Isaiah Chapter 28


  • Isaiah 28:1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

Here we have a double picture. We see pictured a nation who has been overcome with pride and drunkenness. They were once beautiful but had become as a fading flower. This can happen in reality. Alcoholism can turn a once beautiful and prosperous person into a mess and bring them to despair. This is what sin does to a nation. Without God, folks our nation will crumble also. What once was a nation of strength and beauty will become a fading flower. Sin will ruin anything.

This prophecy was literally fulfilled when Assyria took over of Ephraim. Ephraim was one of the 12 tribes of Israel, Ephraim and Manasseh being the two sons of Joseph. Instead of the tribe of Joseph, two of the tribes were the two sons of Joseph that inherited the land given to Israel. The tribe of Levi didn't inherit land but were appointed to be servants of the tabernacle and later the temple. They were to minister the spiritual needs of all tribes and were given cities among the tribes instead of a whole portion of land as the other tribes. Their inheritance was the Lord Himself.

  • Isaiah 28:2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.

Judgment comes to people that do not repent eventually. God gives space for repentance and change. He sends His preachers, prophets and teachers. He sent Noah, He sent Moses, He sent Jonah, He sent Isaiah, He sent Jeremiah, He sent Daniel, He sent Ezekiel and He sent Jesus. He didn't stop there. He sent Peter, Paul, John, Stephen, Martin Luther, John Knox, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Dwight Moody, Billie Sundae, Billy Graham, Robert Webb, David Wilkerson, and countless others warning us to repent and turn back to God. We have no excuse for ignorance. We have had the bible, preachers, the gospel, the Holy Spirit, prosperity, education. We have no excuse for the state our nation is in.

The United States can be compared with the nation of Israel. Israel of old knew God and also knew better than to sin against Him. We in the United States have heard the gospel, have had God's blessing and we also know better than to depart from the living God.

  • Isaiah 28:3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
  • 4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

As the glorious beauty of Ephraim was destroyed by judgment, any nation, which sins continually and ignores the call of God toward repentance will also fade as flowers do at the end of the summer.

  • Isaiah 28:5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,

This is a hope to those who do not go the way of the crowd. God remembers the ones who cling to the Him when it is not popular to do so and the ones who stay faithful when others depart. Even though Israel was judged many times there was always a remnant who would cleave to the Lord. In the latter days the whole nation will return to God and come to know the Messiah who we now know as Jesus Christ.

  • Isaiah 28:6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
  • 7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

Unfortunately here is a picture of even greater despair. The priests and prophets that should have remained righteous have allowed themselves to err and become drunken. Instead of lights and representatives of God's word they have fallen away from the truth and given into temptations.

This also has happened in these latter days. Some do not preach against sin and judgment the way they used to. Some have preferred to please men. They say words that people want to hear. People do not want to hear judgment and repentance messages. They prefer the "feel good" self-esteem messages that tickle the ears. They want a god that allows them to do as they please and still be welcomed into the kingdom of God.

While I warn against preaching against sin, there is also an opposite extreme to consider. Sometimes we can get so negative that we forget the mercy, power, and faith in the grace of God that gives us forgiveness and victory over sin. He takes the "want to sin" out of our hearts if we let Him do so. We can also become negative, judgmental, critical, finding fault with things that are non essential to salvation, nit picking and open the door to actual hate. This too is just as dangerous as the feel good, I'm okay, your okay stuff.

  • Isaiah 28:8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

Here is a picture of a backslidden nation. This is how Israel had once become. Does this not sound like our own United States?

  • Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
  • 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little :

This is what they needed and what we need to start teaching children the word of God just as soon as they are able to learn.

The Communists knew how to build a strong country. They took children very early and began to teach them their doctrine. They even had sense enough to know that strong families would build a strong nation and that sin would bring it down. This was a nation that did not believe in God and yet they knew what was the strength of a nation. It didn't work because nothing works without God but they had some wisdom in the fact that children should be taught early.

They should not however be taken from their homes and taught in the public school because in the public school they are not allowed to be teach about God. They need the first few years at home and be taught about the Lord first and then add the other education later. Instead we are learning everything else and if God is taught at all is on the back burner or maybe one-hour on Sunday morning. This should not be. He should be first. He should be the first we hear in the morning and the last we hear before we retire at night.

  • Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
  • 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

In verse 11 we have a prophetic word to what was to come: A refreshing. This sounds like the gospel that is to be preached to the Gentiles which brings rest to the soul. The refreshing spoken of here probably refers to the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Stammering lips and another tongue could also refer to "speaking in tongues" which accompanies the baptism with the Holy Spirit. That is a refreshing comforting experience.

  • 1Corinthians 14:21  In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.  

They would not hear though as we see later in the writings of the gospels. At the time of Christ and his disciples the gospel was rejected and still is rejected by the nation of Israel as a whole. When this changes it will bring about a blessing to the whole world.

  • Isaiah 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
  • 14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem .

The Lord pleaded with them then and still does now to hear His word.

  • Isaiah 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

To refuse the gospel is to make a covenant with hell. The gospel is the way out of hell. It is the way of eternal life.

  • Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Hear is a clear prophecy of the coming of Christ. He is that chief cornerstone. He is the stone which the builders rejected but has become the sure foundation and the only way of salvation.

  • Isaiah 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
  • 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

They will eventually hear the gospel after judgment and cleansing.

  • Isaiah 28:19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
  • 20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
  • 21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
  • 22 Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.

They mocked and did not hear the word, causing judgment to come time and again. Judgment came by Assyria, Babylon, Romans, and will also come in the future. Yet it didn't have to be.

  • Isaiah 28:23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
  • 24 Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
  • 25 When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?
  • 26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.

All they had to do to be restored and escape judgment was to give ear to the voice of the Lord. That is still true today. All we have to do is to listen, to obey, to receive and we will avoid judgment and receive eternal life.

Isaiah 29

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