A Study in the Word – Isaiah 32:1-20

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Nobility in personal character highlights the kingdom God will establish. Righteousness and justice are twin concepts in the eighth century prophets. Thus, what marks the king’s reign will also mark the rule of his princes (32:1). Well-being for the people is the prime consideration (32:2). When justice and righteousness find rightful places in Israel, dignity and well-being will find places as well (32:3-4).

How will this be expressed in the coming kingdom of God? In 5:20-23, a woe was pronounced on “those who call evil good, and good evil.” That circumstance will be reversed (32:5). A fool speaks against the teachings of God and has no concern for other people (32:6). A rogue makes deceit a way of life, even in the face of truth (32:7). But the person who chooses the Lord’s way of dignity and noble thinking will express those qualities in plans and actions (32:8).

Isaiah 32:9-20 specifically addresses well-to-do women of Jerusalem. Their behavior indicates they think the status quo of ease and comfort will continue unchanged (32:9, 11). They are told to awaken from their spiritual doldrums (32:9), for in about one year their comfortable situation will become desperate (32:10). This fact should raise deep concern (32:11-12) to prevent coming catastrophe (32:13-14), a warning that applies equally to everyone, not just complacent women.

To mark a new era in the relationship of God and humankind, the Spirit will rest upon the faithful (“us,” 32:15). A time of peace will arise where godliness will be restored, and where justice and righteousness will be free to accomplish their divine work (32:16-17).

Judah had once dwelt with a false sense of security in herself, but in the restoration God’s people will live where genuine peace prevails (32:18). Before that time comes, judgment will be severe in forest and city (32:19), but the remnant will enjoy the blessings of life as God intended (32:20). Material comfort addressed in this prophecy is simply a form of spiritually resisting the dynamic of what is right and good in the eyes of God. Judah was not to sleep through a crisis. God’s word to them accurately reflects His previous messages: He looks for trust in Him that excludes any other person or material benefit. The remnant of the faithful will recognize this need. They will place their trust in Him alone to receive the greater blessings only God can give.

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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