During a tumultuous period in Israel’s history, the prophet Isaiah warned his contemporaries against seeking counsel apart from God’s law. When the Israelites did not heed his instruction, they found themselves entangled in sin and despair. Alistair Begg considers the Israelites’ condition and reminds us that truth is found in God alone. Only the Spirit of God can shine light into the darkness of our hearts and impart wisdom sufficient for all of our needs.
19And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21They will pass through the land,7 greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against8 their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. 22And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.
1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.1
22 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
3You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
4For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
6For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon3 his shoulder,
and his name shall be called4
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Copyright © 2021, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.