Often when judges sentence a criminal, they explain in some degree the reason for the conviction and the sentence. Isaiah 28 is God explaining more about His reasons for judging Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom:
- They were prideful drunkards whose glory would fade
asa flower (v.1-4). Instead, God would be crowned and receive the glory that they tried to take for themselves (v.5-6).
- Their spiritual leaders (priests and prophets) were also involved in the drunken mistakes of the nation (v.7-8). How sad when pastors, fathers, and those who would be spiritual leaders are unable to effectively lead because they are full of sin.
- They mocked God’s true prophet (v.9-10). They didn’t like how he was teaching them. They felt it was insulting and condescending. Yet, God promised that the day would come that they would be like little children
inunderstanding because their captors would speak another language (v.11-13).
- They trusted in their own plans rather than God’s one true foundation (v.14-21). Instead of mocking God and trusting in themselves, they should have
humblesthemselves and trusted the Lord.
- They would be judged for a time but not completely wiped out (v.22-29). God would give them appropriate judgment, and then, like a wise farmer knows how to deal with each crop, the Lord would cause the judgment to stop.
As we read this, we realise that Ephraim deserves God’s judgment. That He would humble their pride and deal with their sin. That He would also cause them to realise that they should trust in Him. And when they were dealt with, He would cause judgment to cease.
God knows how to deal with us as well. He knows what we deserve. He deals with our pride. And then He graciously ceases judgment when it is appropriate. And He points us to Himself.
May we learn to look to the Lord. May those who are leaders have the spiritual insight and moral character to lead correctly. May we realise that sin has consequences but also know that God is just and gracious to those who repent.