Isaiah 1:1-10

Isa 1:1

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.


The vision of Isaiah was a complete revelation by God given to him.  The main focus of his vision is Judah and Jerusalem which have descended into sin and Isaiah is to warn them of their impending judgment if they do not return to the LORD.  There is nothing known of Amoz except that he was the father of Isaiah.  He is mentioned 13 times in Scripture.  He is not to be confused with Amos the prophet.  Amos the prophet prophesied between 760-755 B.C.


Isa 1:2

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.


Here Isaiah gives the first indictment against the children of Judah that what he is saying came from the mouth of God.  The word “nourished” carries with it the meaning of “raised” as a child is raised in a family.  Then the LORD declares that Judah has rebelled against him.  They became self-sufficient in their eyes and forgot God was their source of everything.


Isa 1:3

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.


Here they are compared to animals who seem to have more sense than humans and that carries true in modern times.  The ox knows his owner and what is required of him for his daily work.  The ass or donkey knows the master’s crib where he rests, feeds and finds safety from outside evils.  The people of Israel did not even have as much sense as these two dull animals.  As the animals consider their masters who take care of them, the people of Israel did not even have that much sense in acknowledging the fact that God is the one was their master and took care of them from the time they became a nation.


Isa 1:4

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.


Then Isaiah describes the reality of their situation.  The word “ah” is a prophetic interjection which means “alas or woe.”  He calls them a sinful nation which means their sin has permeated the entire nation and not just a part.  Then they are called a “people laden with iniquity” and the word “laden” carries with it the meaning of “loaded or overloaded.” Then they are called “children that are corrupters” which mean they are not only corrupt themselves but have corrupted others into sinning along with them. In both word and deed.  They have forsaken their covenants with God and have forsaken him and that forsaking has caused them to provoke the Holy One of Israel to anger which is contrasted with the unholy ones who have provoked the LORD.  The word “provoked” carries with the meaning of “despised or hated” and as a result they have gone backward which is an interesting word because its action of going backward denotes judgment. 


There is a phenomenon which has taken hold in many churches called "Slain in the Spirit." When this event happens a person falls backward into the arms of another so there will be no injury. Concerning the so-called spiritual benefit someone derives from it, I do not know what is gained. What I do know is that this event has nothing whatsoever to do with the reception of the Holy Spirit or propelling someone into a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.


In fact, if we trace the actions involved with this activity in the Scriptures, we will see that falling backward is not a stepping stone into a deeper life but it is a sign of the judgment of God. The desire for signs and wonders in the contemporary church is pandemic. Jesus seriously warns us about the seeking of signs and wonders in Matthew 12:38-40:


(Mat 12:38-40 KJV) Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. {39} But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: {40} For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.


These passages pull no punches as it states that anyone who seeks a sign is evil and adulterous. First, they are evil because they seek to put God to the test. Secondly, they are adulterous because signs and wonders adulterate the purity and true meaning of the gospel. In our day there are literally millions who think they are in right relationship with God because of supernatural events like our topic but are heading straight for hell because they are evil and adulterous. This speaks of spiritual adultery which is as sinful as physical adultery.


As we will see, in the Bible, falling backward is always associated with some type of judgment, which in itself is a strong warning of the final judgment in Revelation 20. The following Scripture passages shed light on falling backward:


(1 Sam 4:18 KJV) And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.


(John 18:6 KJV) As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.


These are two actual, historical events which show us that falling backward is a judgment.


God also uses the word "backward" in conjunction with sin and rebellion.


(Gen 49:17 KJV) Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.


(Psa 70:2 KJV) Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.


(Isa 1:4 KJV) Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.


(Isa 28:13 KJV) 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.


(Jer 7:24 KJV) But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.


(Jer 15:6 KJV) Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.


(Lam 1:8 KJV) Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.


Other verses which illuminate this teaching are found in: Gen. 19:26; Psalm 53:3; Luke 9:62; 17:32; Acts 7:39; Hebrews 10:38-39. In all these verses, back or backward is directly related to judgment. Those who believe they are being slain in the spirit are actually under the judgment of God. Satan comes as an angel of light and we must be aware of his counterfeit gospels.


Isa 1:5

Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.


To be stricken was to be “beaten or knocked down.”  God is asking them why do you want to continue to be chastened in judgment for your actions.  It seems the more divine judgment they receive, the more they continue to revolt against the LORD.  They are so permeated with sin in two vital places which affect the entire body.  The head which would be the leaders of Judah which are the ones who are supposed to set the right examples and the heart which is the center of the entire body which will affect all other vital organs or basically allows the sin to spread to every place in their body.  Their heart was their religion which was so corrupted at this time.


Isa 1:6

From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.


Here God describes them as a human body which is totally permeated with sins from the head to the toes.  There is no soundness, that is, no place which has not been affected by sin.  They are like those who have wounds, bruises, and putrifying sores all over their body.  Putrifying means like it is “dripping” from the wound which could be blood or puss.  The ancient Egyptians had already been using surgical techniques on the human body but the Israelites did not do that.  When there was an open wound, they would bind the wound together and allow the body to seal it and then it would heal but it would leave a large deforming scar.  Their sins were like these wounds, they were right in the open and were dripping evil from every place on the body.  They did nothing to try and stop their sinning or any type of repentance which would be represented by the mollifying ointment.  Mollify means to “quell, calm down, or be still.”


Isa 1:7

Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.


Here is a strong prophecy that Isaiah makes to Judah because of their refusal to come back to the LORD.  The cities will be desolate which means uninhabited or deserted which happened twice to them in 587 B.C when Babylon took them into captivity for seventy years and in 70 A.D. when the final end of Israel would happen.  Then their cities will be burned as both Babylon and Rome would do that.  The strangers are the Babylonians and Romans when they will sack the city and burn the temple and the people will see the destruction and then will be carried away.  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. (Matthew 22:7)   They will not be able to mount any kind of defense against either of them since their power would be overwhelming.  After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. eyewitnesses stated the devastation was so immense that it looked like no one ever lived there.


Isa 1:8

And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.


During the time that vineyards are showing the fruits on the trees the vineyard owners would hire people to actually watch the fields to protect them from predators whether they be people or animals.  Sometimes the vineyards were so big they could not keep bringing people in and out every day, so to remedy this problem they would build a small cottage somewhere in the vineyard and the watchman would remain there until the time of the harvest.  Then once the harvest has taken place the cottage or lodge would be abandoned and left to disintegrate under the elements.  Here the children of Israel are being likened to that cottage in that they have degenerated into rebellion against the LORD and were slowly failing under the weight of their sin.  They are also likened to a besieged city which is destroyed by the invading enemy and in this case the invading enemy is their rebellion against God.


Isa 1:9

Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.


The remnant are those who are true believers.  Those who did not choose to follow the pernicious ways of the majority were a remnant or a very small part of the population.  It is the same with the church today, there are only a small remnant of true believers in every church even though every church likes to think of their entire congregation as saved.  The fact that Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned makes Judah just like them.  Abraham pleaded with the LORD that if he found but ten righteous in those cities would the LORD spare them?  The LORD said yes he would but in all four cities which were destroyed there was not even ten righteous or saved.  The four cities are: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim.  This means that the saved are a small remnant.


Isa 1:10

Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.


Hear Isaiah is calling the people to hear the word of God but he likens the rulers to those of Sodom and the people to those of Gomorrah.  Judah had become so sinful that they became just like the heathens and there seemed to be no difference between the pagans and Judah who had the true God not a pantheon of permissive false gods.