Fear of Conspiracy
(Isa 8:11) For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
(Isa 8:12) "You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
(Isa 8:13) "It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.
(Isa 8:14) "Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
(Isa 8:15) "Many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and caught."
In these seemingly simple five verses the prophet Isaiah was instructed by God to speak to the people of Judah. Upon quick examination of this material the message seems clear enough. Thus it becomes all too easy to give them a cursory glance-hence one can miss the completeness of the message which these verses mean for us today. We shall attempt to break down some of the commonly used words in these verses into their original Hebrew definitions, while linking additional verses throughout Scripture which further support the concept of these important five verses in Isaiah.
First Verse: (Isa 8:11) For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
The Lord gives instruction to Isaiah-he is not to walk in the same paths as the people of Judah-that is not to live in the fear of man, but rather to live in “the fear of the Lord”. We will expand on this in a bit in the next few verses of Isaiah chapter 8. A verse from the Psalms and a verse from the Proverbs is where we will begin:
(Psa 32:8) I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
(Pro 1:15) My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path,
I came across the following excerpt from The Life Application Study Bible-I thought I would include this:
Sin is enticing because it offers a quick route to prosperity or pleasure and makes us feel like one of the crowd. But when we go along with others and refuse to listen to the truth, our own appetites become our masters, and we'll do anything to satisfy them. Sin, even when attractive, is deadly. We must learn to make choices, not on the basis of flashy appeal or short-range pleasure, but in view of the long-range effects. Sometimes this means steering clear of people who want to entice us into activities that we know are wrong. We can't be friendly with sin and expect our lives to remain unaffected.
The Lord instructs the prophet Ezekiel in chapter 2 in a similar kind of way. Let's take a look at this a comparison.
(Eze 2:7) "But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.
(Eze 2:8) "Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you."
Second Verse: (Isa 8:12) "You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
The people of Judah were living in fear of their enemy-the confederacy of Samaria and Assyria against Judah. The people of Judah were calling this this out as a conspiracy against them, as these were powerful enemies. In the natural the fear was overwhelming. It does not take a vivid imagination to fast forward this thought and apply it to our condition today. Let's bring accurate definition to the term “conspiracy”from the original Hebrew:
From H7194; an (unlawful) alliance: - confederacy, conspiracy, treason.
Perhaps our modern view of “conspiracy” may be slightly different than the above definition. In American pop-culture “conspiracy theorists” are more popular than ever in the media.
(Luk 12:4) "I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.
Personalities such as Alex Jones, Jessie Ventura and like genre are at the top of their game as broadcasters of “conspiracy”. People are becoming very afraid and agitated as a result.
(Luk 12:5) "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!
Purchases of firearms and ammunition are at record breaking levels. “Prepping” has been well advertised and has become popular in order to prepare for the coming cataclismic events. We are told we must hoard food and other essentials, and purchase gold.
(1Pe 3:14) But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,
(1Pe 3:15) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
Sadly, few are speaking of preparing one's soul, of being a faithful remnant as the children of God, who will preserve a remnant to fulfill His purposes. Contrary to popular thought, we are not to live in fear of conspiracy, and not to be existing in dread of it. Understandably, this is not an easy call to avoid this madness in our world today.
Third Verse: (Isa 8:13) "It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.
Let's begin with some key word defiitions from the Hebrew. These words seem so simple-yet lets be sure to have full understanding of these words so that we don't miss anything from the Scriptures.
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: - Jehovah, the Lord. Compare H3050, H3069.
From H6633; a mass of persons (or figurative things), especially regularly organized for war (an army); by implication a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically hardship, worship): - appointed time, (+) army, (+) battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war (-fare).
A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): - appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self), X wholly.
מורה מרא מורא
môrâ' môrâ' môrâh
mo-raw', mo-raw', mo-raw'
From H3372; fear; by implication a fearful thing or deed: - dread, (that ought to be) fear (-ed), terribleness, terror.
A primitive root; to awe or (intransitively) to dread; hence to harass: - be affrighted (afraid, dread, feared, terrified), break, dread, fear, oppress, prevail, shake terribly.
Whom shall I fear? Man or God?
(Psa 76:7) You, even You, are to be feared; And who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry?
Whom shall I trust? Man or God? Remember-for some who are unsaved the answer is not quite so obvious.
(Isa 26:4) "Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.
Living in fear of the unknown. Being oppressed by the fear of man is dreadful: to dread; hence to harass: - be affrighted (afraid, dread, feared, terrified), break, dread, fear, oppress, prevail, shake terribly.
From the Gospel of Matthew:
(Mat 10:28) "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Before we continue to verses 14 and 15 I would like to tie all this together with the following excerpt from The Bible Knowledge Commentary:
The Lord had promised to be with His people (Isa_8:10), but many in both Israel and Judah refused to believe He would keep His promise. The Lord warned Isaiah not to be like many of those people (Isa_8:11). Again Isaiah emphasized that the people of Judah should not be afraid of the Aram-Israel alliance or of the Assyrian threat looming on the horizon (Isa_8:12). Rather they were to be afraid of the Lord Almighty. He is the One they should fear and dread (Isa_8:13; cf. fear and dread in Isa_8:12 and see the comments on “fear” in Deu_4:10). The Lord will be a sanctuary, a place of safety, for those who believe in Him, but for those who do not believe Him, He will be the means of destruction (a stone… a rock.… a trap, and a snare). Peter quoted part of Isa_8:14 (1Pe_2:8), referring to those who reject Jesus Christ. Isaiah’s message follows an emphasis in the Old Testament. God promised that those who believe in and obey the Lord will be blessed but those who refuse to believe in and obey Him will be disciplined.
Fourth Verse: (Isa 8:14) "Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Isaiah instructed the house of Judah to look to the salvation of God-or else to look forward to a stone of stumbling. Let's take a look at some Hebrew definitions for select words in this verse:
From H6942; a consecrated thing or place, especially a palace, sanctuary (whether of Jehovah or of idols) or asylum: - chapel, hallowed part, holy place, sanctuary.
Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.): - court, daughter, door, + dungeon, family, + forth of, X great as would contain, hangings. home[born], [winter]house (-hold), inside(-ward), palace, place, + prison, + steward, + tablet, temple, web, + within (-out).
From the root of H1129 through the meaning, to build; a stone: - + carbuncle, + mason, + plummet, [chalk-, hail-, bead-, sling-] stone (-ny), (divers) weight (-s).
From H5062; a trip (of the foot); figuratively an infliction (of disease): - plague, stumbling.
From H6696; properly a cliff (or sharp rock, as compressed); generally a rock or boulder; figuratively a refuge; also an edge (as precipitous): - edge, X (mighty) God (one), rock, X sharp, stone, X strength, X strong. See also H1049.
Masculine from H3782; a stumblingblock, literally or figuratively (obstacle, enticement (specifically an idol), scruple): - caused to fall, offence, X [no-] thing offered, ruin, stumbling-block.
From H3369; a noose (for catching animals), (literally or figuratively); by implication a hook (for the nose): - be ensnared, gin, (is) snare (-d), trap.
This Psalm is one that brings comfort in times of trouble:
(Psa 46:1) For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Psa 46:2) Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
We cannot earn salvation by following a set of guidelines, rules or traditions. Paul says in Romans that Israel pursuing a law of righteousness-did not arrive at that law-they did not pursue it by faith. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.
(Rom 9:31) but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. (Rom 9:32) Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, (Rom 9:33) just as it is written, "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
When people neglect to pursue the things of God they eventually lose their ability to understand the very things of God. And eventually their lives begin to assimilate into the things of the world.
(Rom 11:9) And David says, "LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM. (Rom 11:10) "LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER."
They stumble because they were disobedient to the Word. Certain doom approaches on the horizon.
(1Pe 2:8) and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
Some will even claim to have peace apart from God. This is only an illusion, and in reality this is only a trap.
(Psa 69:22) May their table before them become a snare; And when they are in peace, may it become a trap.
(Psa 11:6) Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup.
Fifth Verse: (Isa 8:15) "Many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and caught."
Though many will stumble and fall, there will be those of us who will join the faithful remnant of believers. For those who refuse to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved there willl be terrible times. It will be like the blind leading the blind. One only needs to examine contemporary politics to understand what it is like for the blind to lead the blind.
(Mat 15:14) "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
Let's look at a few word definitions in the Hebrew:
A primitive root; to fall, in a great variety of applications (intransitively or causatively, literally or figuratively): - be accepted, cast (down, self, [lots], out), cease, die, divide (by lot), (let) fail, (cause to, let, make, ready to) fall (away, down, -en, -ing), fell (-ing), fugitive, have [inheritamce], inferior, be judged [by mistake for H6419], lay (along), (cause to) lie down, light (down), be (X hast) lost, lying, overthrow, overwhelm, perish, present (-ed, -ing), (make to) rot, slay, smite out, X surely, throw down.
A primitive root; to burst (literally or figuratively): - break (down, off, in pieces, up), broken ([-hearted]), bring to the birth, crush, destroy, hurt, quench, X quite, tear, view [by mistake for H7663].
A primitive root; to catch (in a net, trap or pit); generally to capture or occupy; also to choose (by lot); figuratively to cohere: - X at all, catch (self), be frozen, be holden, stick together, take.
Just to read Isaiah 8:15 is interesting, however when I look at the definitions of some of the key words in this verse it seems to add some life to this verse, it seems even more profound.
(Mat 21:44) "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust."
God offers his mercy and forgiveness to us now. If we instead choose to go our own way God then promises judgment. I for one don't wish to be broken to pieces or scattered as dust-neither I nor my loved ones!
As a final thought today-let's look at this verse from the Gospel of Luke:
(Luk 20:17) But Jesus looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written: 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone'?
Quoting Psa_118:22, Jesus showed the unbelieving leaders that even their rejection of the Messiah had been prophesied in Scripture. Ignoring the cornerstone was dangerous. A person could be tripped or crushed (judged and punished). Jesus' comments were veiled, but the religious leaders had no trouble interpreting them. They immediately wanted to arrest him. The Life Application Study Bible
May the Lord bless you today!