ISAIAH- Chapter 28 - Jehovah our Instructor Print E-mail

ISAIAH  - Chapter 28 – Jehovah Our Instructor

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

March 4, 2014, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


After studying this chapter, I am at the mercy of the Holy Spirit to again instruct me in unwinding these scriptures.  Once Ras Robinson told me that he saw me spinning the Word of God the way one would spin a top on their fore finger.  I think maybe I start a section and the Word of God begins to unwind before me as I approach each “precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little:. (28:10).


 We all approach the Word with the promise the Lord himself is our instructor: “Give your ear; Hear My voice; Hearken; Hear my speech” (28:23).


For His God does instruct him to discretion and does teach him.” (Isa. 28:26)


This chapter begins a new section of Isaiah’s prophecies (chapters 28-35).  The prophecies are arranged in six groups and are headed by the catchword “woe”.  The whole section can be titled, “Woes preceding Restoration Glories”.


The Companion Bible reveals the Lord in this section to be:


Jehovah the Instructor (28: 23-29)

Jehovah the Gracious One (30: 18-33)

Jehovah the Righteous King (32: 1-20)

Jehovah the King in His Beauty (33: 13-24)

Jehovah the King in His Glory (35: 1-10).


These chapters seem to reflect Isaiah’s activity during a single period of his career---the years immediately preceding Sennacherib’s invasion.


This section of the fall and eventual emancipation of Israel begins here in chapter 28 with Isaiah’s focus upon his own time and people, following the glance of his prophetic eye over the entire world and into the far distant future.    Though the political landscape varies from generation to generation, God’s word and way is unchanging through time.


28:1-4: Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!  Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.  The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet.  And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looks upon it sees, while it is yet in his hand he eats it.”


In this woe against Ephraim, their pride and drunkenness are noted and their threatened punishment by Assyrian invasion is foretold.  They reject God’s warnings and seal their doom  in the earth. 


  1. Woe to the crown of pride ---Samaria
  2. Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim ---the 10-tribe or northern kingdom of Israel.


Samaria was built on a hill surrounded by a rich valley about 8 miles in diameter.  Beyond the valley it was surrounded by higher hills which were cultivated in terraces, sown with grain, and planted with fig and olive trees.  The valley being also thus planted, made Samaria beautiful, as having a crown or wreath of flowers.  The beauty of the city was to be destroyed, as a cut flower soon withers and fades away. 


Samaria rose out of the valley like a head, on which mountain the drunkards of Ephraim lived in revelry and seeming security.


A man’s reason, conscience, moral feelings, and physical strength are all over come or subdued by strong drink.  The Assyrian army was to come upon Ephraim and Samaria like a hail storm, a destroying storm (a cyclone), and like a mighty flood, leaving the country barren as a fading flower, when it is cut down and like a piece of summer fruit when it is eaten up.  The fate of Ephraim is a warning to Judah.


Nevertheless a remnant shall be preserved in the earth.


28: 5-6:  In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle at the gate.”


On August 13, 2000, I gave a Prophetic Word under the title, “Turn the Battle at the Gate”.  That word was prophesied again September 20, 2008 right after Hurricane Ike.  It is posted on the website,


The message in the year 2000 was a call to repentance to “Turn the Battle at the Gate.”  I prophesied in the message that  unless we resisted the political spirit, religion, Philistines, alliances with those who worship foreign gods; bigotry, abuse, traditions of men,  jealousy, competition, ambition,  greed, control, pride, sectarianism, pragmatism,  false hope, false covenants, false prophets, prestige,  treachery and betrayal, i.e. all the sins of the world, we would not have the strength to “Turn the Battle at the Gate.”


Quote from prophecy:  “One of the battles before us as the greater Glory of the Lord is released will be a confrontation with the “political spirit”.  Do not think that satan is just going to lie down and let it happen.  This spirit is exemplified in scripture by Dairus, Absalom, Pilate, Herodias, the mother of Zebedee’s children, and many others.  An ‘apostolic movement of grace’ will expose and lay an axe at the historical root of the political spirit in the church and nations of the earth who are hostile to God’s people…  A group of Overcomers will arise out of these restoration Glories.” 


Isaiah 28: 5-6:  In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, to the residue of His people.  And for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment and for strength to them that turn the battle at the gate.”


 At that time, I was calling ministers, ministries, saints and sinners to repentance that they would be able to “Turn the Battle At the Gate.”.  We are now in the midst of the judgments.  Many ministers who were standing thirteen years ago are no longer holding the line.  This message is to encourage all of us to repentance that the church will apprehend the restoration glories.  For the remnant, we will have this promise that in that day the Lord of Hosts will be for us a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty.


28: 7-8: “But they (Judah) also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.  For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.”


The priests and prophets mentioned here were representative of the higher religious and ruling classes in Judah who had gone into sin.  Having erred in truth, in judgment and in the way of right, they were destined to be punished like Ephraim  This verse pictures the whole nation as being sinful and unclean, living in the filthiness of their own vomit of corruption.


28:9-13:  Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line; line upon line; here a little, and there a little;  for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing; yet they would not hear.  But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.”


I am going with Finis J. Dake on this one.  The fact that Paul quoted this scripture affirms to me that Isaiah was speaking in tongues.   “The idea here is that since the drunkards of Judah regarded the messages Jehovah had sent them by the prophet as only adaptable for children, He would teach them in a manner they did not like and give them knowledge through the language of foreigners as a sign of their unbelief.”  Paul used this passage speaking of the gift of tongues in the church as a sign to unbelievers.


1 Cor. 14:21: ‘In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people; and yet for all that they will not hear Me, says the Lord.  Wherefore tongues are a sign not to them that believe, but to them that believe not…”


God not only predicted the spiritual exercise of speaking in various languages by the Holy Spirit as fulfilled in Acts 2, 10, 19; 1 Cor. 12-14, but He also predicted that men in general would not hear or be open to such exercise.  All this is prophetic of the experience of the Book of Acts, especially to those of the 120 who were baptized in the Spirit on the day of Pentecost and spoke in other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance.  This was in fulfillment of Isa. 28:11.  They became an object of mockery, laughter, scorn and ridicule, and were accused of being drunk with new wine.


As prophesied by Isaiah this baptism of the Holy Spirit is the rest wherewith the weary rest, and the refreshing to all who would receive the Word of the Lord.


28: 14-15:  Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.  Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the over-flowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.”


The thought here is that Judah felt so secure concerning judgment it was as if they had made a covenant with death not to destroy them and with hell not to swallow or devour them.   They trusted in lies and falsehoods and believed the opposite of what the prophets had told them; therefore they thought they were secure.  Jesus by His atonement destroyed the covenant men had with death and hell.  He met the appointment of Heb. 9:27!  He tasted death for every man!  The Hebrew says that He “smeared over” it and “cancelled” it.   


28: 16-17: “Therefore thus says the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believes shall not make haste  Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.”


The stone in Zion is the Lord Jesus Christ, the rock of ages.  Peter quotes this scripture as prophetic that Jesus has become a many-membered stone.


1 Pet. 3: 3-8: “You have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.  You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  Wherefore also it is contained in scripture, “Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded” (Psa. 118:22; Isa. 28:16).  To you therefore which believe, He is precious; but to them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient; whereto also they were appointed.”


Sin and death have been dealt with by the Stone.


Isa. 28:18-22:  Your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.   From the time that it goes forth it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night; and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.  For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself out on it; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.  For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim.  He shall be angry in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work,  His strange work; and bring to pass His act.  His strange act.”


When judgment began it would be continuous until its purpose was accomplished.  The defense of Jerusalem would be so inadequate it would be like a man trying to rest in a bed that was too short, with a cover too narrow to wrap him-self.  I have been shown the “strange sword of the Lord” that does this “strange work”.  The Lord will rise up in judgment as one rises to accomplish a particular work.  The punishment of His own people was God’s strange and alien deed--- too strange a concept for many in Judah to understand or accept.


Isaiah reinforces his arguments and prophecy by using a parable about farming.


Isa. 28: 23-29:  Give you ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.  Does the plowman plow all day to sow? Does he open and break the clods of his ground?  When he has made plain the face thereof, does he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cumin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place?  For his God does instruct him to discretion and does teach him.  For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cumin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cumin with a rod.  Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.  This also comes forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excelling in working.”


God is the instructor of man in all excellent activities of life.  Here the Word of God clearly states, it is God who instructs man in the skill of agriculture which makes this a calling and commission of the Lord.  I am a farmer’s daughter and grand-daughter.  I understand this gifting and calling.


The lesson is, then, that the God who teaches the farmer is no less wise and skilful in his own “husbandry”; one is inevitably reminded that Judah was God’s ‘vineyard’.  Emphasis is laid upon the fact that farmers, to get the best results, must apply a verity of different procedures (some of which might puzzle an inexperienced on-looker).  In particular, farmers have to apply a measure of violent activity to achieve results but they dare not overdo the use of force or everything would be lost.  God, then, must treat His own people severely; but His actions have a purpose behind them, and He will certainly not carry the punishment too far.  The prophet rounds off the parable with a reminder that the Lord not only excels in wisdom in general but is wonderful in counsel, in offering the right practical advice, through His prophets, in serious political and personal crisis.


The Lord of Hosts is our Instructor in the Word of God; in all knowledge, in all doctrine, in skills, in livelihood, giftings, callings, all things excellent and wonderful!


Emmanuel Ssentongo blessed our church with the Word of the Lord, “Delay is not Denial”.  That which appears to be dead only sleeps and will be raised up for the Glory of God.  I have been blessed by the Lord to have walked through many “deaths of a vision, hope and promise” to see each one raised again in Glory.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

I entered into the labors of Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible; sermon notes by Pastor Carolyn Sissom, “Turn the Battle at the Gate” 8/13/2000 and 9/20/2008 – posted on website; Principles of Present Truth on Isaiah by: Kelly Varner.

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