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Isaiah 57

After a few chapters looking forward to salvation from the Suffering Servant in the future, Isaiah has returned to the present and is rebuking Israel for the deeds that will first lead to the exile.

The second part of chapter 56 started the new section of rebukes with focus on leadership. Here in chapter 57, the focus is on the people.

  • the righteous and devout suffer and no ones cares
  • the righteous will find peace and rest while the sinners scoff
  • MacArthur points out that they do suffer, but die in faith and enjoy their eternal reward

He calls the unjust by four names that rebukes their parentage, which seems interesting.

  • sons of a sorceress
  • offspring of and adulterer and a prostitute
  • children of rebellion
  • offspring of deceit

Starting in verse 5, Isaiah describes some of their serious offenses:

  • sexual sin
  • child slaughter and sacrifice
  • idolatry
  • lots of idolatry
  • group/gay sex
  • removing the Lord from their lives
  • gone to great length for personal luxuries
  • unworried about being a liar and forgetting the Lord

In response the Lord turns them over to their idols, who cannot save them because they will blow away in the wind.

...but he who takes refuge in Me shall inherit the land, and shall possess My holy mountain.

Isaiah 57:13b


Verse 14 starts a new paragraph and a change of tone. From rebuke to a call to repentance.

  • He will build up the road and remove obstacles out of the way for His people to return to Him.
  • But because He is the high and exalted One, living forever, and holy, He dwells in a high and holy place.
  • People will need to be contrite and lowly.

For I will not content forever, neither will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before Me, and the breath of those whom I have made.

Isaiah 57:16

The Lord summarizes how we ended up in this situation:

  • man's iniquity and unjust gain caused God to become angry and strike him
  • even though the Lord has seen His ways, He will heal him, lead him, and bring comfort to his mourners
  • men will praise Him when the Lord brings peace and healing

But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud. "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

Isaiah 57:20-21

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