America today. He was bragging that the billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch was his pastor. Murdoch publishes Warren’s “Purpose Driven” books.
8. Murdoch also publishes the Sun, a sleazy tabloid that features nude women. He also owns the FOX network, which features some of the sleaziest shows on TV. He also owns pornographic satellite TV networks such as DirecTV and the Sky network.
9. Murdoch also owns Harper Collins, which publishes many dirty books. He even publishes the Satanic Bible.
10. Rick Warren is extremely popular today because people today do not want to hear preaching against sin. They are like the people in Isaiah’s day. “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa. 30:9, 10).
11. They are like the men who tried to kill Jeremiah, telling him, “Prophesy not in the name of the LORD” (Jer. 11:21).
12. Jeremiah 6:14 says, “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Interestingly, Rick Warren has a program called “PEACE.”)
13. Amos said they “commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not” (Amos 2:12).
14. King Ahab surrounded himself with false prophets. They’re still around today. Peter said in II Peter 2:1, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
15. These rebellious children even told Isaiah to “get out of the way” (Isa. 30:11). Today wicked sinners are screaming to Christians, “Get out of the way!”
16. They want their adultery, their abortion, their pornography, their so-called “gay marriage,” and freedom to do whatever they want.
17. They want to use the public schools to brainwash children. They want filth on TV 24 hours a day. They want the government to pay for everything – their education, their children’s day care, their health care, etc. (This is called “socialism.”)
18. One thing they do not want is God’s Word. They hate God’s Word (Isa. 30:9, 12).
19. They hate “the Holy One of Israel” (30:11).
20. God had to judge Israel. Their “high wall” of protection would come crashing down on their heads (30:13, 14).
21. How long will it be before God stops protecting America?
1. Let me conclude with one more comparison between God’s people Israel making an alliance with Egypt, and Christians today compromising with the world.
2. The Egyptians hated the Israelites. Genesis 43:32 says, “the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.”
3. Today there are Christians who are compromising with the world, but the world still has nothing but contempt for them.