Isaiah 32


‘See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. The fearful heart will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear. No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected. For fools speak folly, their hearts are bent on evil: They practice ungodliness and spread error concerning the LORD; the hungry they leave empty and from the thirsty they withhold water. Scoundrels use wicked methods, they make up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just. But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.’ Isaiah 32:1-8

The Kingdom Of Righteousness

This chapter begins by telling us that in the Lord are great blessings, for the king will reign in righteousness. We have a picture of the blessed state of a people who have come through the fire.

Some commentators suggest that the king spoke of here is Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:3 / 2 Kings 18:5-6, however, other commentators suggest the king is a reference to the Christ.

Henry, in his commentary, says the following, concerning ‘the king’.

‘Christ our righteous King, and his true disciples, are evidently here intended. The consolations and graces of his Spirit are as rivers of water in this dry land, and as the overhanging rock affords refreshing shade and shelter to the weary traveller in the desert, so his power, truth, and love, yield the believer the only real protection and refreshment in the weary land through which he journeys to heaven. Christ bore the storm himself, to keep it off from us. To him let the trembling sinner flee for refuge, for he alone can protect and refresh us in every trial. See what pains sinners take in sin, they labour at it, their hearts are intent upon it, and with art they work iniquity, but this is our comfort, that they can do no more mischief than God permits. Let us seek to have our hearts more freed from selfishness. The liberal soul devises liberal things concerning God, and desires that He will grant wisdom and prudence, the comforts of his presence, the influence of his Spirit, and in due time the enjoyment of his glory.’

The first fruit which is produced by judgement is righteous rule. Like a great rock in a weary land, God provides refuge for His children. In other words, the character of the new citizens will be changed, they won’t be oppressors anymore, but individuals that would be a refuge, shield, and place of compassion and comfort for those seeking God.

The second fruit is an opened understanding. The children of God will see, hear, and have regard for God’s Word. Because they have obeyed the Lord, they will be able to distinguish the character of others according to God’s will.

The third fruit is a proper evaluation of character. The fool who has no regard for God will continue to speak foolishly. All of the designs and plans of wicked people are to destroy the poor and helpless with lying words. The righteous person will determine noble plans, and then not waver from their stand for righteousness.

The Women Of Jerusalem

‘You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say! In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come. Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your fine clothes and wrap yourselves in rags. Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines and for the land of my people, a land overgrown with thorns and briers—yes, mourn for all houses of merriment and for this city of revelry. The fortress will be abandoned, the noisy city deserted; citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever, the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks, till the Spirit is poured on us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest.’ Isaiah 32:9-15

The rest of the chapter gives us a picture of the approaching judgement. These verses speak of a woe which is pronounced upon the women. This is an appendage to the fourth woe and is directed against the proud women that Isaiah had described vividly in Isaiah 3:16.

It appears that the women of Jerusalem were caught up in the luxury of their material living and in around one year from this prophecy, troubles would begin for Jerusalem. The women were unconcerned with the peril which was before them.

There would be no second-year crop, Nahum 2:7, and Isaiah tells them to strip off their luxurious garments and put on clothes that demonstrated mourning, Genesis 37:34 / Ezekiel 7:27. Not long from now the future, their palaces would be empty and the land left to briers and thorns.

Notice the words, ‘till the Spirit is poured on us from on high’. Some commentators suggest that these words go along with what Joel said, Joel 2:28-32, and Peter, who quoted Joel’s words, Acts 2:16-21.

The commentators suggest that this implies that both Isaiah and Joel were speaking of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in order to initiate the beginning of the church in A.D. 30. Isaiah appears to be implying that the restoration isn’t a restoration of crops, but a spiritual restoration, that is the church.

‘The LORD’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness lives in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Though hail flattens the forest and the city is levelled completely, how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.’ Isaiah 32:16-20

When the land receives the people back, good days will return, there will be justice and righteousness and it will be a time of peace, quiet, and prosperity will return to the people of God. When God’s Spirit is poured out among His people, this is what it is like.

Pledge, in his commentary, says the following.

‘This seems to fit best a prophetic type, i.e.., the near fulfilment would serve as a type of a greater and far superior fulfilment. The Gospel dispensation fulfils in the greater degree those things spoken of as being applicable to Judah.’

Although God would continue to bring judgments in the future on those who chose to be His people’s enemies, He would still provide security and protection for them.

Gill, in his commentary, says the following, concerning the last verse.

‘In places well-watered and moistened, and so fit to receive the seed sown, which grows up, and brings forth much fruit, and amply rewards the pains of the sower, who on that account is happy.’

‘The ox and the ass, which were used in ploughing and tilling the earth, and in making it fit to sow the seed in it, and to eat off the heads of grain when it is grown thick and full, which some think is here meant, and the one might also be used to gather it in when ripe, and the other to tread and thresh it, there being a law given the Jews, that these two should not work together, Deuteronomy 22:10, and from hence it may be concluded, that these words refer to a time when this law should be abolished, and the Jews themselves apply it to the times of the Messiah, and it undoubtedly points to Gospel times, and even to those times when the Jews shall be converted, and great numbers among the Gentiles also, who shall join together in spreading the Gospel, and in promoting the interest of Christ.’

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