November 11, 2021 – Thursday
Isaiah 9:10 NIV
10 “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will
replace them with cedars.”
The verse above seems very innocuous. Something fell down made of bricks, but whatever it was it will be rebuilt with dressed stone. Additionally some trees were felled but they will be replaced with cedars. Someone or some people said all of this – note the quote marks at each end of the verse.
Let’s look at this verse in context via v8-10, The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel. All the people will know it—Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—who say with pride and arrogance of heart, “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.” Clearly God has passed judgment on the Northern Kingdom – Israel. However, those who lived in Ephraim and Samaria did not get the message from God’s judgment and instead replied with pride and arrogance of heart. They did not repent nor did they seek God’s guidance. Instead, they simply said, no problem, we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars
So, what is going on here? First of all, the bricks spoken of were sun-dried bricks usually made with clay and straw. As such they were given to weakening over time from the sun and rain. Whatever the bricks were meant to represent in this verse, those in Ephraim and Samaria were going to replace them with something better, dressed stone! In other words, we can take care of this ourselves, we do not need to turn to God or repeat. There is no lesson to be learned here other than to build with better materials. Buildings often used wood as well as brick, and the wood used – at least initially was from fig trees or sycamore trees, which are from the same family of trees. However, the wood from fig or sycamore trees was not near the quality of the wood from a cedar tree. Thus, in choosing to rebuild with wood from cedar trees instead of wood from fig trees, they were making things better just as they were in using dressed stone instead of clay and straw bricks.
All of this points to them not having learned anything from what happened as a result of their turning their backs on God. Now they were going to continue turning their backs on God seemingly taunting God. It is as if they were saying, we do not have to listen to Him, we can take care of this all on our own. Look at how carefully we are going to rebuild. We have no need to fear God.
They could not have been more wrong. The rest of this chapter of Isaiah tells what is coming there way as a result of not learning anything from what God had done. God’s anger is demonstrated in Isaiah’s warning words, especially here in verses 16-17, Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray.Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men, nor will he pity the fatherless and widows, for everyone is ungodly and wicked, every mouth speaks folly. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.
Bottom Line: When God sets out to teach an individual, a people, or a nation a lesson, it is best to pay attention and ascertain what lesson He wants us to learn. And then respond appropriately, not in defiance.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please let me always be aware when you are teaching me a lesson so I can properly listen and act in accordance with Your desires. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek