Previously, to summarize, Isaiah pens that God’s people should live ethically (1), God prefer’s peace to war (2), Immanuel is introduced to the world (7, 9), and Nation’s fail because of the sin’s they commit (13-24). Other background worth knowing – Ephraim (Joshua 16) is the northern neighbor of Jerusalem (previously named Ariel, captured by David and renamed – 29:1-2) whose history is ancient and tumultuous to say the least. At the present hour, when Israel voices security concerns their annals suggest many reasons for it.
From today’s passage, the following points need to be made…
- Ephraim is not interested or capable of listening to God’s warnings (28:1-13).
- Ephraim is used as an example to Jerusalem (28:14-29).
- A wheat farmer’s work in crushing wheat into flour is used to illustrate Ephraim’s plight (28:23-29).
- Unfaithful Jerusalem is condemned (29:1-8) by Isaiah because it won’t receive (29:9-11) his message.
- Even those who’s words honor God (29:13) do so superficially; making the wise perish (29:14).
- What we have is a period of inversion (29:15-16); in other words what was once considered to be wrong or false is now considered to be right or true.
- Eventually the inversion abates leading to a restorations of the senses (29:18-21) by mysterious (29:22-24) means.
This sad history is allegorical to any; personal, corporate, or national. The subject is not interested in good advice contrary to their ill-fated will, they become delusional, and eventually they fail.
“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke