From Isaiah 28-30
We are reminded to be true to the LORD and not just render him lip service. The funny thing about lip service, is that we generally give it to appease the people around us. In Isaiah’s account, the description of their hearts is bad and it seems they have replaced their fear and awe of the LORD with various commands. They ignore God and instead obey commands of their own creation. What different kinds of lip service are there?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Today’s reading is a judgement made on Israel and a prophecy of better things to come.
13 And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
14 therefore, behold, I will again
do wonderful things with this people,
with wonder upon wonder;
and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.” (Is 29:13–14)
I think we can take away from this an instruction. We are reminded to be true to the LORD and not just render him lip service. The funny thing about lip service, is that we generally give it to appease the people around us. In Isaiah’s account, the description of their hearts is bad and it seems they have replaced their fear and awe of the LORD with various commands. They ignore God and instead obey commands of their own creation.
But then soon afterwards Isaiah promises better things. Despite these serious failings the LORD will do wonderful things with his people.
Story of Israel
Soon afterwards Israel was exiled. God judged them and they were kicked out of the promised land. But these words were remembered and when Israel returned to Israel they awaited their fulfilment. In particular I suspect they awaited the ‘wonderful things’.
Story of Jesus
It wasn’t until Jesus came on the scene, that we see echoes of this passage. Jesus repeats the same verse again judging the Jews around him;
7 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“ ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” (Mk 7:1–8)
Jesus uses Isaiah to pronounce judgement on the Pharisees and Scribes hundreds of years afterwards. Notice however he does not continue with the passage. What I suggest we can do is relate this untold aspect of the Isaiah passage to the what Jesus is doing and what he will accomplish for his people. Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus will be doing wonderful things for his people, performing wonder upon wonder.
The reason we can relate this to Jesus is because he is the Christ.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.