Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. — Isaiah 2:10
In a time of storm, it is natural to seek a place of refuge. A World War II veteran used to testify of being on the island of Okinawa when it was hit by a hurricane with winds above 115 miles per hour. The wind was so strong that the rain traveled horizontally. At the time, this man was deathly ill, and he and his fellow-soldiers were camped in tents. Part way through the storm, the tent ripped right through the middle. His comrades pulled one part of the tent over him and anchored it with rocks. As the wind howled and he thought his life might be coming to an end, God gave him a promise in his heart. For many years afterward, he told of God’s faithfulness in his time of need.
Today we may face spiritual storms, because following the Lord will not always be easy. However, God wants to provide a safe refuge for us in our times of need, and when we lean upon Him, He will preserve us. He will hide us in the shelter of His arms, and keep us safe from the storms that swirl around us.
When the focus verse was written, the people of Judah were accustomed to seeking refuge in the rocks and caves of their country. For example, if enemy warriors came into their territory, they fled to these caves as hiding places. However, Isaiah was prophesying of a time when God would come upon them in wrath and judgment. Hiding in the rocks would not suffice when God poured out His punishments.
A time of judgment is also predicted for today’s inhabitants of this world. Those who have given their lives to God will be in a place of spiritual safety. We need to prepare now by first asking God to forgive our sins, and then being certain we are totally yielded to Him and to His will. If we continue to obey God, then He will keep us safe during the storms of life and also in His final judgment when He pours out His wrath upon those who have refused His offer of salvation.
In this chapter, the prophet contrasts the current conditions of Jerusalem with the future day of peace and the future day of God’s judgment. “The word” in verse one indicates the start of a specific message or speech to Judah and Jerusalem.
The “mountain of the Lord’s house” referenced Mount Zion, which was also called Mount Moriah. Israel’s temples were located on this mountain, and Solomon’s Temple was still present in Isaiah’s time. These verses imply that during the Millennial Reign, Jerusalem will have a Temple again, and that the worship and rule of Christ will center there. All nations will come to Jerusalem to learn about God. Micah 4:1-4 contains a passage quite similar.
A time of peace and safety will ensue, safer and more peaceful than any time known in the world’s history. The Lord Himself will “judge” or direct the nations. The instruments of war will be turned into agricultural tools. Isaiah gave this prophecy during the reign of Uzziah, under whose leadership new weaponry was invented (see 2 Chronicles 26:14-15). What a contrast to the picture of a calm and wholesome life which God inspired Isaiah to describe!
Verse 6 began the detailing of Israel’s sinful state at the time of Isaiah. Israel was full of pagan people, customs, and influences. “They please themselves” indicates they made treaties with ungodly neighbors.
Idols filled the land. The “mean man” (verse 9) meant the common people or society’s lower class; the “great man” meant those from society’s upper class. All were worshipping the pagan idols. In the original language, “forgive them not” is in future tense, so it was a prediction that God would not forgive them.
Palestine had many caves, and these were used as hiding places when an army invaded. Isaiah’s prophecy indicated that God’s judgment would be so severe that people would need to seek a refuge. The people would be brought low. The symbols of strength and sufficiency — cedars, oaks, mountains, hills, high towers (military fortresses), walls, and ships of Tarshish (commercial trade fleet) — would be insufficient to deliver them. Through Isaiah, God told Judah the destruction would be widespread and cataclysmic.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The prophetic condemnation
A. Prophecies related to Judah
2. God’s promise of glory after judgment
a. Jerusalem’s future position (2:1-4)
b. Jerusalem’s prior judgment (2:5-4:1)
(1) The judgment upon the people (2:5-22)
(a) Their rebuke (2:5-11)
(b) Their reckoning (2:12-22)
What refuge do you have for the storms of life today? You can be secure in God’s love if you give yourself to Him.