Isaiah 28:9-13
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk…

When God speaks man may well listen, whatsoever strains the Divine Teacher may employ. But man is often found to be, not only an inapt, but even an unwilling, scholar. Such were they who are here terribly rebuked.

I. THE DESIGN OF GOD'S TEACHING. God had been saying, "This is the rest," etc. (ver. 12). The end of all God's instruction is to give rest to his human scholars. Peace was the promise of the old covenant (Numbers 6:26; Numbers 25:12). Rest was the offer of the great Teacher (Matthew 11:28, 29). Rest of heart in the favor and love of God was the high and elevated hope held out for all who would learn and be obedient; and this is still the desire and the design of God in all his teaching and in all his correction.

II. MAN'S OBJECTION TO GOD'S METHOD. "To whom," they complain, "shall he teach knowledge... to them that are weaned... must it be precept upon precept?" etc. (vers. 9, 10). Are we such little children that we are to be treated thus by Jehovah? Men have always been found who object to God's ways of guiding them. It is too plain and palpable, or it is too mysterious; it demands no effort of the intellect, or it taxes the thought too severely; it is too commonplace, or it is too startling, or it is too hard; were he to adopt some other method, to come to them in some other way, they would listen and obey; but as he speaks they will not hear. Especially are men slow to learn the simple and repeated lessons by which God teaches them in his providence - the lessons which come with every morning light and with every evening shade, with the continued loving-kindnesses of the passing hour, with the changes of the seasons, with the passage of neighbors and friends to another world; these reiterated teachings are disregarded, and the one great lesson of reverence and of devotedness is unlearned.

III. GOD'S INDIGNATION AT HUMAN CONTUMACY. The strain of the prophet is one outpouring of intense indignation and keen rebuke; the anger of Jehovah is kindled against them. We may understand that persistent indocility is a very serious sin in the estimate of God. Not to hearken when he speaks to us, whether he speaks in providence, in his Word, or in Christian ordinances, is to place ourselves beneath his very high displeasure.

IV. DIVINE RETRIBUTION. The penalty of their perverse indocility shall be that they will have to learn by far less agreeable methods than the one which they despised; the repeated elementary instruction of the Hebrew prophet should give place to the barbarous sounds of a foreign tongue. Guilty folly often finds that punishment awaits it which corresponds only too painfully with the sin. The Jews demand a king because they prefer the visible to the invisible, the physical to the spiritual; and they gain one who is chosen on this cherished principle of theirs, and his bodily stature and visible form prove to be a sorry substitute for the wisdom of the invisible Sovereign: the penalty is paid in the same coin as the transgression. David's unholy interference with domestic right is punished by saddest add most serious disappointments in his own family. Retribution, not general only, but that which is particularly appropriate to our sin, awaits us a little further on. Disobedience - and emphatically indocility - leads to misery and shame. Hearken intelligently, however and whenever God may speak, and hasten cheerfully to obey. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

WEB: Whom will he teach knowledge? To whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts?

Divine Wisdom
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