Isaiah the prophet is mentioning those that were making fun and are described in …
(Vs. 7-8) … “And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions. All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth”.
They were being befuddled, swallowed up. The ones who should be giving clear guidance and teaching in a desperate hour are “befuddled” spaced out, and staggering around in a drunken stupor. At any rate, Isaiah is so disgusted he expresses the depths of his disgust by describing they … “are covered with vomit”. Bodily indulgence weakens and lessens spiritual perception. Spiritually they could not see the mess they were in.
They were angry that Isaiah was treating them like they were little kids. They felt they were adults who could think for themselves; they didn’t need someone to tell them what to do or think. So they mimicked and made fun of Isaiah as if he was speaking baby talk to them “blah, blah, blah, blah” … “it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little … yeah, yeah yeah, yeah … already Isaiah. They were mocking Isaiah’s messages acting as if he were an adult lecturing a little child. They were refusing to take Isaiah’s words seriously. They wanted nothing to do with his message or his ministry.
Isaiah responds … because they think his ministry is just a bunch of meaningless mumbo-jumbo like noises to a baby. That is exactly what they will hear – in the mouths of foreign invaders:
(Vs. 11) … “For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the LORD will speak to this people”.
For, come what may, God will speak, when the simple comprehension of God’s Word is refused, his judgment falls on His professing people in the way of the unintelligible garbled, meaningless comprehension. In other words, they would not be able to understand the message. The Apostle Paul confronts the Corinthian believers in that same way, in fact, he quotes Isaiah 28:11 (in italics)
1 Corinthians 14:20 … “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
1 Corinthians 14:21 … “In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”
Their lack of unreadiness and refusal not to bow before the voice of God would keep them from the rest, comfort, stability and refreshment they could have…
Isaiah 28:13 … “to whom he has said, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear.
Isaiah 30:15 helps us understand what he meant … “For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling”.
Since they refuse God’s invitation to rest in him by abandoning their petty pride and shameful pleasures … “they would not hear”. Hear with the desire to understand. Because they would not hear Isaiah the Lord said that His word to them would be irrelevant, neither here nor there. They could take it or leave it. They would not hear that which would be rest and refreshing to them. They would let it go in one ear and out the other. They had no mind to hear it. They had the letter of the precept, but no experience of the power and spirit of it; it was continually beating upon them, but it beat nothing into them.
Let’s read: Isaiah 28:13 … “And the word of the LORD will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
Sound familiar? The way they made fun of Isaiah’s message now has become a reality to them. In other words, the script has now flipped. The Lord turned their mocking back on them. It would be time for an attitude adjustment … “that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken”. The NET Bible puts it like this … “As a result, they will fall on their backsides when they try to walk, and be injured, ensnared, and captured. Just like a drunk trying to walk forward only to fall back. If the people will not learn the easy way of faith, then they must learn the hard way of experience (vs. 28:13) … “They will go and fall backward”.
Matthew Henry comments on Isaiah 28 ... ”God by his word calls us to nothing but what is really for our advantage; for the service of God is the only true rest for those that are weary of the service of sin and there is no refreshing but under the easy yoke of the Lord Jesus.”
Has the Word of God become like baby talk to you or irrelevant and neither here nor there? Does the Word of God just sound like garbled, mumbo-jumbo? Are you being swallowed up by other things, distractions or other pursuits? Has pride and shameful pleasures caused you not to hear God’s Word?
If we do not learn by the easy way of faith, then we must learn the hard way of experience
Psalm 119:10-11 … “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:15-16 … “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
To reject the Word of God is not to escape it!
Grace and Peace