Summary: Civil & political leaders who will truly surrender themselves to follow God open the way for God to wondrously bless those they govern.
ISAIAH 32: 1-8
GOD’S FUTURE SOCIETY
God’s people were turning to Egypt, to the way of the world, for help during their hard times. Thus their society and economy would go from bad to worst. Yet in the worst of times, God continues to promise a way of salvation for society and for His people through His Messiah’s righteousness.
This time, or these times of deliverance, will come about when leaders begin to perform their God given functions and responsibilities for society. The promises are for a time when leaders no longer suck the people dry but become a source of protection and refreshing as God intended. God promises He will then grant clarity and discernment to the people these leaders govern. This clarity and discernment will bring about a time when people will be seen for what they truly are, and not what they want you to think they are.
Here we find what true civil and political leaders should be and how God blesses the people they govern (CIT). A society is transformed by people, especially their leaders, becoming righteous and practicing justice.
[God promises that there is coming a time when Israel will be secure in a society created and sustained by a godly king and rulers, (possibly by the One who would occupy David’s throne.) It will be a time when righteousness and justice will abound. Better times are coming for God’s people in respect both of piety and peace (v. 15–20), which may look as far forward as the days of the Messiah.]
I. WHEN THE RIGHTEOUS RULE, 1-2.
II. THE BLESSINGS OF RIGHTEOUS RULE, 3-5.
III. THE GRIP OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS, 6-8.
Behold, a king will reign righteously, and princes will rule justly.
Having suffered much injustice from foolish evil rulers, many in Judah were hungry for a king strong enough to be just in His decisions and actions. The problem was that in order for one to be just he must first be righteous.
The mark of a good king or government official is in his willingness to discover right and to do it (Prov. 16:10; 20:8, 26, 28; 29:4, 14). Isaiah looks for a day when government leaders will be divinely enabled to do what people through the ages have known they should do. How do we instinctive know what leaders should be and do? Is it a concept imbedded by God in our consciousness?
[In the Millennium the King (33:17), the Messiah, will reign in righteousness (11:1-5; Jer. 23:5), and the rulers under Him (2 Tim. 2:2; Rev. 5:10; 20:6; 22:5) will be just. Evil will be banished and righteousness will reign because the Righteous King will reign!]
Verse 2 tells us what God’s plan for rulers is. And each will be like a refuge from the wind, and a shelter from the storm, Like streams of water in a dry country, Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.
There exists the possibility that leaders will no longer be predators from whom the people seek relief. Rather the leaders will be sources of protection and support as they ought to be (Isaiah, Oswalt, p 580). The redeemed leaders of the Lord who reflect Him are sources of great blessings for others. Each one will be protective of others like a shelter from the wind and will refresh others like . . . water in the desert and a rock that gives shade from the desert heat.
Notice the four vivid similes that paint the picture of refuge and refreshing. If you have ever been in a violent desert wind, you know to look for the protection offered by a large rock. In an open and unprotected landscape windstorms sand blast travelers mercilessly. Godly leaders will be that protective rock from the flagellating blasts of oppression as their people journey through life.
They are also said to be like streams of water in a dry country. Where dryness of life had previously existed, abundance of renewing, refreshing moving streams of water will be experienced.
Oppressive burning heat brings fatigue and weariness. In a land thirsting because of lack of water, each will be like a huge rock formation which cast a long shadow to protect from the burning heat of the sun.
Since these figures are all taken from nature and not from allusions to man or war as an enemy, the thought is a refuge in natural or daily life which could include the onslaught of man which we are otherwise helpless against.
The happinesses of life are far too few when the foolish or wicked are in charge. When the godly rule refuge and refreshing from the oppressions of life are found.
According to Isaiah these conditions can exist and will one day exist. When there are such leaders of society God gives a great promise.