A Study in the Word – Isaiah 30:1-33


Judah callously disregards God, which brings another woe (30:1). Specifically, they plan to seek Egypt’s aid against Assyria apart from the Lord (30:2). They will find, however, not refuge but shame (30:3). Judah’s envoys are already enroute to Egypt, yet God knows Egypt does not have the slightest desire to help. Egypt’s weakness is not the issue, but Judah’s refusal to seek the Lord. Bullheadedness displaces trust (30:4-5).

The envoys bear treasures to purchase help from Egypt (30:6), which God nicknames “Rahab the Do-Nothing” (30:7, NIV). A permanent record will be kept as evidence for later conviction (30:8) because Judah’s people prefer sugarsticks to salvation (30:9-10), a mockery of God’s holiness (30:11).

Since they scorn God’s holiness, the Holy One of Israel will hold them accountable. The cruelty they rely on will crumble like a collapsing wall, shattering into shards (30:12-14). God’s offer would have made things otherwise, but Israel was unwilling (30:15). Their propensity to entrust themselves and their fortunes to beasts of burden (30:6) will see them fleeing in front of their enemy’s horses (30:16). Fear dominates their every move (30:17).

Still, God’s warning is an offer of grace; He will bless those who seek His compassion (30:18). When Judah cries out for God, then God will answer with blessing (30:19). They have eaten “bread of privation,” but when they humble themselves, the Lord will change their way of life to the good (30:20-21). When they rid the land of idols (30:22), then the land will provide food in abundance (30:23). Animals will work the land instead of being used to buy help from the helpless (30:24). In apocalyptic imagery of the last Day, the streams of Israel will flow abundantly and rapidly as judgment falls on the unrepentant (30:25-26a). If they trust God, there is no need to fear Assyria (30:26b).

The Day of the Lord will bring judgment in fiery intensity. His burning anger will breathe out words of judgment (“lips, tongue, breath”) that will shake the unrepentant (30:27-28). The faithful will celebrate joyously in paying homage to the “Rock of Israel” (30:29), but for the rebellious what He says in His majesty will come to pass in His wrath (30:30). A military band will accompany this judgment (30:32). Topheth, garbage dump of Jerusalem, will be a funeral pyre for Assyria’s king, lighted by the breath of the Lord (30:33).

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: dm5867se@outlook.com


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