Isaiah 30:8-14, 17, 18
Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:…
This severe denunciation by the prophet of the sins of the Jews may remind us of some of the darker and sadder aspects of sin itself.
I. THE PERMANENCY OF ITS RECORD. Isaiah was to record the guilt of "the rebellious children" in a book, that it might be there inscribed "for the time to come forever and ever." And in the sacred volume there stand written, to be read for all time, the accusations which the Lord brought against Israel; the record of their national perversity remains after all these centuries have passed, and will remain for centuries to come. Apart from such instrumentality as was here employed, the sins we commit find a lasting record. They are printed in the faces and the forms of men, they are legible in their lives, they are apparent in their characters, they survive in their reputation, they live on forever m the ineffaceable influences which are left behind them and which are transmitted from age to age. The sins of the fathers may be read in the lowered and injured lives of the children unto the third and the fourth generation. We little think how and where and when our guilt is being recorded in one or other of the many books of God.
II. ITS OBDURACY. "Children that will not hear the Law of the Lord" (ver. 9). Contumacy reaches its utmost length when it closes its ears against the Word of the all-wise and almighty God. It is by degrees that the heart becomes thus hardened. Diminished pleasure, inattention, avoidance, the closed ear of the soul - by such stages as these man descends to the obduracy which is here rebuked.
III. ITS POWER OF IMPOSING ON ITSELF. (Vers. 10, 11.) When sin is in full possession of the soul it makes men believe that to be false which they do not wish to be true, and that true which they do not like to consider false; it prevails on them to regard the rugged things to be wrong, and the smooth things to be sound; then it leads them to find a voice for this palatable and comforting doctrine; so that they encourage those to speak who will keep silence as to all Divine but disagreeable truth, and give utterance to pleasant and profitable perversions.
IV. THE APPARENT SUDDENNESS OF ITS PENALTY. (Ver. 13.) The spendthrift is getting poorer every month for many years, but bankruptcy comes on him suddenly at last. The dishonest man is getting hopelessly involved for years, but his reputation is blasted in an hour. The fascinations of the cup are long gaining ascendency, but in some evil day the victim of this baleful vice is seen staggering in the streets. Passion may have been winning the mastery from youth upwards, but at a certain point it blazes forth, and the life-blood is shed. Penalty generally comes at last with seeming suddenness, like the breaking wall that has long bent but comes down in a moment.
V. THE COMPLETENESS OF ITS PENALTY. (Ver. 14.)
VI. ITS APPROPRIATENESS. (Ver. 16.) The punishment of Judah's sin should have a marked correspondence with the guilt itself. This is constant. Sins of the flesh make their mark upon the body; sins of the mind leave their stain upon the spirit; folly in the home will end in domestic sorrow; he that withholds from others starves himself; he that oppresses others does violence to his own soul, etc. There will always be found a fitness in the penalty to the sin for which a man is suffering. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap;" he that soweth the wind, shall reap the whirlwind (Galatians 6:7; Hosea 8:7). - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: