27 Behold, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with His anger, and in thick, rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is like a consuming fire.
28 And His breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction; and a bridle that causes them to err will be in the jaws of the people.
29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart as when one marches in procession with a flute to go to the temple on the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. (Isaiah 30:27-29, AMPC)
In Parts One through Seven, 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
- explored some of the unbelievable things God is earnestly longing to do for us when we return to Him.
In Part Eight, we will consider the unimaginable power of God and how He fights for us.
Isaiah 30:27-33 is the last part of Isaiah’s discourse in this chapter. In these verses, Isaiah reassures Israel that the destruction of Assyria is coming soon. These verses are part of the main message of the entire chapter. These verses show that “the Jews and Israelites had no need to flee to Egypt for help against the Assyrians, to the neglect of their duty toward God, since God was perfectly sufficient to defend them, and had determined to destroy the Assyrians.” — Vitringa. (www.biblehub/commentaries.com)
27 Behold, the Name of the Lord comes from afar burning with His anger, and in thick, rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is like a consuming fire. This section of verses (Isaiah 30:27-33) begins with the word “Behold” which means pay attention to what is about to be said.
God Himself. And what does the next phrase, “The name of the Lord”, mean? A footnote in the AMPC says “the revelation of the power and glory of God.” Bible Hub says it means the Lord Himself. That is the interpretation that speaks most powerfully to me. This is a topic I want to study further but, for now, it emphasizes for me the fact that God is personally, one on one, intimately involved with people. The words “God Himself” are used by Abraham in Genesis 22:8 when “Abraham said, My son, God Himself will provide a lamb for the burnt offering” and in Genesis 48:15 by Jacob when he “blessed Joseph and said, God [Himself], before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac lived and walked habitually, God [Himself], Who has [been my Shepherd and has led and] fed me from the time I came into being until this day. . . ”
God used these words, I believe for emphasis, when He spoke through Isaiah in Isaiah 45:18 and said ‘For thus says the Lord—Who created the heavens, God Himself, Who formed the earth and made it, Who established it and did not create it to be a worthless waste; He formed it to be inhabited-I am the Lord, and there is no one else.”
To study other instances where “God Himself” is used, search BibleGateway or another online Bible website, with parenthesis around “God Himself.” Some of these instances where the phrase “God Himself” is used refer to the holy covenant God Himself made with His people (Luke 1:72), creation (John 1:1), and the fact that God makes His eternal power and divinity clearly known to mankind through the things that are created so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:15-20). Furthermore, Ephesians 3:19, Colossians 3:12 and Hebrews 13:5 all clearly show how personally God is involved in developing and maintaining our closeness to Him, in other words how personally God is involved in our battles. We could say “Behold! God Himself comes from afar. . . ‘.
. . . comes from afar, burning with His anger, and in thick, rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is like a consuming fire. These verses remind me of Psalm 18, where from His temple (“from afar”), God heard David’s cry and responded. David sang the words of Psalm 18 to the Lord when God “had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul” (2 Samuel 22:1, NIV). David had done nothing to cause that desperate situation whereas in Isaiah 30, Israel had engaged in blatant idolatry. Notice, though, that in both instances God’s anger is described in the same way. God is burning with anger, smoke comes from Him, and consuming fire comes from His mouth. He is “full of indignation”, in other words, He is as mad as He can get. A simple definition of indignation is “anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy or mean” (Merriam -Webster).
God is furious when His children are hurt. Think how you feel when your loved one is treated cruelly. Multiply that by a million and you have a faint glimmer of understanding. In Psalm 18, earth trembles and mountains shake because God is angry at the enemy. Such is the power of this One who fights for us when we return to Him. Even when you disobey, even when you fail to regard God “as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety] (Isaiah 8:13a, AMPC), God is filled with wrath – because it is part of His nature. God hates sin and the destruction it brings whether His children are being attacked because of what we did or whether we are innocent of any guilt or iniquity.
. . . And His breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction; and a bridle that causes them to err will be in the jaws of the people. Wilson’s Dictionary of Bible Types (p. 81) states that in 2 Samuel 22:1 (which is the same as Psalm 18:15) “the wrath of God is compared to His breath. No special effort is required to breathe. Wrath is a natural attribute of God which is continually manifested against sin and sinners.” When we are angry, we breath more deeply and stronger. Obviously, in this verse God’s breath is strong and deep.
Look at how David describes how angry God is when God comes to fight for him. “The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the mountains laid bare, at Your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of breath from Your nostrils.” (Psalm 18:15, NIV). Job 4:9 says that “those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it. At the breath of God they are destroyed; at the blast of His anger they perish.” (NIV)
You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart as when one marches in procession with a flute to go to the temple on the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. While God is fighting for us, He wants us to have joy and peace. Think of how many times in the Bible we are told to rejoice, think how often God reassures us of His love toward us and how many times He describes His power and the certain defeat and ultimate doom of the enemy and all evil. Think of what He did when He sent His Son, when God Himself came to earth, and showed us it is possible to be fully human and live a fully holy, victorious life because of His Spirit living within us.
Some commentaries suggest that Isaiah 30:28 refers to the feast of unleavened bread, or Passover, because it was the only feast that began with a night celebration. Some also suggest that Passover was the most important of Jewish feasts. I believe that fits here because I believe God was wanting to give us a picture of how intensely joyful He wants to help us be while He fights for us once we return to trusting Him completely. As you likely know, the Passover feast commemorates Israel’s deliverance from Egypt.
Think how joyful the whole nation of Israel was when they celebrated Passover. People would have journeyed from the country districts to Jerusalem, often “headed by a piper or a band of pipers. (The Pulpit Commentary.) Imagine their joy as they anticipated several days of celebration. Imagine their delight at having a time of celebration and leisure while in the company of friends and neighbors as they traveled along together.
God Himself fights for us. Our loving Father’s intimate, detailed involvement in our lives is unmistakably demonstrated, for you and for me, throughout the Bible. However, the last half of Isaiah 30 focuses on these facts:
- God is intimately involved in our battles.
- God has prepared the way for us to have peace and joy in the midst of our battles, and
- God has already won all our battles.
 God is intimately involved in our battles I believe that throughout each day, whenever my foot is about to step into a snare, God wants me to remember that He Himself is fighting for me in that moment, just as much as He fought for His children in the Bible. He wants me to consciously remember, and ponder, that the battle is His, the victory has already been won and He will keep me in His perfect peace to the degree that I keep my mind fixed on Him.
This applies whether it is one of the all too frequent pop-up battles of everyday living—the boss criticizes, a large bill arrives, traffic gets snarled—or a long-standing battle where you have to fight weeks, months or years, like an addiction, climbing out of debt, or believing for salvation of loved ones.
 God has prepared the way for us to have peace and joy in the midst of our battles. God wants us to stay in peace and joy, every hour of every battle, no matter how long it lasts. He wants us to have the same attitude, and spirit, that Jesus did as He lived His daily life. He wants us to “be of good cheer”, to “take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted” (John 16:33 AMPC).
 God has already won all our battles – that same powerful God is fighting for us. Because God never changes, has no favorites and occupies Himself with the details of the righteous person’s life, throughout each hour of every day of our life, the same God who fought for His children in the Bible is fighting for us, in the same way, with the same passionate love and power. He cares about every hour of our life and He has the power to defeat the enemy at every turn so that we can have the abundant life He died to give us. BUT so long as we disobey with, for example, idolatry, doubt and unbelief, He must wait for us to return to our rightful relationship with Him. Remember verse 18 of Isaiah 30?
Idolatry, faith, and trust. Pondering Isiah 30 has given fresh understanding of what idolatry is and what faith and trust are. To me, idolatry is another word for my behavior whenever I lack faith and fail to truly trust God, with genuine confidence.
Every day of my life, emotions will surge up when I face troubles, short-term and long-term troubles. I will at times wrestle with doubt and fear and other negative feelings. That happens because I am human. But God earnestly imprints the fact of my humanity on His heart (Psalm 103) and has made abundant provision for me to not yield to fear, anger, lust, envy, etc.
God’s provision is to trust Him and obey Him, staying in right relationship with Him. . .
… so that
…… He—God Himself—can
………through His Spirit working in my spirit-
……………fight for me and
………………….keep me in His perfect peace.
Through His Spirit, He has come to live in me, so I have access to all that I need, and He has given me His Word as a shield and a weapon. If I love and serve Him whole-heartedly, with all my strength and soul and might, He declares me righteous, or in right standing, with Him and He helps me resist and overcome the enemy and live a holy life as well as a peaceful, joyful one.
A powerful reminder. A friend pointed me to following diamond of a verse a few months ago. It fits with the main message of Isaiah 30.
The Lord of hosts–regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him]. (Isaiah 8:13, AMPC)
Hear the lesson of this verse and take it to heart, oh my soul:
I honor God when I think of Him as my only chance of being protected. I offend God when I fear man or anything of this world and doubt God. He is worthy of my praise. He is worthy of my active, enthusiastic, and passionate trust. He is faithful!