Isaiah 28:11-12 – Indeed, He will speak to this people through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary and here is repose,” but they would not listen.

Yesterday, we saw how God chose to speak through the Assyrians as their conquering army was poised to swoop in and take Israel captive. God’s people mocked the word of the Prophet and rejected the protection that Jehovah was offering His people.

It is interesting how the Scriptures can have more than one meaning, and prophecies can have a couple of applications. The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 14:20-21, chose to use Isaiah 28:11 to explain the purpose of the “gift of tongues.” Paul says, “Do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20). In Isaiah’s passage, he reveals that Israel was not being mature. They acted like children as they mocked the Prophet. The Corinthians were misusing the “gift of tongues.” They acted immature in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 14:22 Paul teaches, that tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers.

In Isaiah 28:10-12, the stammering lips and a foreign tongue was a “sign” to Israel. When God poured out His Spirit as recorded in Acts 2, once again “tongues” was a sign to Israel. This time, it was evidence the kingdom of God had come with the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, and the accompanying sign of tongues. Paul is reminding the Corinthians “tongues” was God’s means of getting His people’s attention. Isaiah said, “This is the rest whereby I will cause the weary to rest, this is the refreshing, but they would not hear.” The “rest” was found in receiving God’s warning through the sign of pending judgment. In Acts 2, the rest is found in receiving the Spirit who brings the Good News of the kingdom of God through the Apostles’ preaching.

The rest and refreshing for the people of God is found in an open heart poised to receive God’s word by making the needed corrections and moving in the direction of God’s will. The Spirit of God has come with gifts that will refresh God’s children as they receive them. Many resist the Spirit’s gifts because they seem strange or because their hearts are fixed on other things.

Today, let us choose to be mature in our thinking. Open your heart to what God has for you. He may choose to speak to you through His written Word or through another individual. Holy Spirit, lead us to be aware of when You are speaking, though it sounds like a stammering lip, help us to hear and obey.