The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 59 Part 1

Isaiah

We begin this week by looking at Isaiah 59:1-8

Throughout the book of Isaiah, G-d was not pleased with the children of Israel. G-d loves to bless His people. However, as so frequently is the case in the prophecy of Isaiah, we are going to see that G-d is not blessing, helping or delivering. He’s not doing anything to assist the people. The reason is simple: the people are in sin and G-d is not pleased with them because they are not committed to His will. Is G-d pleased with us? We do not need to guess the answer to this. All we need to do is reflect upon our lives. Are we committed to the things of G-d? Are we serving Him? Are we applying His truth to our lives and are we doing those things which are pleasing to Him? 

v1: The L-RD’s hand: This is a term that speaks about the power of the L-rd. It also speaks about His ability and His authority. There is nothing lacking in G-d’s ability or power. He is omnipotent and sovereign, and He can do all things. If people are not experiencing G-d (His blessing, provision, nearness etc), it is not because of a lack from G-d’s side, but rather a poor spiritual condition on their side. The children of Israel had been brought into a covenantal relationship with G-d, but their lives were not demonstrating or reflecting that they had any kind of relationship with G-d.

  • Not shortened: Not lacking. 
  • Heavy: Dull (in hearing). G-d hears perfectly, but He is not responding to the people. The people are confused as to why G-d is not listening to them and why He is not moving in their situations. 

v2: Your iniquities have separated you from your G-d: This is the reason why G-d does not respond to them. Their sins have become a barrier between them and G-d. Iniquity and sin bring about an adverse situation in the lives of people – not only spiritually, but sometimes also manifesting itself in the physical. When we practice sin and iniquity, we are empowering the enemy, allowing him access into our lives to wreak havoc and bring about adversity – exposing our shamefulness before G-d. 

  • Hidden His face: They cannot see or feel G-d’s presence or blessing around them. 
  • He will not hear: ‘Hearing’ is probably related to prayers. G-d is not listening to the prayers of the people. As a result, they are not receiving a response from G-d. 

v3: Blood: This is referring to the shedding of innocent blood. 

  • Perversity: This is a word that speaks of having malice in their hearts. They behave in a very unkind and wicked way toward others as they are only thinking of themselves and what they believe they are entitled to (their ‘rights’). This is the exact opposite of the way we should be behaving as children of G-d. G-d desires that we ‘love others as we love ourselves’ (Matt 22:39). This is a foundational truth in the Bible. 

v4: No one: No one is interested in what G-d is interested in. If we are wise, we are going to be people who explore the things that G-d is interested in and then we should participate in those things. When we are interested in what G-d is interested in, He will be interested in what is going on in our lives. His hand will not be short, and His ear will not be dull unto our cries.

  • Nor does any plead for truth: No one is applying truth or faith as to how they render judgment. When they make decisions, they are not utilising faith and truth as part of their decision-making process. 
  • Empty: This same word is used in Gen 1:2 to speak of a world in chaos and out of order. 
  • Conceive: They think about trouble – about bringing adversity into the lives of others. 
  • Iniquity: Wickedness. Instead of producing righteousness (that which is of the Kingdom) they are producing that which is wicked and conflicts with the character of the Kingdom.

v5: Note: In this verse we are given an analogy – an illustration of what the people are doing. 

  • Hatch viper’s eggs: Their behaviour is likened to the birthing of many little vipers. What they are doing is dangerous and potentially life threatening. Some understand this to mean that they are inviting and empowering a demonic influence into their lives. 
  • Weave the spider’s web: A spider weaves a web for the purpose of catching prey. 
  • He who eats of their eggs dies: Their wicked behaviour leads to death and destruction. 
  • From that which is crushed a viper breaks out: The people who act wickedly are not victims. A viper comes out of a viper’s egg. That is the natural course of the viper’s lifecycle. Similarly, the natural outcome of a wicked person’s life is that they will experience hardships, problems, demonic activity etc. This is not happening to them randomly but is as a result of their poor choices and poor behaviour. 

v6: Webs: Could also be translated ‘threads’. 

  • Nor will they cover themselves with their works: Their deeds are not going to be a covering for them. Their deeds are what a righteous person would “not be caught dead” wearing as they are clothes of shame. Good deeds are worn with a sense of delight and thanksgiving. When we are clothed with good deeds, we are glorious and have a G-d-pleasing testimony (Rev 19:8). 
  • The act of violence is in their hands: When we worship, we have been instructed to lift up holy hands (1 Tim 2:8). ‘Holy hands’ mean that our hands need to be unstained by sin. They need to be hands that do not invoke the displeasure of G-d. Those who are wicked love violence for the sake of violence. Their hands are stained with violence. 

v7: Destruction: This is a word that speaks about being plundered, being robbed or of suffering a great loss. This loss comes in the form of a catastrophe in their lives. 

  • In their paths: They are not walking in truth or according to the instructions of G-d. They walk according to the objectives of their fleshly desires – their desires which are for iniquity and sin.

v8: The way of peace: They have none of the peace associated with fulfilling G-d’s will.

  • No justice in their ways: They live their lives as if they are running around in circles and never really achieving anything. 
  • Crooked: This is a word that also means ‘stubborn’. They are constantly moving stubbornly away from the instructions of G-d. They are bent in the wrong direction. 
  • Whoever takes that way shall not know peace: Whoever walks in this crooked way will never know the peace of G-d, the fulfilment of His will. Their behaviour is not moving them toward the Kingdom of G-d but is moving them away from it. 

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