A Study in the Word – Isaiah 33:1-24

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Chapter 33 concludes the “woe” section of Isaiah 28-33. Assyria is clearly the “destroyer” (33:1), but the faithful look to the Lord for encouragement (33:2). Faith does not deny the reality of fear, but fear gives way to faith when God’s power is acknowledged (33:3-4). Fear then becomes confident reverence before the supremacy of God (33:5). The remnant can count on Him (33:6).

Relying on their own ability in the face of aggression has proved of no effect (33:7, 9). The highways are unsafe. Value for human life has disappeared (33:8). Hopeless conditions prevail and bring Judah to the bottom of despair (33:9). When the people discover they have no hope but God, then He will deliver them. They will see Him as the supreme Lord of all (33:10). His opposition will “flame out” like dry chaff and thorns in a fierce flame (33:11-12).

Since the Lord will take such a strong stand on behalf of His remnant, they can take heart in their circumstances (33:13), yet the sinful have no such prospect (33:14). The way of life of the remnant reflects what God teaches is right: they are honest in business dealings, they seek honesty from others, and they feel no need to be entertained by violence (33:15). They believe God will fulfill His promises (33:16).

Faith in God also means that the faithful person need fear nothing less than God. They see Him as He desires to be seen - “the King in His beauty” (33:17). Verses 18 and 19 may refer to 2 Kings 18:13-16 where Hezekiah stripped the temple of gold to pay tribute to Sennacherib. This was a foolish act and did not force the Assyrians to withdraw. Problems this size require a faith-sized solution in God, not gold (33:18-19).

Jerusalem will again be undisturbed. God’s power will reign supreme (33:20). The Lord Himself will supply all of her needs (33:21). How will this be possible? Because every facet of life will come under the lordship of Yahweh - judge, lawgiver, and king (33:22). For a time, the remnant feel they are like the broken mast of a sailing ship, having no means of saving themselves (33:23a). Yet, when the Lord comes to reign supreme, their every need is met. Even the lame will easily find plunder from a defeated enemy (33:23b). Then the remnant will find abundance in life again (33:24).

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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