Isaiah 22 … Consider Him Who Planned It Long Ago

And you made a reservoir between the two walls
For the waters of the old pool.
But you did not depend on Him who made it,
Nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago,

Isaiah was one of God’s chosen few, along with his contemporaries: Amos, Hosea and Micah, who were called to walk in faith, righteousness and truth, and to proclaim the coming judgment of Holy God. But most of the nation of Israel paid no attention. But judgment would surely come; and it would surely be deserved.

And as Isaiah’s oracles are directed against God’s enemies, Isaiah sharply redirects his focus to confront God’s people, those who knew better, but still chose to disregard Him Who Planned It Long Ago. And now they find themselves faced with the reality of their choice.

What is the matter with you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops?
You who were full of noise,
You boisterous town, you exultant city…

They chose to live for the moment, grab the gusto, get while the getting’s good; and now, the fun is over.

All your rulers have fled together,
And have been captured without the bow;
All of you who were found were taken captive together,
Though they had fled far away,

And Isaiah is beside himself with grief at the thought of what is surely coming.

Therefore I say, “Turn your eyes away from me,
Let me weep bitterly,
Do not try to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
For the Lord God of hosts has a day of panic, subjugation and confusion
In the valley of vision,
A breaking down of walls
And a crying to the mountain,

God had done everything to get their attention, to encourage them to turn to Him. But the sad truth is, sometimes we don’t look up until life throws us face down. But even when His people find themselves without any protection from the enemy, with their supply of water in danger of being eradicated, rather than turning to God for help, they start making their own plans, gathering any and all materials to fortify their wall of defense.

And He removed the defense of Judah.
In that day you depended on the weapons of the house of the forest,
And you saw that the breaches
In the wall of the city of David were many;
And you collected the waters of the lower pool.
10 Then you counted the houses of Jerusalem
And tore down houses to fortify the wall.
11 And you made a reservoir between the two walls
For the waters of the old pool.
But you did not depend on Him who made it,
Nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago,

And the outcome of their own works and plans would inevitably lead to their demise and captivity. If only they had placed their faith in God Who made the waters; if only they had considered Him Who Planned It Long Ago… if only.

Consider Him Who Planned It Long Ago

Planned: 3335. יָצַר yāṣar: A verb meaning to form, to fashion, to shape, to devise. The primary meaning of the word is derived from the idea of cutting or framing. It is used of God’s fashioning man from the dust of the ground… God’s creative works in nature … in the womb; …the molding of clay… the framing of seasons… the making of plans… It also signifies a potter… a sculptor… or the Creator… By extension, the word conveys the notion of predestination and election (emphasis added) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance .

This word, “planned,” carries both the meanings of created and predestined. And I thought of  how, because we are created in His image, we have creative capacity. And never is there a new invention in this life without a determined intention. Wheels are intended to roll; cars are intended to provide transportation; medicines are intended to bring healing; etc. How much more it is with Almighty God, perfect in power and wisdom. Every bit of His creation bears the intention of Him Who Planned It Long Ago. The sun is intended to provide light and heat; water is intended to satisfy thirst and give life; all of mankind is intended to glorify their Creator in obedience and worship.

  • He Planned It Long Ago, that we would have no other gods before Him.
    • “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before Me,” (Exodus 20:2-3).
  • He Planned It Long Ago, that He will not be in the presence of sin.
    • But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
      And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear,
      (Isaiah 59:2).
  • He Planned It Long Ago, that He will judge the world in righteousness and equity.
    • But the Lord abides forever;
      He has established His throne for judgment,
      And He will judge the world in righteousness;
      He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity,
      (Psalm 9:7-8).
  • He Planned It Long Ago, that repentance would result in joy.
    • Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
      Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
      Make me to hear joy and gladness,
      Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
      Hide Your face from my sins
      And blot out all my iniquities,
      (Psalm 51:7-9).
  • He Planned It Long Ago, that salvation would be His gift received by faith.
    •  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8).
  • He Planned It Long Ago, that those who hear His voice and follow Him will be eternally secure in Him.
    • “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one,” (John 10:27-30).
  • He Planned It Long Ago, that in Christ, we would be holy and blameless before Him.
    • Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, (Ephesians 1:4).
  • And because we are tempted in so many ways, He Planned It Long Ago, that in every temptation we would have a way of escape.
    • No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it, (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • And when we do fail, He Planned It Long Ago, that if we confess our sins, He will provide His cleansing and forgiveness.
    • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:9).

How do we respond to Him Who Planned It Long Ago?

He Planned It Long Ago; that through His Son, we would be redeemed and adopted as His own.

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons, (Galatians 4:4-5).

It is His Plan of Long Ago; it is our opportunity to humbly receive His grace. And every bit of living as His people completely depends on Him.

And you made a reservoir between the two walls
For the waters of the old pool.
But you did not depend on Him who made it,
Nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago,

Oh, may we never fail to consider Him Who Planned It Long Ago, that we would grow in faith, convinced that just as He Has Planned It Long Ago, it will come to pass.

The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,” (Isaiah 14:24).

Forgiveness and restoration have always been His Plan of Long Ago, as evidenced in the history of Israel. God had given countless warnings and provided innumerable opportunities to return to Him in repentance. He called them to weep and wail over the condition of their nation and their own hard hearts. He called them to shave their heads and wear sackcloth as an outer demonstration of their inner reality, that their mourning would be known.

But instead

Therefore in that day the Lord God of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing,
To shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth.
13 Instead, there is gaiety and gladness,
Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep,
Eating of meat and drinking of wine:
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”
14 But the Lord of hosts revealed Himself to me,
“Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you
Until you die,” says the Lord God of hosts,

The temptation for us is there, to stand in judgment, in righteous indignation, pointing our finger at God’s chosen people, aghast they could have so readily rejected His prophet. But lest we think we stand before Holy God, some serious self-examination is in order.

  • Are we walking in obedience to Him Who Planned It Long Ago… or instead, are we attempting to control our lives by our own works and plans?
  • Are we living with our hearts set on His eternal matters… or instead, do we choose to consume ourselves in pursuit of enjoying the good life?
  • Do we hear His repeated calls to mourn, not just for the sins of others, but for the sins of our own hard hearts… or instead, do we miss His voice by failing to seek Him in His Word?
  • Do we weep over the condition of those who are lost… or instead, are we quick to point our finger in self-righteous judgment?
  • Does evil move us to wail in intercession… or instead, do we use it as ammunition to load our social media machine guns?

He Who Planned It Long Ago has appointed our time of death, and after that comes judgment. We know that when we have placed our faith in Christ, our sin is judged in Him.

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him, (Hebrews 9:27-28).

Oh, let us determine to make the most of our time as we seek all that He has intended for our life; for we will be accountable for that. Let us commit to live in obedience and worship of Him Who Planned It Long Ago, that we would live in gratitude for the eternal security we have in Christ and brokenness for those who are yet lost in their sin.

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17).

Oh, that we would pray for ourselves; pray for others; pray for our land. Oh, that we would humbly pray and ask Him to open our hears to hear and soften our hearts to weep and wail, that He would hear and turn and heal, that we may receive the forgiveness, healing and joy of Him Who Planned It Long Ago.

If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land, (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Let’s Grow Together!

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