Isaiah 32:9-20

‘’Get serious, you pampered dolls!’’ (11) The Message. It seems that Isaiah had a particular concern for the ‘flaky’ ladies of the land (see also 3:16-26, and Amos 6:1ff.) Someone pointed out that wives and mothers can have a great influence for good, but these women were living complacently as judgment was about to fall. Their happy homes were about to be destroyed and they didn’t seem to have any understanding of what was just around the corner. They had a false sense of security (something Isaiah emphasises in 9, 10, and 11).They would lose not just their luxuries but also their necessities.

In the ‘New Bible Commentary’ the point is made that the disaster of verse 14 and the glory of verses 15-20 surpass anything that happened in Isaiah’s time. But such pictures of a secure and well-watered land portray the ‘new things’ God will do in the future in terms of things already known.

There is a basic principle here, and it is that ‘’righteousness’’ is indispensable to ‘’peace’’. There is no easy path to peace. God does not superimpose ‘peace ‘on a rotten society. No, the ground must be cleared, and then re-sown with ‘righteousness’, and then ‘peace’ will be its fruit (17). For this, the outpouring of the Spirit is essential (15), and, as we saw yesterday, this is the secret of sharing the qualities and characteristics of the Messiah. The Spirit enables us to get into a right relationship with God, and live right, and so we can enjoy God’s own peace (Romans 5:1, 2; James 3:17).

‘’RIGHTEOUSNESS must precede peace…The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews clearly affirms that Melchizedek, the type of Christ, is first King of Righteousness and then King of Peace…Many seek for peace apart from righteousness. They refuse to adjust some wrong in their lives which calls aloud against them. They refuse to permit the light of God’s Spirit to ransack their past, because they are conscious that to do so will expose them to the inevitable need of confession and restitution; and as they will not submit to the laying of the foundations of peace, they miss the peace.’’ F.B.Meyer: Great verses through the Bible, p.281.

Meyer goes on to rightly point out that righteousness precedes peace in any peace-making attempts between people. Wrongs and injustices can’t be just swept under the carpet. They must be adequately addressed:

‘’Be sure to go to the bottom of disputes and disagreements. There is a right and a wrong in every question. It is always wise to lay the foundations of justice at any cost, assured that peace will inevitably result sooner or later. Honeyed words will not abide; but just deeds are a permanent basis for a happy and lasting reconciliation.’’

Prayer: Thank you Lord that you transform desert places by the power of the Holy Spirit. Come upon all that is barren and desolate in me, and make me a fruitful ‘land’ for you. I bring to you all those things that disturb my peace, and ask that you will so graciously cleanse my conscience. I let go of the wrongs that have to go before I can ever enjoy your peace. Thank you for your mercy in disturbing my peace so that I may ultimately find true ‘shalom’.