Isaiah 31


The theme of chapters 7-39 is the trustworthiness of God.

Beginning in Chapter 13:1 and continuing through 35:10, Isaiah spoke of God’s judgment on the nations. 
Their ultimate destiny is in his hands is stressed  through out these chapters.


13-23 – The fate of the nations is in God’s hands

24-27 – God controls history

28-33 – So, Trusting nations instead of God is foolish

24-25 – Trust in nations results in a desert; Trust in God results in a garden.

36-38 – Are historical proof that Isaiah words and God’s character are true.


Chapter 31

This fifth “woe” deals with the foolishness of going to Egypt for help.

God is attempting to destroy false hope so that a “hopeless” people will turn to him is grace and find secure hope.


The problem is not that they are using military equipment or horses or peace treaties.

The problem is that they do not want to trust God so they are finding other ways of preserving themselves.

The nation wants to continue in their Godless society so they have to go somewhere else besides to God for help.

Some actions by themselves always show a failure to trust God.  Stealing will always be an action that can go hand in hand with trusting God.

In Israel’s case here, going to Egypt is always wrong.  Partly because it was going backwards in God’s revelation of his redemptive plan he demonstrated with the Exodus.


Horses were introduced in the middle East around 1800 BC.

This changed warfare with chariots and then the development of the cavalry.

Horses were very effective and gave the army that possessed them speed, mobility and the shock effect.

But, there were limitations.  They were not as effective in hilly country like Judea.

Still Judah was impressed with them even though God told them not to get horses and even though they were not useful in the hills.

Today, many nations are impressed with sophisticated and nuclear weapons. 
These weapons alone do not guarantee victory or security for those nations.

The Assyrian field marshal mocked that Israel would not know what to do with horses if  they did have them in 36:8,9



The wisdom of the political advisors can not out think the Wise God who has planned  to destroy those who refuse to trust him.

His word was trust him or be destroyed.  Egyptian help will not change his word.



The flesh world vs. the spirit world

The spirit world is always more real, more eternal, and more influential. 

Spirit is stronger.

Zechariah 4:6, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

John 3:6, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but spirit gives birth to spirit.”



The Lord is the Lion attaching Jerusalem.

He will not be frightened off by the shepherds (Egyptian army coming to defend Jerusalem).



The Lord will also be the protector of Jerusalem.



Isaiah tells his generation to return to the Lord because in the future a generation of Israel  will respond at the Lord’s second coming.


Assyria will fall by the spiritual sword of the Lord in:

a)      701 BC when Sennacherib invades Judah (Isaiah 37:36)

b)      Rev. 19 and Zech.14 when Jesus returns to fight against the Assyrian Anti-Christ.



Assyria’s battle tested commanders will lose their courage and flee when they see Lord.


Chapters 32

These chapters give a different alternative to the previous chapters 30-31.

These verses speak of both:

a)      a contemporary option if they chose to follow God

b)      the ultimate future when the LORD reigns



In comparison to Assyria’s coward commanders, in the future the Lord’s rulers will be like the Lord:

a)      Righteous (reign in righteousness)

b)      just (will rule with justice)

c)      protective (shelter from the wind

d)      a refuge (refuge from the storm)

e)      providing (streams of water in the desert)

f)        refreshing (shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land)


In chapters 29-31 the leaders trusted nations, hid their plans from God, thought they controlled history, etc.


In 29:20 the leaders where to be feared and the people needed refuge from their leaders.


Jesus was the good leader.  He would weather the storm to protect his people.

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the

sheep. . . he abandons the sheep           and runs away.”

Matthew 20:28, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ live the church and gave himself up for her. . .”



Good leaders will enable the people to grow and prosper spiritually. 

The spiritual transformation of the leaders will lead to spiritual awakening of people.


Note again the leaders spiritual dullness in 28:7,8; 29:9, 10, 14; 30:1, 2; 31:1


Stubbornness towards God leads to spiritual dullness.  That is why Isaiah was told his words would be met with rejection in 6:10.


John 7:17, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”


Remember though, people get the leaders they deserve as in Isaiah 3:1-4, 12, “See now, the Lord,  . . .is about to take from Jerusalem

and Judah . . .the hero and warrior, the judge and prophet. . .I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them. . .Youths

oppress my people, women rule over them.  O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.”



Because people are humble before God they will learn his ways and think like him.

With this true reality of righteousness the people will not get things upside down.

One of the benefits of walking in the light is the ability to truly evaluate people based on their character.


a)      the fool (nbl) is not noble (ndb)

b)      scoundrels are not respected


Proverbs 4:18, 19, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever           

brighter till the full light of day.  But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;

they do not know what makes them stumble.”



“Fool” in the OT is one who is conscious of right but chooses not to do it.  He has                    

consciously rejected God’s ways of life and has chosen death instead.

The misleading part of the fool’s life is that its short-term results benefit the fool and                   

may confuse unbelievers and believers who have not learned to see life from the divine viewpoint.

a)      speaks folly

b)      mind is on evil

c)      practices ungodliness

d)      spreads false teaching (doctrine, theology)

e)      leaves hungry empty

f)        withholds water from thirsty



“Scoundrel is a worse character.

a)      wicked methods

b)      evil schemes

c)      destroys poor with lies

d)      unjust



Conduct reveals character.

Noble refers to a man’s character.  A man who trusts God and so can do what is right



Negative.  Humanity will destroy itself before it cries out to God for help.




Positive.  The land will prosper and produce because God will respond to man’s cry for help by empowering them with his Spirit.



Women participating in a harvest festival.

Isaiah now speaks to the women of his generation. 
Maybe because the call to the men had failed.

The problem here is not the harvest or the ease of life.

The problem is they are assuming these blessings will continue even as they go further into unbelief and disobedience.

Good things are not a guarantee.

It upset Isaiah that after all his warnings of disaster they continued on with their   celebrations as if nothing was going to change.



Disaster would come before another harvest.

Assyrian invasion will destroy next years crop.



After man has failed, God will show up. 

There is still an emphasis on the material but only with an equal emphasis on justice, righteousness