Isaiah 28:16, 29   So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.  …” …  All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.

Israel – God’s own chosen, Covenant people – as a nation was in a state of utter confusion as they wrestled with God’s judgement on them.  Even their prophets and priests, the very people anointed to bring God to the people and the people to God respectively, were befuddled, trying to establish their spiritual authority through the imposition of tiresome, meaningless rules and regulations (12-13).  They had even been trying to ‘drown their sorrows’ in beer and wine, only making things much worse (7-8).  The whole spiritual ethos of the nation had degenerated into an irretrievable state of disrepair because they had “entered into a covenant with death” and had “made a lie [their] refuge and falsehood [their] hiding-place.” (15).

What was needed was a whole NEW start, a fresh approach to spirituality, someONE who would be a WISE Prophet and Priest for them, who would give them a FIRM and TRUE foundation for their faith, whose counsel would never falter or change or crumble.  Under the guidance, and in the power, of the Holy Spirit Isaiah was foreshadowing the coming of Christ, the Promised Messiah; God’s people in EVERY age must keep focussed on HIM, HIS word and HIS work, and not let themselves be distracted by human philosophies and programs and gimmicks in attempts to make the Gospel more attractive, palatable and ‘acceptable’.

It is not surprising that, when Jesus DID come into the world to begin his work, his response to a plea for enlightenment from one of the leading exponents of Judaism at the time, Nicodemus, was: “You must be BORN AGAIN.” (John 3:7).  As the Apostle Paul warns us: “See to it that no-one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8).