In Today's Reading:
Judgment of Ephraim; Jerusalem warned; Israel rebuked for its alliance with Egypt; future destiny assured
The magnificent northern kingdom of Israel was enjoying great prosperity when the Lord led Isaiah to prophesy its coming captivity by Assyria. He proclaimed: Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower. . . . The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet (Isaiah 28:1-3).
The people of Samaria, the capital of the large and powerful northern kingdom, were enjoying the luxury of both summer and winter homes, ivory palaces, and a wealth of gardens. They were content in their affluence and unwilling to hear the Lord's prophet. With a heavy heart, Isaiah warned that all would soon be destroyed because for many years they had rejected the Word of God and turned to idols. Samaria's beauty was likened to a fading flower that would soon disappear. The prophet foretold a horrible future: Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet — and, without God, the nation would be helpless to withstand the fierce Assyrian army. Like most worldly-minded people today, they did not believe judgment would or could happen to them.
Isaiah also warned Judah that, since they had refused to live in obedience to the Covenant of God, they had made a covenant with death and would suffer Assyria's attack and eventually be destroyed by the Babylonians. They would pay the same price for their sins as the northern kingdom.
Times and circumstances change; but all who have not received Christ as their Savior have made an eternal covenant with death (i.e. eternal separation from God) (28:15,18), whether knowingly or unknowingly. For all who have not heard the Gospel and don't possess a Bible, it is our responsibility to let them know what God has said.
We can praise the Lord that while there is life, there is still hope. The Lord is not slack (slow) concerning His promise, as some men count slackness (slowness); but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). Let every one that nameth the Name of Christ depart from iniquity (unrighteousness, sin) (II Timothy 2:19).
As the precious (Chief) Corner Stone, a sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16; Ephesians 2:20-21; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:10-12; Romans 9:33; I Peter 2:6-8).
27:1 piercing =b> swift; 28:21 strange =b> awesome, unusual; 28:22 bands be made strong =b> punishment be made greater; 30:1 cover with a covering =b> make an alliance; 30:3 confusion =b> humiliation, your undoing; 30:24 ear =b> plow.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC) · Country: France (59 million) in western Europe Major language: French Religious freedom 74% Roman Catholic; 5% Muslim; 2% Protestant; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Draw near to God in prayer with a clean and pure heart (James 4:8).
Optional Reading: James 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 84:11