Isaiah: The Remnant in Hard Times

Peter Barnes: Isaiah 6:9-13 (NO AUDIO)

(4 November 2019)

John Oswalt: ‘Almost all sermons on Isa. 6 conclude with v.8, probably because of the frankly disturbing character of the remainder of the chapter.’

1. Preaching the truth can harden hearers.

– 6:9-10. This is cited five times in the New Testament (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:11-12; Luke 8:9-10; John 12:37-41; Acts 28:25-27).

– 2 Cor.2:15-16. Calvin: ‘Such blinding and hardening influence does not arise out of the nature of the word, but is accidental, and must be ascribed exclusively to the depravity of man.’ He went on to say:
Yet if you inquire into the first cause, we must come to the predestination of God. But as that purpose is hidden from us, we must not too eagerly search into it; for the everlasting scheme of the divine purpose is beyond our reach, but we ought to consider the cause which lies plainly before our eyes, namely, the rebellion by which they rendered themselves unworthy of blessings so numerous and so great.

2. Judgment in desolation and exile.

– 6:11a. Calvin: ‘Although the Prophets are severe in denouncing the wrath of God against men, yet they do not lay aside human feelings.’

– 6:11b-12; Lev.18:25-28.
3. God works through a remnant.

– 6:13; Rom.11:5. Calvin says that Isaiah is only referring to the elect.

– Calvin says this is ‘too far-fetched’, but look at Isaiah 11:1-2.

– Rom.3:4. The remnant will prevail through the electing grace of God in the Messiah.