A dominant theme throughout this chapter is Israel’s tendency to form alliances and partnerships with anything other than God. Isaiah rebukes such tendencies and calls them out for their failures to depend upon God.
In this chapter, I have already completed four other studies from the 2 Nephi version of these scriptures. I reference them here because of their depth and spiritual insight. ( I am also very grateful for the years of experience that past faithfulness now gives me as a support. See Alma 37:35 . )
Here are some key points from a fresh reading:
- Judah, as a people, have rejected the slow flowing waters of Shiloah. Consequentially, the waters of the river, strong and many, are to take over the land as a flood.
- Avoid alliances and planned allegiance with anything other than the kingdom of God, because God is with his people. Nothing else shall stand.
This second point is being reinforced in my mind this morning.
In verse 11, Isaiah gives a little personal insight into how the Lord speaks to him. “For the Lord spake thus unto me with a strong hand…” This reminds me of the times and season in my life, where the spirit of the Lord has rested strongly upon, this usually happens in my scripture studies and sometimes in prayer. We frequently talk about the voice of the Spirit being a still small voice. I need to improve my own ability to listen in this regard. Yet to hear Isaiah say that sometime the Lord needs to add an exclamation point to his council and that he sometimes does that with what feels to be a strong hand, this helps me to understand that the Lord employs multiple channels with his children in communicating with them.
Verse 16 seems to come out of nowhere, but it is a reminder that those that are faithful, even in difficult times, can be sealed up and preserved. In the Kirtland Temple dedicatory prayer, there was a similar reference to the binding of those with testimony and a sealing up of the law among the disciples or servants of Christ. (See Doctrine and Covenants 109:46)
Binding of the Testimony, Sealing of the Law. Isaiah reiterates the point then near the end of the chapter, by stating: To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (see vs. 20)
What does this mean though? The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10) The law of God is the standard by which we are to live to dwell in God’s presence.
The final thoughts from this chapter of Isaiah guide me towards patience in the Lord’s timing. While most are without light, God is still with his faithful disciples.