Isaiah 30:1-17 The Rebellious Children

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The first part of Isaiah 30 is about the rebellious children of Israel who run to Egypt for protection only to find that the nation on whom they depend can’t help them.  Only the Lord can help them and yet they will not rely upon him. Notice the various manifestations of their rebellion against the Lord:

Their Ungodly Counsel – v.1 – They take counsel but they don’t take counsel from the Lord – so they end up looking to Egypt for help instead of to the Lord – this same thing happened to Judah during Jeremiah’s days [Jer 42:19 – 43:4].

Their Insufficient Covering – v.1 – They cover their sins instead of forsaking them [Prov 28:13] – they are like Adam who used fig leaves which were insufficient to cover his sin; God required coats of skins [Gen 3:21] which necessitated shed blood. Compare Is 28:20.

Their Unholy Alliance – v.2-5 – Instead of trusting the Lord who is the only one who can adequately protect them, they trust Egypt.  They find this arrangement to be:

Shameful – v.3 – Pharaoh takes their money and can’t help them and so they are ashamed of their confidence in him.  The princes and ambassadors who go to Egypt for help are ashamed [v.4].

Confusing – v.3 – Once they count on Egypt for help and that fails, Israel is confused, bewildered and perplexed about what to do.  It’s like, “Well, that didn’t work; now what do we do?”

Unprofitable – v.5 – Their payment to and dependence upon Egypt is a total waste of time, money and effort.  Compare 2 Chr 25:6-10.

Unhelpful – v.5 – Egypt is absolutely no help to Israel.

Disgraceful – v.5 – Israel and Egypt are both a reproach.

Their Incredible Expenditure – v.6 – Israel ends up carrying their riches and treasures upon camels and asses right back through the very wilderness through which they had come to get out of Egypt.  This is the land where they met with trouble and anguish and serpents that destroyed them.  It is unimaginable that they can’t see the futility of their plan based on what they had experienced with Egypt before.

Their Worthless Result – v.7 – All of this effort and expenditure and their help is vain.

Therefore the Lord said that their strength was to stand still – they should have learned that standing still and depending upon the Lord for protection is the only plan that will work because it is what has always worked before – Ex 14:13; 2 Chr 20:17.

Isaiah is told to write this prophecy down in a table [like the tables of stone on which the 10 commandments were written] and in a book [which we still have today and we are currently studying], v.8.  Therefore, this prophecy is effective all the way through the Tribulation.

Now consider these characteristics of Israel’s rebellion and notice that these are characteristics of all rebellious children.  Rebellious Children:

Lie – v.9 – they act just like their rebellious “father” the devil [Jn 8:44].

Will not hear – v.9 – you can tell them the truth and tell them what they need to hear but they will not listen [Zech 7:11-12].

Prefer pleasant deceit to plain truth – v.10 – in Ahab’s day, he could not stand negative preaching and surrounded himself with prophets who just spoke “good” things even though they were false [1 Ki 22:13].

Cannot tolerate God or God’s men – v.11 – Again Ahab provides a good example of the intolerance of rebellious children.  He hated the prophet Micaiah [1 Ki 22:8]. See Jn 15:18.

Despise the word of God – v.12 – see 2 Chr 36:16 and Prov 13:13 – this became such a problem among the Jews that there was literally no more remedy.

Trust in oppression and perverseness – v.12 – Oppression is the abuse of power and authority [tyranny] and perverseness is corruption and persistence in error and fault.  They believe that they can be wrong and oppressive and somehow things are going to turn out right.

Therefore the Lord said that they would be:

Shattered – v.13-14 – like a broken wall that topples all at once [see 1 Ki 20:30; Ezek 13:14-16] and like a potter’s vessel where there is not even a potsherd big enough to hold coals of fire or water from a pit.

Scattered – v.15-17 – instead of returning to the Lord and resting in his promises and protection, they were determined to “run for their lives” – and run for their lives they do, but not as they expected – one of their enemy would chase a 1,000 and five of their enemy could run the whole country out of their land [the reverse of God’s promise to them (Lev 26:8, Deut 32:30)] – they end up so scattered until they are like a beacon on a mountain and an ensign on a hill, standing all by itself [Deut 4:27; 28:25].

The phenomenal conclusion to the study of this passage is the realization that the U.S.A. is on this same course today.  And you can expect the very same outcome!