Isaiah’s audience in this chapter is setup in verse one: members of the house of Israel by covenant (baptism) who swear by the name of the Lord, but not in truth, nor righteousness.
How could one find themselves in such a position? Perhaps born into a community of believers but they themselves are just going through the motions. (This is a perpetual problem indeed for any faith community that seeks to extend itself beyond one generation.)
The Lord is quick to point out the purposes behind the prophecies given to the house of Israel and it is for the expressed reason so that they would not have means were with to give credit to their idols.
Oh how the Lord is trying to teach us how to profit and prosper in this life. Why did he lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and Babylon? Twice they were led into captivity. Twice did the Lord redeem his covenant people.
It is not simple or mindless task to keep the commandments of God. In fact, it is something of a challenge given the variables of life: time, energy, resources. It’s a perfect storm. It is a perfect convergence of forces to test our faith.
The Lord loves those that will declare his word. (vs. 14)
What are the assumptions that the natural man tells himself when he flees from his Maker?
- God cannot be found, or is hiding from me.
- God is not interested in my temporal success or welfare.
- God doesn’t understand my immediate circumstances.
If the opposite were true on all three of the above counts, what would change about our relationship to God? If I knew that he were deeply invested in my success and well-being and that He could be found doing these things well, how would this change my regard for Him in prayer?
This is Christ talking to me in these verses. It is the Savior who says “I have not spoken in secret from the beginnings.” It is Jesus who says to me “I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” They are His commandments that bring peace like a river and righteousness like the constant lapping waves of the sea.
I am dealing with a God who is 100% faithful. His way is sure.