Isaiah 32

The Hope of Future Blessing

In chapter 32, we have two distinct sections referring to coming renewal while sandwiched between that theme of renewal is quite a rebuke for complacency.

Renewal Promised (1-8)

Isaiah envisions the coming of the righteous King and His leaders who are contrasted with the drunken leaders of chapter 28.

The nature of work of the King and His leaders is described in the following seven verses.

It is in that day, the day of renewal, when the righteous King and His leaders would change the hearts of men (1). Their leadership would be marked by their ability to create spiritual safety in times of difficulty, and refreshing and shade in seasons of unrelenting heat (2). Their leadership would cause people to become wise, insightful, loving, learned, and able to listen (3). Those in a hurry to do their own thing would slow down and begin to understand Yahweh's pace and will. Those who stammer out drunken nonsense would be made to speak clearly as they would grasp the true nature of Yahweh (4).

More than that, even the ways of the foolish and wicked would be revealed and become evident. No longer would the fool be the hero and the scoundrel be respected—the fool being described as those who were bent on devising plans and teaching nonsense in order to practice their greed (5-7). Instead, the new King and His leaders would change the nature of people; they would be generous, make plans to do good, and be those consistent in generosity (8).

The Calling Out of Complacency (9-14)

This section focuses on complacent women who did not believe judgment was coming—those who could not imagine the Assyrian invasion and the accompanying devastation. The women had dug so deep into complacency as all seemed to be going well. Harvests were large, the people were seemingly at peace, and all was imagined as on track for a bright future (9).

Isaiah predicted that in a little more than a year the invasion of Judah would begin. The women would be moved from complacency to shuttering as they would witness the harvest being trampled and abused by the invading army (10).

Yahweh calls for the women of Judah to come out of their complacency, to become less concerned with their fashion and more concerned with prayer, repentance, and sorrow as they considered the future which their past deeds were forming into harsh consequences (11-12). Their farms would become a weed patch, their safe homes gone, government buildings deserted, commerce ended, and their military fortresses overgrown with grasses suitable only to feed animals (13-14).

Renewal Accomplished (15-20)

Isaiah then begins to prophesy how the renewal would happen, what would make the new King and His leaders so successful in setting up a kingdom of such blessing and heart change.

The Holy Spirit would be poured out and change everyone. Other prophets had prophesied such a season (Ezekiel 36:26–27; 37:14; Joel 2:28–29), so Isaiah lends his voice to this great theme.

The Holy Spirit would cause the very earth to become fertile again because justice would be restored to all (15-16). Justice was seen as a fruit of righteousness—a word used to describe the nature of those who took to loving Yahweh so deeply that they began to think and act like Him.

This righteousness would create a culture of peace, confidence, security, and rest (17-18).

About 115 years after the Assyrian invasion, about 586 B.C., Judah would fall to the Babylonians. The Assyrians had destroyed forty-six cities but were stopped at Jerusalem. The Babylonians would finish what Assyria had begun, but even then Yahweh would not forget His people and there would come an ultimate day of Yahweh pouring out His Spirit and renewing the whole world, sending His King (19-20).