Isaiah 30:22-26. Then you will defile your carved images overlaid with silver and your molten images plated with gold; you will cast them away as a filthy bloodstained cloth, and you will say to them, Be gone!
23 Then will He give you rain for the seed with which you sow the soil, and bread grain from the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures. 24 The oxen likewise and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat savory and salted fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and with fork.
25 And upon every high mountain and upon every high hill there will be brooks and streams of water in the day of the great slaughter [the day of the Lord], when the towers fall [and all His enemies are destroyed].
26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days [concentrated in one], in the day that the Lord binds up the hurt of His people, and heals their wound [inflicted by Him because of their sins].
In Parts One through Six, we:
- examined the context and main points of Isaiah 30,
- discussed the subtle ways the enemy of our souls deceives us into devoting our hearts to idols, rather than the one true God,
- saw God explain to Israel how their rebellion against His ways would cause calamity,
- examined verse 18, which described how God earnestly, eagerly waits and longs for us to return to Him and that, while He waits, He is getting ready to show us mercy and loving-kindness when we return to Him., and
- began looking at some of the unbelievable things God is earnestly longing to do for us when we return to Him.
In Part Seven, we will continue exploring those unbelievable things God longs to do for us.
22: “Then you will defile your carved images overlaid with silver and your molten images platted with gold; you will cast them away as a filthy bloodstained cloth, and you will say to them, Be gone!” Take a moment to consider how idols were made in those times. An image was carved of wood or molded of an inferior metal and then overlaid with costly gold or silver. Its outward appearance was beautiful and seemed of great price. But its real, internal hidden nature was worthless. Even so, things of this world are worthless. As the poem by C. T. Studd says, “Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” That is why 2 Corinthians 4:18 urges us to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. “(NIV.)
Once God enables us to see Him and to hear His directions for living, we see our idols for the filthy things they are and we “cast them away.” Cast means to forcefully throw something far away. Think about casting out a fishing net or better than that, throwing a bag of garbage in the dumpster.
23a. “Then will He give you rain for the seed with which you sow the soil, and bread grain from the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and plentiful..” This verse is another of the “thens” or consequences of returning to God, resting in Him, and trusting confidently in Him (v. 15.) This verse is another of the ways God is “expecting, looking and longing” to be gracious to us.
When we are in right relationship with God, we are blessed in what we do. Read Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and see what awaits those who “fully obey” the Lord our God. This promise in Isaiah 30 is another instance of the principle we see in Deuteronomy 28. He blesses our life – He blesses our efforts (sends rain), makes those efforts accomplish their purpose (He makes our efforts supply our needs) and He does so richly, plentifully.
23b-24. “. . . In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures. The oxen likewise and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat savory and salted fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. In verses 23, 25, and 26 where “the day” or “that day” are used, commentaries indicate that it means the day when “God will take severe vengeance upon the enemies of His people.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary). Matthew Henry thought that perhaps it meant the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, or the overthrow of the Roman Empire but that certainly the day of the Lord meant the ultimate destruction of Satan and his kingdom.
I believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, that is, I believe that everything described in the Bible actually happened or will actually happen. I also believe that God intended for us to apply the Bible to our individual lives and that part of that application is interpreting the Bible figuratively. For example, the Israelites did wander in the wilderness forty years but that wandering in the barren wilderness—when they could have been living in the blessings of the Promised Land– is also is a picture of us when we rebel against God by doubting Him. One passage can have many interpretations and applications.
Having explained that, I believe that the day in which these blessings will happen are–in addition to the interpretations suggested above–the day or time that we return to Him in quietness and trusting confidence (v. 15) and thus find strength.
All we need to work with. In Verses 23b-24, when God is talking about well-cared for cattle and oxen and donkeys, He is assuring us that when we return to trusting and obeying Him we will have an abundance of everything we need to work with. A large pasture means plenty of good grass for cattle. Oxen and donkeys tilling the sol need quality feed (“savory and salted fodder that had been winnowed with shovel and fork”) in order to have strong, powerful bodies for their work. To me, this says that we will have whatever we need to do our work, to live our life of loving service to God. We will have plenty of what we need and it will be of good quality. God is not stingy or cheap!
25. “And upon every high mountain and every high hill there will be brooks and streams of water in the day of the great slaughter [the day of the Lord], when the towers fall [and all His enemies are destroyed.]. Notice the “and”, which connects the blessings in Verse 25 with those that came before. And. . . in that day we will have all the water we need – everywhere we turn. Brooks and streams are both bodies of running water, but brooks are smaller, generally shorter and often found in rugged terrain. An area with brooks flowing through its nooks and crannies makes life far easier for humans and livestock alike than an area with only one stream, which is actually a small river. Water represents Holy Spirit, our Living Water (Jeremiah 2:13.) When we trust God, we have an abundance of Him to satisfy our thirst (1 Corinthians 12:13). We have an abundance of Him everywhere—even in the difficult to traverse places where refreshment seems unlikely, those nooks and crannies of everyday life and those painful, hard to get through moments. And we do not have to wat while we travel to get this water.
Remember the blog post of February 24, 2023, where we examined Psalm 95:11-12? “ Light is sown for the [uncompromisingly] righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection] (AMPC).” Like the image of brooks in numerous spots in rugged terrain, Psalm 95:11-12 is another picture of how God daily prepares what we need, including long, satisfying drinks of Himself, all along the path we will take that day.
Verse 26a. Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days [concentrated in one]. According to Wilson’s Dictionary of Bible types (p. 290-291), the word light “is used in many ways in the Scripture. Sometimes. . . it refers to the Word of God, as in Psalm 119:105. . .” Sometimes it also “refers to the walk of the believer in which he serves the Lord in a godly way, and directs life according to the Word of God, as in 1 John 1:7). In our verse, Isaiah 30:26, I believe light means God’s guidance for us when we are fully trusting and obeying Him. We see here that even in our dark times and situations, in the night seasons of our life, God will provide clear guidance for us because the light we have in our darkness (our moon in those times, so to speak) will be as bright as day. Furthermore, in the other times of our life, we will have guidance so clear that it will be like the sunshine of seven days concentrated into one. Now, that’s clear guidance!
Verse 26b. in the day that the Lord binds up the hurt of His people, and heals their wound [inflicted by Him because of their sins]. All these blessings from verse 20b through 26 will come upon us when God restores us to where we were before we turned away from Him to idols. Binding up a wound reduces swelling, guards against infection and feels comforting. God comforts us when we turn to Him and He heals the wounds we brought on ourselves by our rebellion. This all-mighty, all-powerful God, this God our healer is the One Who looks and eagerly longs to be gracious to us while we stumble along in the darkness. What causes that darkness? It is caused by our rebellion, our relying on the world, our refusal to return to Him, to rest in Him, and to quietly find our strength in trusting Him with confidence and expectation (Isaiah 30:15.)
Applying the Word. Remember that this principle—that when we rebel against God He is watching and eagerly longing to be gracious to us—applies to every scale of time and to countless situations. When I spend the morning fretting about car repairs, God is all the while eagerly longing for me to return to fully trusting Him so that He can give me peace. When a prodigal pursues the world, for decades, God is all that time eagerly expecting, looking and longing to be gracious.
I believe that the eagerness of the father in the story of the prodigal son is what God feels for even “little” turnings away from Him. How would you feel if you were on a special vacation with your beloved adult children and they chose to spend half the day away from you. How would you feel if you were walking in the woods with your toddler who got mad because you would not let her pick poison ivy and refused to walk beside you? God watches over us and walks with us every moment of every day, and He just wants us to talk with Him and think about Him. He just wants us to love Him and share the moments of our life with Him. He is our loving, doting, compassionate, gracious, kind, caring, joyous, laughing Father. He is our joy, He is our strength, He is our peace. And He loves us and wants the best for us, the things that are truly best.
In Part Eight, we will learn about the power of God as He fights for us and the joy He promises while He does so.