With Assyria (God's enemies) vanquished in Chapter 31, we a righteous king and just princes rule.
(In Warren Wiersbe's Commentary on Isaiah, Be Comforted, he categorizes the next four chapters, Chapters 32-35, the four chapters that conclude the first section of Isaiah's prophesy, to be followed by an historical interlude and then the "consolation"/"new testament" portion of the book. Four future events divinely-inspired for God, His people, and the world.)
In verse 1, the "k" in "king" is lower case, so it seems to be a promise of a future righteous king prior to Jesus, who will be the ultimate uppercase "K" righteous King.
It's also worth noting that the righteous king has princes who rule justly. To me, it's a reminder that God created the world of humans in an organized structured manner. And leaders influence how those under them conduct themselves.
Verses 2-8 describes what life is like when there is righteous leadership. The Ryrie footnote comments that this ideal government cannot being fulfilled until the Messiah; however, it shows God's design for rulers or government.
- like a refuge from the wind and shelter from the storm (government should offer protection from harm)
- like streams of water in dry country, shade in a parched land (government should provide public works that individuals cannot do for themselves, based on the geography and conditions.)
- out of that governance, the people will see and hear correctly.
- out of that governance, the people will discern the truth!
- the stammers will speak
That's astounding. when the rulers are righteous, the people see, hear, speak and discern the truth. I see that clearly in this day and age of bad governance. People that I know to be smart so easily believe the lies of the government. Government agencies that are supposed guide the people instead communicate whatever pays the best. The FDA gave us a Food Pyramid that has led to a diabetes epidemic; a COVID response that has diminished the credibility of the medical community, an FBI that has become political, on and on. When the government is unrighteous, people become blind, deaf, undiscerning, stammering, and unhealthy.
Another interesting aspect of society under righteous ruler is that
No longer will the fool be called noble, or the rogue be spoken of as generous.Isaiah 32:5
- a fool speaks nonsense
- his heart inclines toward wickedness
- practice ungodliness
- speak error against the Lord
- keep the hunger unsatisfied
- withhold drink from thirsty
- his weapons are evil
- devise wicked schemes
- destroy the afflicted with slander
All of this evil, selfishness, and wickedness happens "...even though the needy one speaks what is right." (32:7d)
If only the needy are speaking truth, or what's right, then fools are called noble and the rogue gets compliments. But in this good governance model in verses 2-8 we conclude in verse 8
But the noble man devises noble plans; and by noble plans he stands.Isaiah 32:8
We are, currently, living in a world where there are 20,000 car break-ins in San Francisco annually; stores are having to lock up basic hygiene items to avoid being raided; stores are closing from financial loss from theft; some cities have stopped requiring bail, or even prosecuting serious crime. These circumstances vary by state, city, politics, and other factors, but we see everyday the wicked receiving favorable treatment and fools being called noble. We're told that achievement through merit is discrimination. Up is down and down is up. We agree to use words that are not true. We agree to soften our view of very wicked acts. All of this can be directly associated with bad governance.
On the other hand, in this country, governance is supposed to be by the people. So we have a role to play.
We see this clearly in the next set of verses. Isaiah calls out the women who are allowing all of this "noble" wickedness.
Rise up, you women who are at ease,Isaiah 32:9
Hear my voice;
You complacent daughters,
Give ear to my speech.
Most of the time, Isaiah and the other prophets focus their ire and warnings on the men. Or at least they use make pronouns and roles when they call people out. But there are passages, especially from Isaiah, when he calls out the ladies. The "women of ease" and "complacent daughters". Women are coheirs and co-laborers with their husbands. We have a domain for which we have been given control. When we don't do our parts, our husbands fall short of what God has for us together.
When we sit back and assume everything will come to us without effort or agency, Isiah warns that their will be consequences. These women of Judah are to expect their grape (wine) vintages and general harvest to fail.
Strip yourself and gird yourself with sackcloth.
The complacent women of Judah are given a grim and stern warning that trouble is coming...in no uncertain terms.
- mourning for the days of fruitful harvest from the fields
- thorns and briers
- palaces forsaken
- cities deserted
- forts and towers become lairs
Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,Isiah 32:15
And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
Always hope. Our faithful Lord always provides hope. And a way.
And then, like we see in verses 2-8 above, we get a beautiful contrast with what we can hope for in the Lord's kingdom.
- justice will dwell in the wilderness
- the righteous remain in the fruitful field
- the work of the righteous will be peace, quietness, and assurance
- His people will dwell in peaceful habitation
- their dwellings with be quiet resting places
- this will happen even though their continues to be hail and humiliation elsewhere
Blessed are you who sow beside all waters,Isaiah 32:20
Who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.
Look at those promises: justice, provision, peace, quietness, assurance, rest, security
I have to say, those words bring a sigh and exhale from my soul.
I yearn for His Spirit to be poured out from on high and bring the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, in the waiting, He has poured in His Spirit--to dwell in His people.