Published on
October 11, 2023

Isaiah 32

“Indeed, a king will reign righteously, and rulers will rule justly. Each will be like a shelter from the wind, a refuge from the rain..."

Author Photo
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Isaiah 32
“Indeed, a king will reign righteously, and rulers will rule justly. Each will be like a shelter from the wind, a refuge from the rain, like streams of water in a dry land and the shade of a massive rock in an arid land. Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. The reckless mind will gain knowledge, and the stammering tongue will speak clearly and fluently. A fool will no longer be called a noble, nor a scoundrel be said to be important.” Isaiah 32:1–5

No fools or scoundrels? Sounds like bad news for Washington DC! The unbeliever is a fool. The foolish enjoy the company of folly; their perception is twisted. The folly and confusion which characterized Isaiah’s day changed with the coming of a king.

Having introduced the idea of a new order in chapter 31, Isaiah now launches into a description of the righteous rule of that era’s king. As to the identity of the “king”, commentators have been divided. It seems clear enough, however, that it cannot be Hezekiah, for the king Isaiah has in mind is completely righteous. Therefore, Isaiah must be speaking about a Messianic rule: the righteous government of Messiah Jesus.

But what of this king’s subjects described by Isaiah as “rulers”? (Which makes sense, because we will reign with Messiah (2 Timothy 2:12).) Whereas the foolish are crafty and cunning, dedicated to doing evil things, using all kinds of tricks and plots to deceive, the disciples of Messiah will be enlightened and noble. Salvation changes men’s minds and makes them wise. This is something God promised to do in Isaiah 29.

“Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” Isaiah 29:14 (See also: 1 Corinthians 1:19)

We will see how, in just over a year’s time, things will change drastically for Jerusalem. The description of Jerusalem’s transformation seems to transcend anything that happened in Isaiah’s time. Once again the prophet is using the events of his day to teach greater truths. Following the judgment of Jerusalem comes the outpouring of the Spirit. Shavuot (Pentecost) naturally comes to mind. Also see: Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17–18, 33; 10:45.

But there are even greater things here: A new order of things will be established where there is fruitfulness, peace, righteousness, quietness, security, and rest. These “attributes” are descriptive of the new earth, the home of the righteous. They are also given to believers as a deposit of sorts, distinguishing us from the world and reminding us to live in hope of that glorious day when the “New Jerusalem” will be revealed.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. There is no law against such things.” Galatians 5:22–23

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