6 A parable using the animals of the Negev: From a land of trouble and distress, lioness and lion come, from them snake and flying serpent; they carry their possessions on the male donkeys’ shoulder and their treasures on camels’ hump, to a people who cannot use them. 7 And Egypt’s “help” is useless and empty, therefore I have called this one “Rahab — they just sit there.” 8 Now go, write it on a tablet for them, and inscribe it on a scroll, and it may be for the distant future. 9 Because this is a rebellious people, dishonest children, children not willing to hear the instruction of Yahveh, 10 who say to those who do see, “You must not see!” and to the seers, “You must not see truth for us; speak comfortable things to us, see illusions, 11 turn aside from that road, turn aside from that path, stop shoving the holy one of Israel in our face.”
speak comfortable things
The inhabitants of Judah wanted desperately to believe that things were going to get better, not worse. They had so convinced themselves that their political solution to their current crisis was going to work, that they issued a gag order to the prophets. The prophets were not allowed to see anything but a loving God who overlooked injustice and sin. They were not allowed to say anything that dared question the political correctness of seeking help from Egypt through a political alliance. Any suggestion that God’s people might be held accountable for their failure to live up to their covenant with Yahveh was strictly censured. Instead, the prophets were expected to speak only the comfortable, positive and encouraging message. So, Isaiah encouraged people to write down his words, because they were God’s words. They might not be accepted for a long time, but someday in the distant future, people would recognize that they were true and proper.
LORD, forgive us for seeking to isolate only the “good parts” of your message. Teach us how to read your word with maturity, and accept it all for our good, and discipline ourselves to live according to the whole truth of it.