Next we look at Isaiah 8:11-22
v11: Spoke…strong hand…instructed: G-d gives power (’hand’ in the Bible is synonymous with power) and that power (power to be faithful etc) comes through His instruction. It is only when we submit to the instructions of G-d that we will be recipients of His power.
- Should not walk in the way of this people: We should walk in the way that G-d has instructed us to walk. More often than not, this is not the way that everyone else walks in (Matt 7:13-14). G-d instructs us through His Word, and through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, how to walk in His ways.
v12: Conspiracy: This is literally the word for a confederacy or an alliance. The people did not want to trust G-d, but they wanted to look to other nations (Egypt etc) to join with them and help them, fight for them etc. G-d did not want His people to even talk about enlisting the help of foreign nations.
- (Do not) be afraid of their threats: They do not need to fear – they can have confidence in G-d.
v13: Him you shall hallow (sanctify): Sanctification involves purpose. The way that we fear G-d and sanctify His name is by being committed to His purposes and participating in His will.
- Let Him be your fear…your dread: Fearing G-d means that we give Him priority. We need to give G-d priority in every aspect of our lives.
v14: A sanctuary (or) a stone/rock: If we trust G-d and make Him our priority, He will be a sanctuary, a place of refuge and protection, for us. However, if we reject Him or are disobedient, He becomes like a stone/rock which can bring harm to us and cause us pain.
- Both the houses of Israel: Referring to both Judah and Israel (all of Israel – Northern and Southern kingdoms).
v15: Many: Although there has always been a remnant of faithful people in Israel, the majority did not trust G-d, did not believe His Word and did not respond to Him in faith.
v16: Bind up: Hold on to it. Take it seriously. We need to base our lives on the promises of G-d.
- Testimony: This was a certificate that certified that something was true.
- Disciples: Those who have walked with Him (G-d) and learned from Him.
v17: The L-rd who hides His face: Even though we cannot see G-d we need to have faith in Him, trusting and hoping in the prophetic promises of G-d.
v18: I and the children … are for signs and wonders: Isaiah and his two boys were prophetic signs confirming what was going to happen. The prophecies associated with them have Kingdom interpretations and implications.
- Zion: This is a Kingdom term. Zion is the name for Jerusalem in her redemptive state.
v19: When they say to you: Isaiah warns them that they will be asked to seek counsel from evil sources.
- Mediums and wizards: Those who engage in pagan or demonic practices, thinking that through them they will gain illumination/revelation.
- Should not a people seek their G-d: Isaiah was encouraging them to trust the Word of G-d for illumination and revelation. He was encouraging them to seek and hope in the L-rd.
v20: To the law and to the testimony: Those who applied the truth, found in the Bible, to their lives, found (had a testimony of) that they were blessed by G-d.
- There is no light in them: Those who do not trust the full Word of G-d (The law, the prophets and all the writings – New and Old Testament) are in darkness. They have not received any revelation.
v21: Curse their king and their G-d: When things in their lives are going badly (they are hard pressed and hungry) they perhaps curse the Messianic promise of a King Messiah. The reject G-d’s plan for salvation.
- Look upward: The implication is that they look up in dismay.
v22: They will look to the earth (the land): They trusted in their physical land.
- Trouble and darkness, gloom and anguish (pain); and they will be driven into (a deeper) darkness: This is what is coming for those who don’t trust in G-d.