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Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
THE DECAY OF AN INTEMPERATE PEOPLE
A new series of prophecies begins here and extends to Isa_32:20. Samaria is described as a faded crown or garland on the nation’s head because it was disgraced by the national drunkenness. See Amo_4:1. So corrupted was she by strong drink and its attendant evils that the Assyrian invader would plunder her as a man gathers ripe figs. But to Judah, that is, the remnant, the Lord would be a crown or garland, not of pride but of glory. His beauty would not be as a fading flower, but a lasting diadem. What wine is to the sensuous man, that God is to the spiritual. See Eph_5:18. You that have to form right judgments, and you that have to turn the battle from the gate, will find all your need in Him. In Isa_28:7-8 we have a terrible picture of widespread effects of strong drink; and in Isa_28:9-10 the prophet recites the ribald remarks addressed to himself by the roisterers of those evil days. He replies that God would Himself answer them by the stern accents of the Assyrian tongue, which would sound like stammering, Isa_28:11; and this would befall them because they would not need the wooing accents of His love, Isa_28:12.
Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
TRUTH THE ONLY REFUGE
In the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign the Jewish leaders had made an alliance with Assyria, on whom they relied to protect them against any and all foes. But the prophet told them plainly that they would be disappointed, and that when the Assyrian scourge passed through the land toward Egypt, it would involve them also in disaster, Isa_28:18. Then he broke out with this sublime description of the only foundation of security that could never fail. The deep meaning of this prediction of the precious corner-stone is unfolded in later Scriptures, Mat_21:42; Eph_2:20; 1Pe_2:7. Christ was tried by Satan and by man: He is precious: He unites the walls of Jew and Gentile that were at right-angles to each other. All our excuses and professions are too short and too narrow when God enters into judgment. Outside of Christ there is neither peace nor safety. See that thou buildest Him a holy character of gold, silver, and precious stones, 1Co_3:10, etc.