Wake Up Call #2 — Divine Deliverance Follows Divine Discipline

This is the 2nd of the 3 Wake Up calls in this section of Isaiah.



I.  (:17-20)  THE CALL TO ACTION – Directed to Jerusalem — to Feel the Sting of Divine Discipline

A.  (:17) Expect Divine Deliverance After Divine Discipline

  1. (:17a) Preparation for the Lord to Deliver

Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem,

Reflexive force of the Hithpael stem – Wake yourself; not responsibility of God to wake them

Can’t give up and quit under the hand of God’s discipline; there will come a time when you need to get back up off the carpet

Emphasis throughout NT on watchfulness; staying alert – Don’t be asleep at the switch

Matt. 24 — Olivet discourse – emphasis on being alert and watching

Rom. 13:11-14

Eph. 5:14

1 Thess. 5:5ff

2.  (:17b) Proper Perspective Towards the Discipline from the Lord

You who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of His anger;

The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.

Constable: Drinking a cup of wine is a figure of judgment (cf. 29:9; 63:6; Ps. 75:8; Jer. 25:15-16; Rev. 14:10). Jerusalem now lay in a state of stupor but needed to arise because the Lord had a future for her.

Parunak: Wine is presented as an image of the seductiveness of sin and judgment. Initially, sin is attractive, but it draws people inevitably into a disgraceful state, just as the initial pleasure of wine leads to shameful drunkenness. The drunkard, crazed by alcohol, sucks on the bitter dregs to satisfy his thirst. The sinner is so overcome by his lust that he clasps the judgment of God to his bosom.

The point of the metaphor is that what God gives them is not just the final judgment for their sin, but the withdrawal of his protection from the temptations that draw them deeper into sin.

Motyer: All life’s experiences are blended into a cup for us by the Lord but specially the due apportionment of his wrath (Pss. 11:6; 75:8-9; Je. 25:15ff.; Ezk. 23:31ff).

OT examples – book of Judges is full of examples – Discipline followed by Deliverance

Ezek. 23 – tale of 2 sisters – Oholah (“her own tabernacle” = Samaria) and Oholibah (“My tabernacle is in her = Jerusalem”)

Heb. 12 – key passage on Divine Discipline

B.  (:18-19a) Don’t Expect Human Resources to be Sufficient

1.  No Guidance that is Adequate

There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne;

David Thompson: That Hebrew word “guide” (nahal) is one that refers to one who actually knows the right direction and can lead people in it (Ibid., p. 536). This is the same word in Psalm 23:2, “He leads Me beside still waters.” As a judgment of God, God sees to it that His own people do not have anyone who can actually take them by the hand and lead them and guide them into His Word, ways, and will.

No human leadership can provide deliverance – apart from the type of Savior the Lord provided in the days of the Judges – types pointing forward to ultimate deliverance by the Savior Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ

Pharisees in the day of Christ described as the blind leading the blind

2.  No Help that is Adequate

Nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has reared.

Young: Her own inhabitants, be they ever so strong and willing, nevertheless cannot lead the city at this time when the wrath of God has been drunk by her. Nor can they seize her by the hand to help.

Motyer: no human resource avails against divine wrath (cf. 50:2; 59:16; 63:3; 65:12).

Cf. in the NT the marvelous miracles associated with Jesus simply reaching down to those in need and taking them by the hand and lifting them up

3.  (:19a) No Human Comfort that Can Strengthen and Sustain

These two things have befallen you;

Who will mourn for you?

What 2 things?? Some confusion here – looking forward to 2 groups of 2?? Or looking backward??

Young: it may be that the two things are those just mentioned in the preceding verse, namely, the not being led by the children whom she has borne and the not being seized by the hand by the children whom she has brought up. We set this interpretation forth with some hesitation, merely acknowledging it as a possibility, one that appears to involve less difficulty than to find an equation of meaning between the first words of the verse and the four nouns in the second line.

No human solace is possible; must look to the Lord for comfort

C.  (:19b-20) Feel the Sting of Hopelessness – Apart from Divine Deliverance

1.  (:19b) Hurting Because of the Disaster Impacting Property and People

a.   Total Disaster Against Property (Motyer)

The devastation and destruction,

Jerusalem pictured in ruins – book of Lamentations

b.  Total Disaster Against People (Motyer)

famine and sword;

Slow death by starvation or rapid killing in battle

c.  In Need of Divine Comfort

How shall I comfort you?

2.  (:20) Helpless Under the Force of Divine Discipline

a.  The Strongest are Powerless

Your sons have fainted,

b.  Panic and Fear are Paralyzing

They lie helpless at the head of every street,

Like an antelope in a net,

c.  The Adversary is All Powerful and Angry

Full of the wrath of the LORD,

The rebuke of your God.

No human way out of such a dire situation

II.  (:21-23) Comforting Response From the Lord —

A.  (:21-22a) Your Relationship with God Brings the Comforting Message of Hope

  1. Tune Your Ears to the Message of Hope

Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted,

Who are drunk, but not with wine:

Constable: “Therefore” marks the transition from peril to promise. Isaiah appealed to afflicted Israel to listen to God’s message. The Israelites had suffered the effects of intoxication, not from drinking real wine but the wrath of God (v. 20).

2.  Trust Your Lord to Fight Your Battles

Thus says your Lord, the LORD,

even your God Who contends for His people,

nature of God is such that He calls on His people to stand still and see the salvation He provides

We have a wonderful Advocate – cf. our system of courts and lawyers that is so unfair

We have one who pleads our cause

B.  (:22b-23) The Sovereignty of God Turns the Tables on Your Oppressors

1.  Discipline is Over

Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling;

The chalice of My anger,

You will never drink it again.

This can only be said in the eschatological context

Think of the cup of God’s wrath which the Lord Jesus drank – never again will He drink that cup

Matt. 26:36ff

2.  Vengeance is Executed

And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,

Who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’

You have even made your back like the ground,

And like the street for those who walk over it.”

Hos. 1:4; 2 Kings 9:7; 10:30 King Jehu = God’s instrument of vengeance against house of Ahab

Constable: The figure of walking on the backs of enemies stresses the victor’s desire to humiliate the captives, not to slay them (cf. Josh. 10:24).

Young: The Assyrian monuments show how the victor trampled on the conquered who were lying on the ground.

Sometimes God lets the wicked walk all over His people – for a time – to accomplish His purposes – to fill up the cup of His discipline – we must embrace that process

CLICK HERE FOR FULL PDF COMMENTARY LIBRARYView or download all commentaries by Paul Apple