This is the first four chapters of warning to Judah. Their main theme is the folly of seeking help from Egypt. Warnings of terrible judgment (observe the recurrence of the word ‘woe’, see 28:1, 29:1, 15; 30:1; 31:1) intermingle with assurances of God’s intervention in mercy. The divisions of chapter 28 are as follows: verses 1-4, judgment upon Samaria; verses 5, 6, after the judgment; verses 7-13, the drunken rulers of Judah rebuked; verses 14-23, the coming storm of God’s judgment will sweep away all man-made policies; verses 23-29, if the farmer acts with wisdom, how much more God?
- How many consequences of intemperance can you discern in verses 1-4, 7 and 8? What was God’s message to his intemperate people, and why would they not listen (verses 9-15)?
- What do verses 16-29 teach us about the inevitable triumph of God’s will in human affairs, and the futility of unbelief and rebellion? How does the parable in verses 23-29 encourage us to see that God has foreseen and arranged all?
- What foreshadowing of Christ is there in the final fulfillment of God’s plans? Cf. verse 16; 1 Pet. 2:6, 7; Acts 4:11; Matt. 21:42.
Verses 15, 18 Isaiah calls the proposed alliance with Egypt ‘a covenant with death’. ‘The overwhelming scourge’ is Assyria.