So Isaiah lays into the priests and prophets, the spiritual leaders of Israel who are severely failing the people, and he accuses them of being drunks on top of everything else. These people were responsible for the spiritual education and welfare of the nation and they were degenerates.
Isaiah asks, who then will God teach? Who will God communicate with and impart wisdom to?
He mentions two possibilities.
He asks if God should teach the very young, toddlers, really, small children just weaned. This suggestion kind of makes me think two things. First, the young before they’ve had time to be led astray by their parents and educators. And secondly, it reminds me of Paul’s admonition in to the new church that they need to progress past the milk of spiritual education and get to the meat, substantial spiritual maturity. The words Isaiah uses next, precept upon precept and line upon line, deepen that connection for me. It’s… if you start talking deep theology and doctrinal application with someone who just skims the surface of church life, they’re going to be lost, overwhelmed. It’s going to be a lot of gibberish, a lot of noise, to them. If God were to try to teach those who barely respected the form of the covenant, if they respected it at all, they’d be totally overwhelmed, completely unprepared for substance of the matter.
Isaiah then declares that God will use foreigners to speak to the people. Because they refused to hear his message, he’ll deliver it to someone else, and when it is brought back, it will be unintelligible, because it will be in another language. Blah blah blah, blah blah blah.
God is here, with a message for everyone in all the world throughout all time. A deeply personal message meant for each individual. He wants to teach us all how to understand it, how to apply it, how to embrace it, how to live it out. But if we won’t listen, that’s our choice. If we won’t engage and pursue deeper understanding, that’s our choice. If we want to skim across the top, never taking in more than the form, more than the traditions, let it be more than a comforting shawl wrapped around our shoulders, than that’s our choice. But God wants us to dive deeper. God wants us to listen, not just hear, to study, to wrestle, to apply. God wants us to understand.