Lent status: Available
In verse 1: we see it’s about the “vision” of prophetic revelation which Isaiah saw in respect of Judah and Jerusalem.
Compare this with: Isaiah 2:1; Isaiah 12:1; and Amos 1:1.
We must clearly keep in mind that it concerns Judah and Jerusalem. As a general principle it should always be remembered to whom it is being specifically referred, and only when it is clear from the text that it is also generally applicable, can it be applied.
In verse 3: the charge is brought against Israel that the ox knoweth his owner and the ass his master’s crib, but that Israel has no knowledge, and the people of God (Israel) do not understand. Hereby the LORD makes known that the ox and the ass know to whom they belong and where their food comes from, but that Israel does not know their God.
It is still so today that most of the people of God know Him not, and do not know who they are or where they came from. The core of the white Western Protestant Nations, are literally the descendants of the literal Israel of the Bible, but go and tell it to them and see if they will believe you. They will even believe you less when you tell them they will have to return to the God of Israel and again set in motion the Divine Constitution should we want to bring back peace and harmony to this world again.
In verse 4: they are accused of leaving and despising the Holy one of Israel. Note that the LORD is called the Holy One of Israel. Nowhere is He called the Holy One of any other nation. It is of fundamental importance to understand the message of the Bible. It is because the people of Israel forsook their God, that the world is in the state it is now. The world will only be restored when God is acknowledged by the true Israel.
This is Isaiah’s message, and should be carefully noted when reading this book. Right in the beginning when the LORD called Israel, He said that He is making her his kingdom of priests and a holy nation – (Exodus 19:5, 6) and that Israel must glorify His name before other nations - (Deuteronomy 4:5-8) God never deviated from this and never will.
In the SECOND PART of Isaiah we shall see it clearly. But it is just as if it is such a glorious expectation for which Isaiah could not find any words that in Chapter 2 we see the first bright vision of the future, and again in Chapter 9 and 11 and in other sections.
Just as the LORD called himself the Holy One of Israel in verse 4, so He calls himself the Mighty One of Israel in verse 24.
In Malachi 3:6 the LORD says:
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
The LORD changes not, therefore He will also not break his covenant with his people. But He will duly punish them, and remove the wicked ones amongst them. The Bible and history provide sufficient evidence in this respect, let us therefore give due attention to this matter and also endeavour to call our people to repentance.
In verses 5-7: we see sufficient evidence hereof.
In verse 2 the LORD calls heaven and the earth as witness against his people. It brings to remembrance the farewell warning that Moses directed to the people in Deuteronomy 30:19.
But in verse 8 the LORD gives the assurance that Israel shall not be completely destroyed. The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. If it were not for this assurance we would have been wiped out as Sodom and Gomorrah, - verse 9. God will not break his covenant; the descendants of Israel will not be annihilated.
Read i.a. the following Scriptures in connection with this:
Twelve unconditional and unbreakable promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob:
Genesis 12:2-3; Gen. 13:16; Gen. 15:5; Gen. 17:2-8, 15-19; Gen. 18:18; Gen. 22:15-18; Gen. 24:60; Gen. 26:4, 24; Gen. 27:28-29; Gen. 28:3, 14; Gen. 32:12, 28; Gen. 35:11.
God promises an everlasting and indestructible throne to David:
2 Samuel 7:13, 16, 25-29; Psalm 89:4-5, 28, 30, 34-38; Daniel 2:35, 44; Daniel 7:14, 18, 27; Luke 1:31-33.
The promise of a remnant in verse 9:
Compare: Isaiah 10:20-22; Isa. 11:11-13, 16; Isa. 37:32; Isa. 46:3; Jeremiah 23:3-8; Jer. 31:7-14; Ezekiel 11:16-21; Joel 2:32; Micah 2:12-13; Micah 4:1-7; Micah 5:3-9; Micah 7:18; Zep. 3:13-20; Zec. 8:6-8, 11-12; Romans 9:25-29; Romans 11:5.
From this we can see that there will always be a remnant in Israel. In the time of Elijah there were 7000 which did not bend the knee unto Baal - (1 Kings 19:18) so we see that in the time of Isaiah (Isa. 1:9) a “small remnant” remained so that God did not destroy Israel as a result of her sins. A remnant shall also remain to enter the millennium, a time of peace, and so form the crux of Christ’s Kingdom on earth - (Zec. 12:6-13:9.).
It can be clearly seen that in Israel God claimed ownership of a people for himself by whom the purpose of God on earth, shall be worked out. The main purpose of this is the institution of a worldwide kingdom. When we now return to Isaiah 1, we see in verses 26 and 27 the future restoration and glorification of Israel. We will see more of this in chapter 2:1-4.
Outward and actual divine worship: (10-20)
The LORD takes no delight in an outward divine worship attended with an inward Sodom and Gomorrah – condition – (Explanatory Bible). God only looks for sincerity, correctness and justice, (VV. 16, 17). We cannot get in God’s favour without making our lives right: we must stop doing wrong and start doing right. “All that is not of faith is sin” - (Rom. 14:23).
Read together with: Joel 2:12-13; Micah 6:6-8; Jer. 7:3-7; 1 Sam. 15:22.
As at that time, Israel is today also more set on outward than inward worship. God does not look on the outward, but the heart. In its true meaning the outward would reflect the inward.
God is willing to forgive if the sinner is prepared to turn from and confess his sins - (V.18).
God has no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but rather that he repents and lives.
Compare: Isaiah 43:25; Isa. 44:22; 2 Peter 3:9.
In verse 9 we see God is only too willing to give us the good if only we would listen;
Compare: Lev. 25:18-19; Lev. 26:3.
But if we do not listen He will punish us;
Read: Lev. 26:25; Jos. 24:15; Gal. 6:7; Isa. 1:20.
The LORD deplores the moral and spiritual decline of his people and promises that He will cleanse them by chastisement and restore them - (V.25).
The LORD promises the people that He shall purify Israel and remove all unrighteousness. A very important matter is brought out here, namely, that God unconditionally promises to cleanse Israel of all her unrighteousness. It comes with the unconditional promise of the LORD, to do so as seen in the following Scriptures:
Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 44:22-23; Jeremiah 31:31-34;
Ezekiel 36:22-38; Ezekiel 37:11-28; Ezekiel 38:23; Ezekiel 39:22-29;
Micah 7:18-20; Hebrews 10:16-18.