Isaiah Chapter Eight, Stumbling Over Grace...

In our study of Isaiah chapter eight, we look at God's promise of grace through Jesus Christ. We will see how that grace became a stumbling block for those that wanted to work for their salvation.

Isaiah 8:1 & 2

"The Lord said to me, 'Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. And I will call in Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah as reliable witnesses for me.'" NIV translation

The Lord told Isaiah to write Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz on a scroll so that everyone could see and understand (that is what is meant by "with an ordinary pen"). This simply means "hasten booty, speed prey" and God was telling the people that what He had said, in chapter 7, was going to happen quickly. He also told him that He was going to call in two witnesses as all legal matters required two witnesses. 

Uriah which means "Jehovah is my light" and Zechariah "Jehovah remembers" the son of Jeberekiah "Jehovah will bless" and we see that, in these names, God is promising to remember and bless His people even as they will be defeated by the Assyrians.

Isaiah 8:3

"Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said to me, 'Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.'" NIV translation

Then Isaiah and his wife had a baby son. God had him name the boy the same thing that he had written on the scroll.

This is the second time that this would be before the people as every time they heard the name they would be reminded of God's word.

Isaiah 8:4

"'Before the boy knows how to say "My father" or "My mother," The wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.'" NIV translation

Before Isaiah's son was weaned, the nations that were coming against Judah would be defeated by the Assyrians.

Isaiah 8:5 & 6

"The Lord spoke to me again: 'Because this people has rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and rejoices over Rezin and the son of Remaliah,'" NIV translation

The "waters of Shiloah" were a gentle stream that flowed between Mt. Zion and Mt. Moriah and "Shiloah" means sent. This tells the story of grace as Mt. Moriah was the place of sacrifice where Abraham went to offer his son and also the place where Solomon's temple was built. Mount Zion is the mountain of grace as we are told, in Revelation 14, that is where Jesus is going to come back. Between grace and sacrifice flowed this gentle stream which is a symbol of the very blood of Jesus Christ which was the instrument of God's grace. God tells Isaiah in this passage that the people of Judah have turned their back on His grace and even embraced Rezin (the king of Syria) and Pekah (the son of Remaliah who was the king of the northern kingdom of Israel).