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We like to think that the United States represents the best country on the earth today. Certainly we enjoy freedoms and a standard of living that compare with the best. We think that our democratic form of government offers the best checks and balances against the corrupting forces of political power. But however patriotic you might be in assessing our country, at best we still exhibit the same type of overall lousy government and upside down social values when compared to the Kingdom of Righteousness that the Messiah will usher in during His Millennial reign.

The problem is that we have strayed too far from the standards and principles revealed in God’s Holy Word. Where is the hunger to know and implement divine truth? Where is the discernment to value what God values and to be totally sold out to knowing and doing His will? We are governed largely by fools and rogues from God’s perspective. In fact God’s ideal government is not a democracy – it is a monarchy with a righteous king who cares about His people enough to lay down His life for their welfare.

So our cars display bumper stickers expressing a longing for “World Peace” and our beauty pageant contestants make that their platform = truly a noble goal. But we have no idea how to get there. Peace in the Scriptures is always associated with righteousness and only the truly Righteous One will be able to come and transform government and social values to reach this objective.

This chapter is linked to the fourth “Woe” introduced in 31:1 – since the fifth does not begin until Chap. 33. We saw last week that THE WORLD’S WISDOM AND POWER WILL FAIL YOU. So you will be sorely disappointed if you have invested your hopes in the rulers of this world.


This will truly be BIG GOVERNMENT AT ITS BEST!


A. (:1) Inauguration of the Righteous Reign of Messiah

“Behold, a king will reign righteously,

And princes will rule justly.”

This is looking to sometime in the future – implies that the present government in the days of Isaiah was not characterized by righteous and just rule. Isaiah had painted many pictures of these wicked rulers and exposed their failures.

– In the millennial kingdom there will be no more tolerance for the abortion of those precious lives that cannot cry out for their own protection

– In the millennial kingdom there will be no more political corruption with its bribes and scheming and pattern of lies and deceit

– In the millennial kingdom there will be no more disparaging of God’s Word and God’s people

– In the millennial kingdom there will be no more advocacy for women elders, for the homosexual agenda, for the overturning of God’s proper roles of men and women

– In the millennial kingdom there will be no more ponzi schemes with Wall Street crooks making a fortune on exploiting others

– In the millennial kingdom there will be no more abusive employers and supervisors who make the lives of their workers miserable

“Behold, a king will reign righteously,

And princes will rule justly.”

Look at the foundation already established in the book of Isaiah that identifies this pairing of a king reigning in righteousness and justice with the Messiah. What a glorious future to anticipate!

Gene Brooks: A king will reign in righteousness and with justice. The pairing of these two words throughout Isaiah have always been used in the context of describing the Messiah (1:27; 5:7, 16; 9:7; 11:4; 16:5; 26:7-9).

Yet I think because other princes are mentioned here as ruling with this King, many commentators (especially those who don’t hold to a literal millennial kingdom) want to see here a reference to King Hezekiah or possibly King Josiah … NO WAY.

Rich Cathers: We will be ruling with Christ on the earth (Rev. 2:26-27) and we will also serve as judges. [authority over the nations will be given to the overcomers]

1 Cor 6:2 KJV “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?”

We long to see justice administered so that right decisions are made quickly and implemented efficiently. We want to see wickedness punished and right behavior rewarded.

Rom. 13:3 rulers should not be a cause of fear for good behavior but for evil

But while this passage anticipates the future reign of the Messiah in the millennial kingdom, we must not overlook the spiritual application = right now Christ wants to reign as Lord in the life of each one who repents and puts their faith in Him – He can right now administer righteousness and peace to us in a spiritual sense – Are you living in submission to His righteous rule in your life right now?

You must track both threads through this passage as we move forward

B. (:2) Images of Leaders Providing Protection and Refreshment

1. Protection

“And each will be like a refuge from the wind,

And a shelter from the storm,”

Speaking of all the rulers associated with the King, not just the king himself

Parunak: This king will protect his people from two kinds of threat, represented by meteorological extremes in the middle east: the raging tempest, and the searing summer sun.

Look at the protection that leaders should provide

Reminds one of the Good Shepherd in John 10 – willing to lay down His life for the sheep; not a hired gun who will run at the first threat of trouble

Imagine the worst possible calamity …

Rom. 8:31-39

2. Refreshment

“Like streams of water in a dry country,

Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.”

Brian Bell: Sometimes we need to get out of the glare & heat of life & slip into the restful shade of His presence!

Ps.91:1 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Rich Cathers: But God’s desire is that we too learn to give rest to others and refresh them. Paul writes,

1 Corinthians 16:17-18 “I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. 18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.”

Oswalt: In the coming era, leaders will no longer be predators from whom the people will need to seek relief (29:20, 21). Rather, the leaders themselves will be sources of protection and support, as they ought to be. (the Good Shepherd — John 10:11; the Servant – Matt. 20:28)

C. (:3-4) Internalization and Clear Communication of Divine Truth

1. (:3) Perception of Divine Truth

“Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded,

And the ears of those who hear will listen.”

Isa 29:18 “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.”

Motyer: Refusal to submit is the surest prescription for an ultimate inability to discern any difference between good and evil (5:18-23; Prov. 4:14-19; John 7:17).

2. (:4a) Discernment of Divine Truth

“And the mind of the hasty will discern the truth,”

Isa 29:24 “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured

shall learn doctrine.”

3. (:4b) Proclamation of Divine Truth

“And the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly.”

MacArthur: The stammerers were former drunkards who uttered nonsense in their drunken stupor (28:7, 8; 29:9).

Ephes. 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”

We will be studying the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit in the second half of this chapter next week.

If you have truly taken in the Word and applied it – you will be a bold proclaimer of truth to others; not shying away from opportunities to speak like people with a speech impediment who would avoid such situations

Parunak: We cannot emphasize too much that our God is characterized by language. He spoke the worlds into existence (Gen 1). He has magnified his word even above his own name (Ps 138:2), and when he sent his Son into the world, the exalted title that he gave him was, “The Word of God” (John 1; Rev 19). He delights to speak clearly to us, and wants us to speak clearly to him and to one another. Clarity of communication is at the heart of God’s gracious revelation to us, and our fellowship with one another. In times of judgment he breaks that channel, but when the king comes to rule, we will perceive, understand, and speak with absolute clarity.



A. (:5) Valid Identifications of Fools, Rogues, and Nobles

“No longer will the fool be called noble,

Or the rogue be spoken of as generous.”

Things are turned upside down right now in the world – the ones who are respected are the ones who seem successful in the world’s eyes in accordance with the world’s value system

– The Hollywood types who promote a lifestyle of sensuality and luxury and indulgence

– The powerful politicians – men with no scruples and no convictions – who base their decisions on expediency to garner the most votes possible

– The sports heroes – paid ungodly sums to play games of no significance

– The professors in our academic institutions who make fun of God every day

Parunak: “Vile” is the Hebrew word נבל nabal. The word is most often translated “fool” or “foolish,” but it is not one of the standard terms used in Proverbs. Two contexts help us understand its meaning.

• This is the kind of person in Ps 14:1 who says that there is no God.

• This was also the name of the nobleman of the tribe of Caleb, the husband of Abigail, who refused to feed David and his men while they were fleeing Saul (1 Sam 25).

References in Proverbs to “fool”:

Constable: Fools disregard their moral and spiritual obligations. Rogues work deviously for their own advantage at the expense of others. In contrast, noble people are liberally outgoing to God and others.

Let’s look at the God-revealed characterization of each of these three types of people:

B. (:6-7) Characterization of a Fool

1. His Inclination / His Bent = Nonsense and Wickedness

“For a fool speaks nonsense,

And his heart inclines toward wickedness,”

2. His Practice in Words and Deeds = anti-God

“To practice ungodliness

and to speak error against the LORD,”

3. His Uselessness

“To keep the hungry person unsatisfied

And to withhold drink from the thirsty.”

Unable and unwilling to meet the needs of others and provide any type of fruitfulness

When you look back at his life you do not see any legacy of accomplishment or service to his fellow men; He has had a negative impact on the needy

Jim Bomkamp: For some reason, Christians sometimes get the notion that though they have received incredible mercy and grace from the Lord that they are for some reason supposed to be tyrannical and cruel to others themselves. However, we are called to emulate Jesus in His gentleness and kindness, both of which are fruits of the Spirit by the way (Gal. 5:22-23).

C. (:7) Characterization of a Rogue

1. His Methods

“As for a rogue, his weapons are evil;”

He is deceitful; a schemer; a conniver

2. His Mission

“He devises wicked schemes to destroy the afflicted with slander,”

Great skill in tearing others down and slandering them when they are most vulnerable; he does this in order to elevate himself and gain prosperity for himself

Motyer: “Evil schemes” (zimma, from “to meditate, plan”) apart from Job 17:11, has a uniformly bad meaning. It is used nineteen times of sexual misconduct (e.g. Lv. 18:17) and particularly of planning to get one’s way at all costs. “To ruin the uninfluential by false speech and by speaking (to ruin) the helpless in court.”

3. His Mindset

“Even though the needy one speaks what is right.”

D. (:8) Characterization of the Noble Man

1. Benefits Society

“But the noble man devises noble plans;”

– Generous – not selfish or self-centered

– Principled – man of convictions

– Large hearted – thinks and plans big things – wants to accomplish a lot

2. Builds on a Solid Foundation

“And by noble plans he stands.”

Legacy built his noble plans

Parunak: It is virtuous if I see a needy person and give my goods to feed and clothe him. It is wicked if I take your goods to feed him. But today, if a nation taxes your substance to feed the poor, that’s seen as righteous. This change is reflected in the very shift in the meaning of the word “liberal.” Originally it referred to personal generosity, in obedience to the principles of God’s word. Now it refers to socialist values, in which the government takes over wealth and redistributes it. Modern liberalism results when one tries to exercise the virtue of old-fashioned liberalism in the strength of the flesh, apart from the guidance and constraints of the Word of God and his Spirit. It is the form of godliness, lacking its underlying power. . .

The attitude that the promised king will honor is a willing, generous heart of service toward the Lord and his people.

Look at the Lord Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of the Noble Man


Make our transition into Communion — the remembrance of the Lord Jesus as the righteous and just ruler who will usher in such transformation of government and of social values.


On the internet you can easily find a definition and example of word usage for anything. Just Google the phrase or go to I checked out the definition for “spoiled brat”:

A spoiled brat is a term that means someone gets a lot of stuff and doesn’t appreciate it. For example if a young lady from a wealthy family gets whatever she wants she becomes accustomed to that. Then if her parents say no she might throw a fit. That would be a spoiled brat.

We can relate to spoiled brats in the context of children – understanding their relative immaturity and the deficiencies in their upbringing. What do these spoiled brats look like when they reach adulthood? Isaiah focuses his prophetic lens on them in this paragraph as he gives a strong warning to the COMPLACENT WOMEN AT EASE IN ZION:

Oswalt: It may be that Isaiah, having failed to alert the men to the tragedy they were precipitating, turns to the women to try to get them to influence their husbands.




A. (:9-10) Good Times Coming to An End Shortly

1. (:9) Call to Attention

“Rise up you women who are at ease, And hear my voice;

Give ear to my word, You complacent daughters.”

Oswalt: While there is nothing inherently wrong with ease and security, they are bad when they are based on false premises (so Amos 6:1; Zech. 1:15; Ps. 123:4).

MacArthur points out in his notes that these same words can be used in either a positive or negative sense – depending on where you put your trust.

These women that Isaiah addresses are the high society types – the women of the leading families in the nation of Israel. They had grown accustomed to a life of luxury and abundance. But they had lost their spiritual edge. It is interesting that the prophet holds them accountable. They could not just hide behind the spiritual dullness of their husbands and excuse their lack of dedication to God’s Word. They should have been challenging the political and religious leaders of the day with the truth of God’s Word. Submission does not extend to compromising the Word

Isaiah is calling out and asking where are the women like Abigail in the story from 1 Samuel 25 we studied last week. Abigail was not bashful about admitting that her husband Nabal was a nabal indeed – a fool and a rogue. But the problem was that the women were not taking their spiritual responsibilities seriously. Despite the prophetic words of impending judgment, they continued on in their life of ease without blinking an eye. It was on to the next shopping event and the next hair appointment; it was arranging the next social outing with the appropriate entertainment; it was making sure that they had the proper jewelry accessories to go with all of their high-priced clothing. Where were the repentant women on their knees in prayer before God and seeking His face in His Word?

Women especially long for security … but they here are acting like everything will be fine in their false security

Parunak: “careless” is from the verb בטח “to trust,” the “confidence” of 30:15.

Isa 30:15 “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”

He repeats this term in vv. 10, 11.

2. (:10) Complacency Terminated – Economic Disaster – the Harvest will not come

“Within a year and a few days, You will be troubled, O complacent daughters; For the vintage is ended, And the fruit gathering will not come.”

Economic disaster is fast approaching and they are unconcerned; Presently they are enjoying a tremendous harvest feast … but what about next year???

No more grape harvest and wine production; no more joy and luxurious living

The year represented an important economic harvest cycle in the culture of Israel – Isaiah warns that they should not expect that cash cow to keep producing for them year after year … the good times were coming to an end and coming to an end very shortly – within about 1 year’s time.

Starvation is possibility; nothing to eat

Listen to what the Lord Jesus has to say about the lukewarm church in Laodicea – Rev. 3:14-19

B. (:11-13) Reversal of Conditions – from Joy and Complacency/Security to Bondage and Trembling and Despair

1. State of Shock and Terror

“Tremble, you women who are at ease;

Be troubled, you complacent daughters;”

You thought you were the privileged untouchables;

2. State of Humiliation and Bondage

“Strip, undress, and put sackcloth on your waist,

Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine,”

Replacing very expensive, fancy clothing with sackcloth

David Guzik: Instead of an indulgent, self-focused life, they would be required to tremble, be troubled, and put on the clothing of mourning.

Motyer: “strip and go bare”. Neither verb is used as a sign of mourning, rather as a sign of enslavement or captivity (cf. 20:2-3).

This would be the condition of women led into captivity

3. State of Despair and Frustration

“For the land of my people in which thorns and briars shall come up;

Yea, for all the joyful houses, and for the jubilant city.”

Ironside: In the third chapter the Lord had sternly rebuked the daughters of Zion who lived in vanity and frivolity, despising the Lord and thinking only of self-gratification. Now He speaks again to those whose consciences should have been active and who ought, therefore, to have guided others in the way of righteousness but who failed to realize that the judgments of God were soon to fall upon them and who lived only for the present moment, surrounding themselves with every luxury, and delighting themselves in worldly follies of every description.

The day was soon to come when poverty would rob them of all these things which had ministered to their selfish desires, and they would realize at last the folly of forgetting God and thinking only of carnal pleasure and self-indulgence. When the fields and vineyards should be destroyed by invading armies and other means of sustenance come to an end, they would realize too late how foolish they had been in forgetting their responsibility to glorify God.

Celebration in homes and palaces will cease —

C. (:14) 4 Images of Abandonment

1. Abandonment of Royal Residence

“Because the palace has been abandoned,”

2. Abandonment of Populated City

“the populated city forsaken.”

3. Abandonment of Defenses – hiding out in caves instead

“Hill and watch-tower have become caves forever,”

Parunak: The very last thing that a city would abandon would be its watchtower, placed on a high hill for better surveillance. Now wild animals roam through it.

Dancy: Enemy has toppled the watch-towers – means that your army has been defeated in the open field and the walls of the defenseless city have been torn down; metaphorical aspect

4. Abandonment of Civilized Inhabitation – overrun with wild donkeys and wild animals

“A delight for wild donkeys, a pasture for flocks;”

Wild animals will live in civilized places

How long will it be like this?? Answered in vs. 15; last days are upon us when the Holy Spirit (permanent presence of Christ)

arrives as permanent indwelling


A. (:15) Radical Transformation by the Outpouring of the Spirit – Imagery of Abundance

“Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high,

And the wilderness becomes a fertile field

And the fertile field is considered as a forest.”

Motyer: The reversals of verses 13-14 are not final; an even greater reversal awaits, through the promised agency of the divine Spirit.

Ironside: Peter applied the words of Joel 2 to what then took place, not as indicating that the prophecy was exhausted by that outpouring, but that it was of the same character as what was yet to come when Israel shall be brought back to God and the Spirit poured out upon them from on high and all the spared nations be blessed accordingly. It is of this the present passage speaks.

Parunak: This is the distinctive mark of the new covenant. This aspect of the promised age has already occurred.

We are all familiar with the key NT passage regarding the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

Gal. 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

But there is an OT passage from the prophet Isaiah that speaks of the fruit of the Holy Spirit as well. The context here is the future Millennial Kingdom – but the church certainly experiences right now the spiritual application of this fruit.

Time Reference:

32:15 “Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high”

(Joel 2:28-32; Eze. 39:29; Zech 12:10).

Genre: Hebrew parallelism

Young: As for this karmel (fruitful land), it is to be reckoned as a forest. What Isaiah means is that what at the present is considered to be a fruitful field will then be regarded as something far more glorious, as a forest where all grows wild. It is another picture of complete reversal, of complete change.

Brian Bell: The Bible never defines [the outpouring of the Holy Spirit] really. It just points out people who were.

[1] John the Baptist – “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”

[2] Stephen – ” But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,”

[3] Zechariah – “Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:…”

[4] Bezalel – “See, I have called by name Bezalel…And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, “to design artistic works,…”

Motyer: When that which is perfect comes, what now seems like ordered cultivation will look like scrub!

B. (:16-18) Reign of Justice and Righteousness in Peace and Security

1. (:16) Justice and Righteousness Administered

“Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,

And righteousness will abide in the fertile field.”

Oswalt: The true abundance will be in matters of the spirit. From the prophet’s perspective, Judah’s national life has been a desert. Righteousness and justice have withered away as people have abandoned God’s ways to pursue their own advantage and comfort. This abandonment has led to oppression of the poor and the establishment of a very questionable foreign policy. In effect, Judah has cut herself off from the source of her life. But in the days to come, when she is once again in touch with that source, God’s righteousness will be hers in abundance.

2. (:17) Peace and Security Established

“And the work of righteousness will be peace,

And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.”

peace – shalowm – completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

quietness – shaqat – to be quiet, be tranquil, be at peace, lie still, be undisturbed

confidence – betach – assurance, security, safety

3. (:18) Peace and Security Enjoyed

“Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,

And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;”



1. (:19a) Judgment on Pride of Israel

“And it will hail when the forest comes down,”

Oswalt: 2 main options

(1) It is a promise of the destruction of Assyria (cf. 10:33; 30:31)

(2) It speaks of the destruction of Israelite pride which must accompany the restoration of righteousness (1:29-31; 2:13; 29:2-4) [his preference]

2. (:19b) Humbling of Jerusalem

“And the city will be utterly laid low.”

Constable: The last two verses of this “woe” serve as an epilogue (cf. the prologue, 31:1-5). Again there is an abrupt transition from present terror to future tranquility. Judgment and glory both lay ahead for the Israelites, and it was time for them to choose to return to the Lord. God has revealed the distant future, as well as the immediate future, so people will get right with Him now. . .

The forest is a figure of soldiers (10:18, 33-34) and of the fallen world (2:12-13). The city refers to Jerusalem, but it also represents humankind organized in rebellion against God (24:10). Thus both the near and the far views of God’s actions blend here. God will destroy, the hail representing His devastating intervention in human life, both the Assyrian soldiers soon and the fallen world later (cf. 10:34). He would devastate Jerusalem soon and rebellious humankind later.

Guzik: If others feel the pelting hail, or are brought low in humiliation, it doesn’t matter to those blessed by the poured-out Spirit of God.


“How blessed will you be, you who sow beside all waters,

Who let out freely the ox and the donkey.”

Martin: the redeemed nation is assured that they will be blessed with agricultural productivity (cf. Ezek. 36:30) and with no rivalry over each other’s grazing land.

Young: These sow by every water, whenever the opportunity arises, and so enjoy the productivity and richness of a most fertile soil. Nor need they watch the animals, for these may roam where they will, unhindered and free from all dangers.

Oswalt: Those who plant their crops on the banks of streams have no fear of crop failure. In fact, they can even let their livestock loose to crop the first growth, so abundant will the plants be. So it will be for God’s people when they learn that the source of spiritual abundance is in God.

Constable: Their blessing will consist of divine favor (cf. Ps. 32:1), personal fulfillment (cf. Ps. 112:1), and total rectitude (cf. Ps. 2:12; 37:8-9).

Jim Bomkamp: Isaiah is seeking to install the importance of having an eternal perspective in these verses. The one who will be blessed is the one who will sow God’s word everywhere (beside all waters), and who allows the Lord to have free reign in all that he does (letting out freely the ox and the donkey). From the perspective of eternity these are the things that will be looked at as most important.

Motyer: This pastoral scene recalls the Messianic motifs of 30:23-26, where cattle range free and mountaintops run with water. . . The word translated how blessed has three shades: under divine blessing (Ps. 32:1); enjoying fulfillment in life (Ps. 112:1); and doing the right thing at the right time (Pss. 2;12; 137:8-9). In the present verse all three meet: divine favour, personal fulfillment and total rectitude.


God’s intention for His people has always been abundant blessing. But we must not confuse the complacent feasting of Isaiah’s day or our modern day culture with the true feasting which God has in store for us. God hates lukewarm hypocritical devotion. He want us to be sold out to Him and His Word so that we are serious about obeying and worshiping Him. This can only be accomplished by the out pouring of His Spirit. Hopefully you have experienced that already in salvation and are looking forward to that our pouring in the end times.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”