Verse of the Day Devotion: Isaiah 8:14
“Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” – Isaiah 8:14
This verse here addresses Jesus’ acceptance by the Jews. This is a sad statement, for it prophesies that they will not accept Him as the promised Messiah but will see Him as a heresy. Lets go back a few verses for context. “For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.” Isaiah 8:11-13. Isaiah is basically saying that His people are not obeying Him as He requires and as to what is best for them. The people were looking to Assyria as their hope and their source. The Lord is who they should regard as holy, not any man or country. We should fear Him, and not Assyria or their king.
Then we reach our focus verse. “Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” Isaiah 8:14. The Hebrew word translated ‘sanctuary’ is “miqdash”, pronounced mik-dawsh which means a consecrated thing or place, a palace or sanctuary of God. This could refer to Jehovah or of idols, but here it definitely refers to Jehovah. However, Israel saw Assyria as their refuge, because of its strength and power. At this time, it had become the most powerful nation in the world, and unfortunately, Israel put their trust in Assyria rather than God. Both houses of Israel saw God as a stone over which he would stumble and fall. The idea is that none could run against a hard, rough, fixed stone or rock without injuring himself. The theologian Albert Barnes adds, “So the Jews would oppose the counsels of God; instead of making him their refuge and strength, they would resist his claims and appeals, and the consequence would be their destruction. It is also to be remembered, that God is often represented in the Scriptures as a rock, a firm defense, or place of safety, to those who trust in him.”
In the Psalms is presented a similar prophecy. “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.” Isaiah 28:14-15. God is saying here that Jerusalem has made a covenant with Assyria and also created links with Egypt in order to protect them, rather than trusting in God. However, the next verse shows how God will right this situation. “Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.” Isaiah 28:16. At this time, God was laying a stone in Zion, a tested and costly stone; tested by Satan and men. And anyone who believes will be at peace and not anxious.
Luke tells us who this stone is. “if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.” Acts 4:9-11. Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophesy. And he states that Jesus is the source of salvation. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. He is the source of our salvation, and in the verse above it says it this way, “A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.” Psalm 28:16b. Those who believe will be strong and not be troubled, knowing He is with us.
In conclusion, this does not refer to only the Jews, but to the gentiles as well. All people who accept Christ is built upon this foundation, Christ. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2L19-22. He is the foundation and cornerstone of the church. Trust in Him alone, and do not be like the Jews who were carried away to Assyria and place their trust in this nation and not in God. Salvation is found only in Him, and no one or nowhere else. And this is why He came, to provide this salvation to all who believe.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.