Isaiah 28:9-15 - The Same Old Song

Donald R. Cooper

Isaiah was not a very popular preacher. In fact, as a rule, he met with ridicule and resentment and was scorned by those who heard him. One who would preach like him today would be considered “old fashioned” and probably would not be invited to speak in many gospel meetings nor appear on many of our brotherhood lectureships.

Some words used to describe how many perceived Isaiah’s preaching are found in verse 13 of our text, “… precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little.” Scholars have had a difficult time translating those words, but I believe that it is considered by most to suggest that the scorners perceived Isaiah’s teaching to be more like “baby talk.” In fact, the scriptures indicate to me that Isaiah was far from being a sophisticated speaker. He is said to have had “stammering lips” (vs. 11). In essence, Isaiah was accused of repeating things over and over as if he were talking to a little child. However, they would learn the hard way that by rejecting God’s warnings, issued through the prophet, they would eventually be carried away into Assyrian captivity. I suspect that they then wished that they had paid heed to Isaiah’s “precept upon precept” type of preaching.

Are preachers of our day also many times ridiculed if they dare to repeat the old, old story of the cross? Have we forgotten that God deals in repetition and that His word is eternally true? What was needed in the first century is still needed in the 21st century. We will never outgrow our need to be nurtured by the simple message contained in the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). What are some of the messages that we, as preachers, must continue to repeat over and over and over again?

The Wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin is man’s most basic, immediate, most serious problem. Unfortunately, we are not hearing much said about it anymore. Several years ago a popular well-known psychiatrist, Karl Menninger, wrote a book, What Ever Happened to Sin? I would recommend it to you.

Man must repent (Acts 17:30, 31). Christ taught that one who will not repent will perish (Luke 13:3, 5).

Death comes to us all, and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). What awaits us after that depends on how we live here on earth. We cannot live wicked, sinful lives and expect to be rewarded with Heaven.

We must obey God to be saved (Hebrews 5:8, 9). This is the message, from the beginning to the conclusion, found in God’s Word, (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).

Preachers, do not allow the ridicule of man to deter you from preaching “the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). It is able to save souls (James 1:21). Do not be embarrassed to preach it over and over again, “… precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line …” -95 Lynn Drive, Mansfield, OH 44906. 

Return to West Virginia Christian