Isaiah: Trust in God’s Word

Peter Barnes: Isaiah 8:11-22 (NO AUDIO)

(9 December 2018)


The context here is, as it has been for a while, the unbelief of King Ahaz of Judah. He scratches around for a political solution to a spiritual and moral problem.

1. Fear God, not the world.

– 8:11-13. There are two options: fear God or fear the world. Matt.10:28. Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady’s paraphrase of Psalm 34:1-9, Fear Him, you saints, and you will then have nothing else to fear.

– the conspiracy appears to refer to the kind of paranoia which is common when people resort to human explanations and human machinations. Prov.18:10.

2. If the Lord is not your sanctuary, He will be your stumbling block.

– 8:14-15. It is not a one-way street. God is a sanctuary or a stone of offense. It is double-edged, and it has always been double-edged. Luke 2:34. The fall and the rising, not the rising of all who hear this.

– Isaiah 28:16; 1 Peter 2:6-8; Rom.9:33; Matt.21:44. Christ is divine, so what is said about God is said about Christ.

3. Trust God’s Word, and nothing else.

– 8:16-22. The reference to the prophet’s children is to his disciples – Heb.2:13.

– Isaiah’s disciples have two possibilities in front of them, as do we – 8:19 (see Deut.18:9-13) and Isa.8:20. What the world calls Enlightenment (e.g. the philosophy of much of the eighteenth century), God calls darkness. John 8:12.