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Read Isaiah 57

57 The righteous perish,
    and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly
    enter into peace;
    they find rest as they lie in death.

“But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,
    you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Who are you mocking?
    At whom do you sneer
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels,
    the offspring of liars?
You burn with lust among the oaks
    and under every spreading tree;
you sacrifice your children in the ravines
    and under the overhanging crags.
The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion;
    indeed, they are your lot.
Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings
    and offered grain offerings.
    In view of all this, should I relent?
You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill;
    there you went up to offer your sacrifices.
Behind your doors and your doorposts
    you have put your pagan symbols.
Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed,
    you climbed into it and opened it wide;
you made a pact with those whose beds you love,
    and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.
You went to Molek with olive oil
    and increased your perfumes.
You sent your ambassadors[b] far away;
    you descended to the very realm of the dead!
10 You wearied yourself by such going about,
    but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’
You found renewal of your strength,
    and so you did not faint.

11 “Whom have you so dreaded and feared
    that you have not been true to me,
and have neither remembered me
    nor taken this to heart?
Is it not because I have long been silent
    that you do not fear me?
12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,
    and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out for help,
    let your collection of idols save you!
The wind will carry all of them off,
    a mere breath will blow them away.
But whoever takes refuge in me
    will inherit the land
    and possess my holy mountain.”

Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it will be said:

“Build up, build up, prepare the road!
    Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says—
    he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 I will not accuse them forever,
    nor will I always be angry,
for then they would faint away because of me—
    the very people I have created.
17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;
    I punished them, and hid my face in anger,
    yet they kept on in their willful ways.
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
    I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
19     creating praise on their lips.
Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
    says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
    which cannot rest,
    whose waves cast up mire and mud.
21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Go Deeper

This chapter is mainly focused on the guilt and demise of the wicked. At the beginning of the passage, we see the plight of the righteous, and how following their death, God extended them peace as a blessing. Immediately following this, you can feel the intensity of God’s wrath as the passage switches into a confrontation between the listener and the speaker. It starts with a laundry list of insults/accusations that the listener is obviously guilty of. When we view this list of accusations, we can very quickly adopt an attitude of pride by thinking “woah, these people were really bad” or “I’m not as bad as these people.”

The trouble is that this attitude is partially what got these wicked people in trouble. In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus uses the plank analogy to reprimand people’s hypocrisy for judging others while being blind to their own sins. In this analogy, a person who has a plank in his own eye is pointing out a speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye. In Isaiah 57, this is the same point that the speaker makes in verse 4, saying “who are you mocking?” The passage is trying to humble the wicked into realizing the metaphorical planks in their own eyes. 

The scary part about some of these sins/accusations that are listed here is that they are generational and applicable to us. We are children of sinners just as they are. Although we may not be literally giving offerings to idols, what are we giving our money to? Who or what do we give our praise to? What pictures are hanging on the walls of our house? Has lust taken control of our thoughts? Upon close inspection, one can find this list of offenses unfortunately relatable. The dreadful depictions of what is in store for the wicked is a terrible warning of what can await us. Thank God that He doesn’t desire these things for us, and has offered grace through repentance. As in this passage and in life, He has provided an opportunity to avoid the “no peace” (verse 21) that we have earned. 


  1. Does this passage point out any specific sin in your life?
  2. How does this passage change your view of sin?
  3. God offers a chance for repentance. What other passages come to mind when you think of God’s grace and repentance?

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5 thoughts on “Isaiah 57”

  1. I’ve often heard mankind’s efforts to reach Holy God is like climbing an unending ladder. Our righteousness and good deeds propel us up, and our sin knocks us down the rungs. Our God in his mercy saw our plight and sent his Son down the ladder of heaven to save us, because it is impossible to go up to his level to save ourselves. All our best intentions usually become pretensions of doing good. Not until we lay down our striving, sufficiency, and
    self-love and cry out with the the Psalmist “Have mercy on me, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions”(Psalm 51:1) will our striving cease. He scoops us up, imputes to us his righteousness, carries us through this messy life and one day straight up the ladder to heaven, where we will spend eternity forever praising the one who rescued us from darkness and brought us into his kingdom of light, love and life. It’s in the “turning” away from from the worldly and “turning” to look into the face of Jesus that the miracle unfolds.

  2. When life’s storms hit us what do we do? Immediately call a friend, assure ourselves we can handle it by ourselves or get on our knees? This tells where our heart lies. BUT GOD has given us grace and it is sufficient not because of us but because of Christ and His sacrifice. Romans 5 the whole chapter but vs 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace abounds all the more!! Grace abundantly as we turn from our sin to God and peace for ever more. I tasted that peace in my dieing experience and was very angry for about a year but couldnt figure out why until right before REGEN. It was because of that tiny, minuscule, microscopical, wee, microscopic taste of peace that is unforgettable and unfathomable to really even describe that I was so angry at God for keeping me here. BUT GOD had something more for me is all I know. Grace and peace in this Christmas season but in all seasons of life!!!!!

    Thank You God for Your grace and peace each minute of the day. Thank You for turning to You when life is wavering. Thank You for Holy Spirit to guide those waves. God I stand in AWE, just amazed without any words to convey how much joy it is to worship You!!! Thank You for grace!! Thank You for that taste of peace that I can carry and long for more!!!! Thank You for Your Son!! in his name Jesus name amen.

  3. The verse that stood out to me today was verse 15: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit..” God admits that He lives far removed from us humans- in a holy, high off, far away place from us. Yet- He didn’t stay far away or removed from us or our sin. He came close and drew near to our brokenness. God goes on to say a few verses later that “He has seen our ways, but will heal us.” God, who knows everything about us, still loves us anyways. And didn’t stay away from our sin and shame but entered into it in order to heal us. The correct response to this loving, healing forgiveness is gratitude and humility. And when we humble ourselves to admit we need God & want to follow His way, He comes to live with us and then ultimately allows us to live with Him forever in eternity. My prayer today is that I will live humbly & aware of God’s presence with me.

  4. One area we are all guilty of to some degree, and at some point in our lives is spiritual adultery. Which the sins of the flesh are bad, but spiritual sins God hates even more. (C.S.Lewis has a good quote on this that I’ve shared before)
    The first two verses are very comforting for those who have lost loved ones. It’s gives us rest in knowing and asking why sometimes. My siblings and I have said countless times that we thank God that dad or mom is not here to live, or see, things that have happened. Crazy thing is, Sovereign God knew that, too. And so it leaves us with peace.
    In reflection from the commentator, I heard once that sure we may see all the bad someone is doing or did; BUT God, sees ALL the good that we can’t see or haven’t seen. So, in careful inspection of someone just remember we can’t see everything God sees… the prodigal son just may return. Isaiah 55:8-9…His ways are not our ways…What a wonderful reminder today to be compassionate and forgiving as we enter into time with family. May we live with hope and peace in our hearts.

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