The Old Testament lesson for Sunday, Isiah 29:11-19, seemed to be ripped out of context. The people were unable to read the book. What was that about? I thought of some dreams a person has where no matter how hard you try you just can’t get to where you’re going or do what you need to do. In this case they were unable to unseal the book, because they read with blind eyes and not the insight which the Holy Spirit gives.
The situation is that Jerusalem, the city where David encamped, was under siege. However, God whose dwelling place on earth was Jerusalem and the temple now intended to encamp against the city, to raise siege works against His own home. Theoretically, it was impossible for God’s city to be conquered, but that is exactly what was going to happen.
The prophets, priests and princes and consequently the people have blinded themselves to what is going on. Instead of turning to God they follow the conventional wisdom of turning to an alliance with Egypt to save them from the threat of the Babylonians. To the Lord the formidable foe besieging Jerusalem is like a puff of dust or smoke. If God removed his support from them, they would be like a dream gone upon awaking.
However, even though the people worship and read the scroll of the scripture, they can’t understand. Nevertheless, God promises that once Babylon has exacted his punishment upon his people, he will do wonder upon wonder for them. God will deliver them from exile in Babylon, just as he rescued his people from slavery in Egypt.
Looking ahead to the coming of Jesus, Christ and Messiah, God will do wonder upon wonder for the whole world though they do not recognize his lordship. He will confound the wisdom of the wise and the discernment of the discerning, through grace upon grace.