Isaiah – Chapter 57
With terrible judgment coming, God took righteous men to heaven. He then mocked the idolatry and spiritual adultery of the nation. He promised to save the remnant in spite of themselves, though there would no peace to the wicked.
Theme: God warned the wicked and comforted the righteous in light of judgment coming against Israel.
1-2 Righteous Men Are Secreted Out of Judgment
3-6 God Indicted and Mocked the Jewish Idolaters
7-10 Idolaters Do Not See Their Hopeless Religion
11-12 The Jews Feared Enemies But Not Their God
13-14 Huge Difference of the Righteous and Wicked
15-19 God Is Very Merciful to the Truly Repentant
20-21 He Has No Mercy for the Obstinate Wicked
Preparatory Reading: Isaiah chapters 1, 11, 41, 44, 45.
- Exposition of Isaiah 1 (False Religion) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2019/isaiah-chapter-1/.
- Exposition of Isaiah 11 (Find Outcasts) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2019/isaiah-chapter-11/.
- Exposition of Isaiah 41 (Idolatry Folly) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2019/isaiah-chapter-41/.
- Exposition of Isaiah 44 (Idolatry Folly) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2019/isaiah-chapter-44/.
- Exposition of Isaiah 45 (Cyrus Rescue) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2019/isaiah-chapter-45/.
- Previous chapters set forth grand and glorious promises concerning Messiah and His coming kingdom.
- Chapter 52 introduced coming gospel blessings in general and Messiah in particular for all nations.
- Chapter 53 detailed the justifying work of Jesus on the cross and sharing God’s reward with us.
- Chapter 54 described the Jewish church exploding with Gentiles and God’s many varied blessings.
- Chapter 55 described the gospel feast of fat things, the Son of David, and certain promises of good.
- Chapter 56 described gracious inclusion of eunuchs and Gentiles, but it also warned of judgment.
- These things would most surely come to pass for the everlasting glory and praise of God the giver.
- This chapter is different from that before it, as God blasted their spiritual adultery but promised safety.
- The simple outline above and its seven points provide the frame to view this chapter’s lessons.
- After insider information about good men dying, Isaiah tore into their passioned fling with idolatry.
- Then he told the nation God would intervene for the righteous and bring them home with favor.
- Timing by small and large context and features in chapters 56 and 57 indicate Manasseh and Babylon.
- Manasseh was Hezekiah’s son, and Isaiah may have lived long enough to see his great wickedness.
- Jewish tradition says that Manasseh killed Isaiah by having him sawn asunder (Hebrews 11:37).
- Manasseh was Judah’s most wicked, idolatrous king and pushed God too far for retaining mercy.
- Hezekiah’s reign was better than described by the lazy and profane pastors here (Isaiah 56:9-12).
- There is no reason to return to Assyrians, for their prophecies and history are replaced by Babylon.
- We suppose it the time of Manasseh, but it hardly matters whether Ahaz or Zedekiah, alternatives.
- The history of Manasseh’s character and sins matches what is in the next chapter (II Kgs 21:1-6).
- Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, was the worst king of Judah by his abominable idolatry and sins.
- He profanely even built altars in the LORD’s temple in Jerusalem in his rebellion (II Kgs 21:1-9).
- He also killed many innocent in Jerusalem to fill it with murder from end to end (II Kings 21:16).
- God planned to punish the Jews in great ferocity for their great sins by his reign (II Kgs 21:10-15).
- But before He severely judged and ruined the city, He planned righteous and merciful men to die.
- They likely died by the hand of Manasseh in chapter 57, for they perished and were taken away.
- The number of righteous became so scarce Jeremiah and God denied any left (Jer 5:1; Ezek 22:30).
- This chapter refers to recovery of the remnant of the Jews after captivity in Babylon (Is 57:13-18).
Righteous Men Are Secreted Out of Judgment – Verses 1-2
1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
- The previous chapter closed with warning of judgment coming on Israel (Is 56:9-12).
- We understand this to be Nebuchadnezzar warned of often in Isaiah and Jeremiah.
- We believe Isaiah outlived Hezekiah, which means he lived to observe Manasseh.
- Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, was the worst king of Judah by his abominable idolatry.
- He built altars even in the LORD’s temple in Jerusalem in his sin (II Kings 21:1-9).
- He also killed very many innocent in Jerusalem to fill it with murder (II Kgs 21:16).
- God planned to punish the Jews in great ferocity for their great sins (II Kgs 21:10-15).
- But before He judged the city, He arranged for righteous and merciful men to die.
- They likely died by the hand of Manasseh, for they perished and were taken away.
- The number of the righteous became so scarce Jeremiah denied any left (Jer 5:1).
- Wicked men, the other perspective in Jerusalem, did not grasp why the good men died.
- Wicked men have no true grasp of reality or judgment, which is why they are wicked.
- They could not see dying of murder by Manasseh was better than coming judgment.
- This improvement of their case must refer to their spirits more than to mere bodies.
- They should have reasoned (a) God is taking His out and (b) His wrath will be severe.
- Reader, learn the great lesson that death is better than life, especially under judgment.
- Start with many martyrs, the records of which often describe death as sweet relief.
- Josiah was one of God’s favorites He took early (II Kgs 23:25; II Chr 34:28; 35:24).
- Even wicked Ahab was taken out early to miss pain for his repentance (I Kgs 21:29).
- Isaiah has already recorded Hezekiah’s perspective on a peaceful, short life (Is 39:8).
- Many Corinthians were weak, sick, and dead to prove eternal life (I Cor 11:30-32).
- The goodness of God should lead you to repentance, not presumption (Rom 2:3-5).
- Give God the glory for sharing some insider information with you that is truly profound.
- Foolish folks waste time reading what is called insider information, though it is not.
- If it were insider information, classified government data, they would not have it.
- God has secret things He does not disclose, but here is some He does (Deut 29:29).
2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
- Righteous men that die have great benefits that Paul called far better than staying here.
- Death involves actions involving our bodies (buried in beds) and spirits (to heaven).
- Solomon described both actions in his philosophical musings (Ecclesiastes 12:5-7).
- When Paul spoke of death as better, he meant his spirit, not his body (Phil 1:21-24).
- The contrast between Lazarus and the rich man was very great – two spirit outcomes.
- Death Defied … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2003/death-declared-defied-and-destroyed/.
- Death of Righteous … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-1998/the-death-of-the-righteous/.
- Till Death Do Us Part … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2011/till-death-do-us-part-funeral/.
- They enter into peace – their spirits are instantly with God (Heb 12:23; Luke 23:43,46).
- This could refer to the grave, where the bodies of the saints sleep without conflict.
- Weigh death as avoiding the evil to come (Is 57:1), which must be more than body.
- But there is more to the righteous than just bodies, so we choose the spirit in heaven.
- Jesus called the place where the thief went, Paradise, and it was only for his spirit.
- They shall rest in their beds – their bodies sleep in the ground (I Cor 15:6,18; Eccl 9:10).
- The burial of Asa is described as laying him in a very wonderful bed (II Chr 16:14).
- Job, while cursing his life, described great benefits of an early death (Job 3:11-17).
- Isaiah had prophesied about burying bodies of kings in the earth (Is 14:18; 22:16).
- Walking in uprightness is activity that should be different from resting in bed or burial.
- We cannot lightly change verb tenses, as many, for this to describe his previous life.
- We find this rather the activity of heaven; upright men stroll in the presence of God.
- Enoch walked with God on earth; God took him, so he continued to walk with God.
- Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus when He was transfigured for His favorites.
- The spirits of just men are made perfect there, as each righteous man easily walks there.
- It is just men in heaven – both just and upright (Heb 12:23; Is 56:1-2; Ps 112:1-10).
- Do not leap to legal righteousness in Christ, for here it is righteous and merciful men.
- Men are upright or they are not, and there is no shame in describing them so at death.
- Many verses say a man’s uprightness is the way, by evidence and claim, to heaven (Matt 7:21-23; 25:31-46; I Thess 1:2-4; I Tim 6:17-19; II Pet 1:5-11; Rev 2:7; etc.).
- Salvation By Works (or faith) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2010/salvation-by-works/.
God Indicted and Mocked the Jewish Idolaters – Verses 3-5
3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.
- Now we leave the early deaths of the righteous that wicked men did not comprehend.
- What a difference between righteous, merciful, upright men and these evil bastards.
- The inspired disjunctive but indicates they would hear things not like peace and rest.
- The chapter opened with righteous in peace and closes with the wicked having none.
- Now the holy and just God will blast the wicked Jews by His pastor for their many sins.
- Isaiah was no dumb watchdog like their pastors, but very bold to Paul (Rom 10:20).
- Here is the indictment for their sins that will bring the devouring wrath (Is 56:9-12).
- We suppose it the time of Manasseh, but it hardly matters whether Ahaz or Zedekiah.
- Yet the inspired record of Manasseh closely matches these verses (II Kings 21:1-6).
- He tells the wicked Jews to come hear His holy indictment of them for their idolatry.
- He called them sons of the sorceress (their mother) for their abominations in witchcraft.
- He called them the seed of the adulterer and whore for spiritual adultery against Him.
- We choose the sense of spiritual adultery for birth of sorcery before being symbolic.
- We choose the sense of spiritual adultery for how their idolatry is next described.
- We choose the sense of spiritual adultery for how often God charged them with it.
- Literalists that can only think physical intercourse miss so much (Matt 5:27-32).
- Spiritual Adultery (detailed) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2003/spiritual-adultery/.
4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,
- This evil brood of bastards was known for mocking the prophets of God – a great sin.
- It is recorded (Isaiah 5:18-19; 22:13; 28:14,22; II Chr 36:16; Ps 35:19-22; 22:7,13).
- When men mock or reject ambassadors of God, they mock Him (I Sam 8:7; Ex 16:8).
- They may have mocked the righteous and merciful men that were slain previously.
- No righteous man in the ministry does it for himself but rather for God that called him.
- Moses, Jeremiah, and Paul are three great pastors that tried to avoid the hard work.
- There are easier ways to make a living, but they will serve the LORD above all else.
- Miriam and Korah (and Moses) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2012/miriam-and-korah/.
5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?
- God blasted their passion for idol worship in groves (Jer 50:38; Hos 7:4-7; Am 2:7-8).
- The went to such a cruel excess in their idolatry to sacrifice children (Jer 7:31; 32:35).
- We suppose it the time of Manasseh, but it hardly matters whether Ahaz or Zedekiah.
- Yet the inspired record of Manasseh closely matches these verses (II Kings 21:1-6).
6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?
- Those who built altars and idols appreciated the smooth stones found in running water.
- God mocked the fools for making their divine portion the smooth stones of a stream.
- Jeremiah preached the contrast of Jehovah as the portion and Jacob (Jer 10: 16; 2:27).
- They, that is the smooth stones for their idolatrous worship, were their chosen god.
- These wicked, idolatrous adulterers had given their sacrificial gifts to mere stones.
- God mocked the wicked idolaters with this question as to whether He should be pleased.
- Since He was ready to devour them (Is 56:9-12), should their idolatry calm His fury?
- There is a figure of speech opposite hyperbole – meiosis or litotes – for understating.
- Yea rather, by rightly grasping His mockery of them, God should be greatly angered.
- Reader, do not think too poorly of these vile bastards, if you love the world (James 4:4).
- Spiritual Adultery (detailed notes) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2003/spiritual-adultery/.
Idolaters Do Not See Their Hopeless Religion – Verses 7-10
7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.
- Here the spiritual adultery of idolatry – other gods than Jehovah – is clearly identified.
- They did not use literal beds in their high places to worship the idols of Canaanites.
- The combination of bed in high places with sacrifices is spiritual adultery of idolatry.
- The idolatry described – green trees and high hills – Jeremiah also blasted (Jer 2:20).
- Ezekiel blasted the spiritual adultery meant here more graphically (Ezek 23:17,41).
- The inspired record of Manasseh matches these including high places (II Kgs 21:1-6).
8 Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.
- This brood of bastard idolaters placed secret statues or icons in their homes as prompts.
- The location identified here is where God’s law was to be written (Deut 6:9; 11:20).
- Why did God want His people to write His laws on such posts – to remember them!
- The remembrance of their idols was prompted due to their travel in and out the doors.
- Lovers use mementos to fondly remember paramours, so did these enflamed idolaters.
- Israel saw the beauty and pageantry of false religion and wanted it for themselves.
- They committed the adultery and whoredom (Is 57:3) by going to idolatrous events.
- The act of spiritual adultery here is discovering – revealing – bodies in intimate sex.
- Thus Moses had ordered them all destroyed to stop temptation (Deut 12:1-4; 29-32).
- Isaiah here mocked their adultery – enlarging their bed – to fit more in than Jehovah.
- Isaiah here mocked their adultery – loving the whorish bed – but less than Ezekiel!
9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.
- The Jews’ spiritual adultery was with both idols themselves and with idolatrous nations.
- God mocked the ambassadors to foreign idolatrous nations for strength against Babylon.
- Like an adulteress or whore, Israel did all they could to appeal to foreign dignitaries.
- They would promise anything and/or participate in anything to gain their friendship.
- Ezekiel was much more graphic about the matter (Ezek 16:26; 17:15; 23:1-3,17-21).
- The issue of trusting in Egypt against Babylon had been detailed (Is 30:1-33; 31:1-9).
- Jeremiah and Ezekiel identified other nations Isaiah mentioned – Assyria and Babylon.
10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.
- The Jews foolishly went to great pains to try to win pagan Egypt as an ally (Isaiah 30:6).
- All their trouble and all the expense would not save them, they should seek Jehovah.
- At another time God mocked them for weariness in their witchcraft (Isaiah 47:13).
- Both Egypt and Assyria would turn to the shame of Israel seeking them (Jer 2:36).
- In spite of great efforts and expense by ambassadors, they could not see it was hopeless.
- The foreign nations mocked their efforts at times and did not do what they promised.
- God warned such efforts would not work, like Isaiah naked three years (Is 20:1-6).
- The wicked rebels did not hear the prophets warn them God’s judgment was coming.
- The little bit they accomplished or hoped to by their own strength had kept them rebels.
- They should have been grieved for the folly of their plans and for fear of the LORD.
- This is the prosperity of fools – leading men to their own destruction (Prov 1:31-32).
- Never forget this when you see rebels get away with sin, but only for a short while.
- Sinners always think their methods and means do not call for repentance to Jehovah.
- But the word of the LORD God promises their eventual ruin (Num 32:23; Pr 11:21).
- Sin Find You Out … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2013/be-sure-your-sin-will-find-you-out/.
The Jews Feared Enemies But Not Their God – Verses 11-12
11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?
- Their hot pursuit of false religion and pagan assistance was due to their fear of Babylon.
- God asks them to consider how their blatant infidelity showed they did not fear Him.
- They feared the rising power of the Babylonian Empire and sought pagan protection.
- They lied many ways against their covenant, ignored God, and did not consider Him.
- They forgot all His marvelous and wonderful works of deliverance (Ps 106:19-22).
- Their hearts should have, at least from time to time, consider what they owed God.
- Because God had not blasted them more, they thought they could ignore fear of Him.
- God’s goodness should lead men to repentance, but it usually is opposite (Rom 2:4).
- God had shown great longsuffering and mercy to no avail (Ps 78:36-39; 106:7-8).
- A basic principle of depravity is only immediate pain and fear will work (Eccl 8:11).
- David had blasted this false presumption of sinners by God’s silence (Ps 50:16-22).
- Reader, does thou know God will not be patient with you forever (Pr 29:1; Is 55:6-7).
12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.
- God promised to expose their righteousness – irony for their sins – and their judgment.
- He had held His peace many times in their history, but He would not be silent longer.
- They did not have righteousness, no matter what they thought, nor did God think so.
- No matter what kind of pretense they used to cover their sins, they were hypocrites.
- Not only did God declare their wicked character, He promised their planning would fail.
Huge Difference of the Righteous and Wicked – Verses 13-14
13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;
- When wild beasts I have called arrive (Is 56:9-12) – the Chaldeans – cry to your friends.
- Your religious efforts and all hypocrisy toward me will be fully exposed in that day.
- Put your trust in pagan enemies with whom you have committed spiritual adultery.
- They will not help you at all – the wind shall blow them away – and where will you be?
- When wind can carry something away, it has truly little substance and matter to it.
- They will turn to vanity – totally worthless and profitless, as Solomon described life.
- Or rather, vanity would take and destroy them, though vanity is nothing, like wind.
- But on the other hand, those that trusted in Jehovah would replace them as elect Israel.
- The wicked Jews would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar as the major prophets say.
- The elect remnant, after some chastening time in Babylon, would return to rebuild.
- There is great benefit, favor, and blessing for those that trust God (Ps 33:18; 147:11).
- Let every person that names the name of God not put their trust in anything else ever.
14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.
- The elect remnant would return to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and temple to Jehovah.
- Their leaders would get rid of obstacles and engage in civil engineering for a highway.
- The text should be understood literally of Zerubbabel and spiritually of the gospel era.
- Follow the coordinating conjunctions for that follow for the explanation of this verse.
God Is Very Merciful to the Truly Repentant – Verses 15-19
15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
- Now the LORD by Isaiah spoke to the righteous remnant to continue in their godliness.
- We cannot remove this fabulous verse out of its context lest we corrupt its intention.
- It will describe the character of the elect and righteous remnant exiled in Babylon.
- What a God and description of Him, especially in comparison to the idols in the context!
- He is high and lofty, since He is in the third heaven far above all other gods or men.
- He must humble Himself to even behold things in heaven let alone earth (Ps 113:6).
- He inhabits eternity – the eternal God – for He is GOD Jehovah, I AM THAT I AM.
- From everlasting to everlasting He is God and underneath are His everlasting arms.
- His name is the Holy One of Israel (31 times), Holy Spirit, with Holy Scriptures, etc.
- Isaiah met this glorious thrice holy God in the year King Uzziah died (Isaiah 6:1-8).
- God’s third heaven is high (pinnacle of universe) and holy (reflecting His nature).
- Knowing God (all His attributes) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2012/knowing-god/.
- Holiness of God (blue ribbon) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2007/holiness-fringe/.
- But even more important to us is the list of character traits of those He will dwell with.
- The description is of those who trusted Him and would return to Israel (Is 57:13-14).
- Of course, we want to take its general principles for each of us to walk with God.
- God dwells in the high and holy place of heaven, but also with His elect children.
- They have contrite (repentant) and humble (knowing weakness) spirits before Him.
- God will revive the spirit of the humble and the heart of repentant ones by His grace.
- Jesus the Son of God would similarly say, Come unto me … and I will give you rest.
- Walking with God (in general) … https://letgodbetrue.com/sermons/index/year-2012/walking-with-god/.
16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.
- God promised that His judgment of the Jews would not last forever – only 70 years.
- The good figs were taken to Babylon, and the bad figs were destroyed (Jer 24:1-10).
- The promises here are not for the wicked bastards He has blasted in earlier verses.
- The reason for His limited chastening of the elect remnant is precious to build patience.
- God knows the frame of His children, and He will wisely pity them (Ps 103:13-14).
- He did this with Israel many times to not overwhelm or destroy them (Ps 78:38-39).
- Isaiah taught the lesson earlier by different methods for various grains (Is 28:23-29).
- But do not presume, sinner, that by this text God will have mercy without repentance.
- The promise of mercy was clearly limited to those that were contrite and humble.
- If you are not truly contrite and humble, then you are not saved or will suffer more.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
- Here God described the state of the Jews before He brought Nebuchadnezzar into Judah.
- There was a good reason for the Chaldeans making three long expeditions against them.
- The Jews were terrible covetous – money obsessed to this day – but God calls it sin.
- God gets wroth – aggravated and deep anger. Believe it. And it will cause smiting.
- God in His wrath and fury hid Himself from the Jews and let them suffer for sins.
- But they went on as the stiff-necked people they were in their passionate rebellion.
- Reader, dost thou know thine own heart? God said, No (Jer 17:10; Ps 19:12). Repent!
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
- God knew from the start the profane perfidiousness of this rebellious, stubborn nation.
- The first generation He killed in the wilderness set the national character (Ex 32:9).
- Joshua would declare to them in a sober moment their wayward hearts (Josh 24:19).
- God knew the forwardness of their hearts having dealt with them for 800 years already.
- The ways of the Jews God saw were their pernicious ways to still rebel against Him.
- This is due to sparing their spirits, for sparing spirits excludes repentance (Is 57:16).
- He had just stated that they continued on frowardly in spite of chastening (Is 57:17).
- These that He knew and would heal are distinct from righteous mourners (Is 57:18).
- God purposed to heal them anyway in mercy to their corruption and for His name.
- Do not overlook the incredible mercy of God described in this way against depravity.
- God is merciful to inherent faults (Ps 103:13-14); He must turn us (Jer 31:18-20).
- God understood both the corruption of His people and the repentance of the mourners.
- He reformed many in the exiled portion of the nation that spent 70 years in Babylon.
- He redeemed them from that city and restored their comfortable existence with Him.
19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.
- One of the great comforts of Jehovah’s religion is ambassadors with a message of peace.
- For Zion regathered or hearing Jesus, it was peace (Is 52:7; Rom 10:15; Eph 6:15).
- It brought an end to persecution (Is 57:1-2) and to God’s chastening (Is 57:13-15,18).
- The only way righteous Jews could get peace was death by perishing (Isaiah 57:2).
- God’s created content condemns false teachers (Jer 6:14; 8:11; 23:17; Ezekiel 13:6).
- God creates this fruit of the lips, and it is the gospel of peace preached by His servants.
- Men say many things God does not create like the matter of this speaking context.
- But the message of peace, first for the contrite coming from Babylon, is from God.
- Only God could create and assign a message of peace to constant rebellious Jews.
- The message of peace is of great comfort to mourners among the Jews (Isaiah 57:18).
- After the return from Babylon and later, Jesus preached peace to Jews (Acts 10:36).
- The context coming before is chastening and exile in Babylon, after which was peace.
- God would deliver them trusting Him by leaders to get rid of pitfalls (Is 57:12-13).
- He would comfort and revive the spirits and hearts of the repentant (Is 57:14-18).
- But Paul seems to take this passage a bit further by applying it to the N.T. gospel era.
- His words are quite similar about peace to those near and far off (Ephesians 2:13,17).
- Peter had preached similar words at Pentecost though not close as Paul (Acts 2:39).
- The comfort in this second half of Isaiah is preaching peace by Christ (Is 40:1-11).
- Beautiful feet on mountains preaching peace fits captive Jews and the N.T. gospel.
He Has No Mercy for the Obstinate Wicked – Verses 20-21
20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
- The wicked are described with the exact opposite condition as the redeemed remnant.
- A troubled sea, one with waves, currents, and tides, is always in motion without peace.
- Such a sea has no rest, for it is always moving, and it hurls up filth as it nears shore.
- The metaphor is water; water picturing the wicked is opposite still waters (Ps 23:2).
- The metaphor is water; water picturing the wicked has nothing peaceful about it.
- The wicked are in turmoil all the time about all kinds of things in dysfunctional lives.
21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
- Isaiah 56 began with godliness for blessing, and Isaiah 57 ends with wicked condemned.
- God’s created content condemns false teachers lies (Jer 6:14; 8:11; 23:17; Ezekiel 13:6).
- The gospel of peace is not for the wicked … it is for the repentant … (Romans 1:11-16).
- The Prince of Peace came to make peace with God for His elect children (Eph 2:13-17).