Dave Burnette's Commentary

Isaiah Chapter 30

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Isaiah
Date Penned: (700-681 BC)
Overview: To Tell of God's Salvation through the Messiah (c 1-66)
Theme: Words of Judgment (c 1-39)
Message: Prophecy Against Rebels (v 1-33)

Isaiah 30 Commentary 

(30:1) An Alliance -  The rebellious children were the people of Judah (see 1:2), those who had rebelled against God. To "cover with a covering" means to form an alliance. The negotiations for an alliance were underway, and Isaiah condemned the people's twisted plans. The people of Judah sought help and advice from everyone but God. When we are driven by fear, we tend to search everywhere for comfort, advice, and relief, hoping to find an easy way out of our troubles. Instead, we should consult God. Although he gives emergency help in times of crisis, he prefers to be our guide throughout our lives. By reading his Word and actively seeking to do his will, we can maintain our bond with him who provides stability no matter what the crisis. 

(30:2-7) An Alliance with Egypt - Hezekiah had been seeking a defensive alliance with Egypt against Sennacherib of Assyria (see 2 Kings 18:21). 

(30:6-7) Trust the Lord - This prophecy concerning "the beasts of the south" ("south" is a translation of the Hebrew negev) starts with the harmless animals of the caravans that were carrying the messengers taking treasure as bribes to Egypt. On their way, they had to pass through the wilderness region of the Negev, which lies between Judah and Egypt. That path contained dangerous animals. The journey ended in Egypt, which Isaiah calls Rahab in some translations, after a mythological female sea monster associated with leviathan (see the note on 27:1). He was likely comparing Rahab to the huge hippopotamus that would sit in the shallow waters of the Nile River and do nothing all day. In the same way, Egypt would do nothing to help the nation of Judah. If only the people would recognize that God was in control of everything, including powerful Egypt! 

(30:10-11) The Truth - Some people in Judah sought refuge in Egypt. In their desire to find security, they wanted to hear only good news. They did not welcome the truth from God's prophets. Often the truth makes us uncomfortable. We prefer lies or illusions when they make us feel more secure. But to face reality is much better than to live a lie. Don't settle for words that make you feel comfortable but are not true. 

(30:15) Turn to the Lord - God warned Judah that turning to Egypt and other nations for military might could not save them. Only God could do that. They must wait for him "in quietness and in confidence." No amount of fast talking or hasty activity could speed up God's grand design. We have nothing to say to God but thank you. Salvation comes from him alone. And because he has saved us, we can trust him and be peacefully confident that he will give us strength to face our difficulties. We should lay aside our restless activity and endless striving and allow him to act. 

(30:19-20) Walking Through Adversity - The Lord gave his people adversity for food and suffering for drink, but he promised to be with them, teach them, and guide them during hard times. God expects much from us, and at times, following him can be painful. But we can be confident that he always acts out of his love for us. The next time you go through a difficult time, try to appreciate the experience and grow from it, learning what God wants to teach you. Ask him for help. He may be showing you his love by patiently walking with you through adversity. 

(30:21) Follow the Lord - When the people of Jerusalem left God's path, he would correct them. He will do the same for us. But when we hear his voice of correction, we must be willing to follow it! 

(30:27) God's Wrath - The judgment of God will be accompanied by thick, rising smoke and words that devour like fire (see 33:14; Luke 12:49; Hebrews 12:29). Some people dislike any preaching about God's wrath. They often don't want to be judged or hear negative evaluations of their life choices or character. Yet God's wrath and anger are very real and are designed for the rebellious and for those who hate him, not for those who are humble and love him. Are you one of God's people? Help others discover God's love so that his wrath will never be an issue for them.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Bread of Affliction

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 30. In our text today, we see prophesy against rebels. What catches my eye is verse 20, that the Lord gave His people the bread of adversity and the water of affliction. In this process of discipline, the Lord promised to be with, guide, and teach His people during this challenging time in our lives as He allows it for our good and His Glory. How about you? Do you see the Lord in difficult times? Let us learn from our text today and the warning of Isaiah that if we rebel against the Lord, we will suffer the consequences of our decisions, but as a child of God, He will never leave us or forsake us. 


Isaiah 30

Isaiah 30

 1Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

 2That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

 3Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

 4For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.

 5They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

 6The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.

 7For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.

 8Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

 9That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

 10Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

 11Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

 12Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

 13Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

 14And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

 15For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

 16But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.

 17One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

 18And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

 19For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

 20And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

 21And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

 22Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

 23Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.

 24The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan.

 25And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

 26Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

 27Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:

 28And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.

 29Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.

 30And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.

 31For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.

 32And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the LORD shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.

 33For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.