Evil and Oppression
59 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies;
your tongue mutters wickedness.
No one enters suit justly;
no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.
They hatch adders’ eggs;
they weave the spider’s web;
he who eats their eggs dies,
and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.
Their webs will not serve as clothing;
men will not cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
and deeds of violence are in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
and they are swift to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
desolation and destruction are in their highways.
The way of peace they do not know,
and there is no justice in their paths;
they have made their roads crooked;
no one who treads on them knows peace.
Therefore justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not overtake us;
we hope for light, and behold, darkness,
and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
We grope for the wall like the blind;
we grope like those who have no eyes;
we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
among those in full vigor we are like dead men.
We all growl like bears;
we moan and moan like doves;
we hope for justice, but there is none;
for salvation, but it is far from us.
For our transgressions are multiplied before you,
and our sins testify against us;
for our transgressions are with us,
and we know our iniquities:
transgressing, and denying the LORD,
and turning back from following our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.
Judgment and Redemption
Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has stumbled in the public squares,
and uprightness cannot enter.
Truth is lacking,
and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
The LORD saw it, and it displeased him
that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm brought him salvation,
and his righteousness upheld him.
He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
According to their deeds, so will he repay,
wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;
to the coastlands he will render repayment.
So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west,
and his glory from the rising of the sun;
for he will come like a rushing stream,
which the wind of the LORD drives.
“And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”
Isaiah 59 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Sin is offensive. There, I said it. We are so good at relegating our sins to the back burner of thought. We insanely justify behavior that God is not pleased with. We choose to live life the way we want. We spend money many times on things that bring pleasure to us rather than for Kingdom advancement. We pursue selfish desires. We allow rifts within relationships, seek our own pleasure and become riddled with pride rather than humility.
Sin is offensive. It is offensive to others but more importantly to God.
Sin completely separates us from God. You see, because God is holy and because He desires more from His children, He cannot or will not ignore or excuse our sin. In turn, when we continue in our ways after the Holy Spirit has brought attention to areas that must change our sin separates us from Him and brings isolation. This chapter holds a long laundry list of what Israel had done and continued to do in their willfulness. Much hasn’t changed.
God knows firsthand how our sins cut us off from Him. This is why He makes it a point to bring it to our attention. Until we’ve humbly submitted ourselves to Him, the sin dealt with, we cannot come into His presence. Where has God been speaking to you about behaviors, attitudes, forms of thought He is not pleased with? Consider the strong statement – He is offended by these things. The road to reconciliation with Him begins with humility and confession. It’s the only way.
Isaiah 59 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
In a beautiful example of what it is like for the Lord to work in a person’s heart, Isaiah speaks directly to the blindness of Israel. In reality, it is the blindness we all have experienced. Early in Chapter 6, before the introduction of Jesus (The Servant), Isaiah is told by God that his message will only contribute to the blindness of his people. There was no spiritual awakening without Christ.
Now, in Chapter 59, the people are not only blind, but they actually have no eyes.
We grope along the wall like blind men, We grope like those who have no eyes; We stumble at midday as in the twilight, Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men.Isaiah 59:10 NASB
There is no difference between light and dark. The people stumble along grasping for anything to help them navigate. They are as good as dead.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,Ephesians 2:1 NASB
When you were dead in your transgression…Col 2:13a
We are these people. We are the walking dead. However, as we will read in Isaiah 60-62, there is hope. Now, we have been introduced to The Servant. No longer will Isaiah’s message be a stumbling block leading to blindness, but the joyous hope of new vision! It’s Salvation through Jesus Christ.