In transgressing - That is, we have been guilty of this as a continuous act.
And lying against the Lord - We have proved false to Yahweh. Though we have been professedly his people, yet we have been secretly attached to idols, and have in our hearts been devoted to the service of false gods.
And departing away from our God - By the worship of idols, and by the violation of his law.
Speaking oppression and revolt - Forming plans to see how we might best take advantage of the poor and the defenseless, and to mature our plans of revolt against God.
Conceiving and uttering from the heart - (See the notes at Isaiah 59:4). The idea is, that they had formed in their hearts schemes of deception, and that in their conversation and their lives they had given utterance to them. All this is the language of genuine contrition, where there is a consciousness of deep guilt in the sight of God. There is an overpowering sense of the evil of sin. and a willingness to make the most full and ample acknowledgment, however mortifying it may be, of the errors and follies of the life.
Sneeringly the rabbis said, “Whither will He go, that we shall not find Him? will He go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?” Little did these cavilers dream that in their mocking words they were picturing the mission of the Christ! All day long He had stretched forth His hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people; yet He would be found of them that sought Him not; among a people that had not called upon His name He would be manifest. Romans 10:20, 21. DA 458.1
Many who were convinced that Jesus was the Son of God were misled by the false reasoning of the priests and rabbis. These teachers had repeated with great effect the prophecies concerning the Messiah, that He would “reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously;” that He would “have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 24:23; Psalm 72:8. Then they made contemptuous comparisons between the glory here pictured and the humble appearance of Jesus. The very words of prophecy were so perverted as to sanction error. Had the people in sincerity studied the word for themselves, they would not have been misled. The sixty-first chapter of Isaiah testifies that Christ was to do the very work He did. Chapter fifty-three sets forth His rejection and sufferings in the world, and chapter fifty-nine describes the character of the priests and rabbis. DA 458.2
God does not compel men to give up their unbelief. Before them are light and darkness, truth and error. It is for them to decide which they will accept. The human mind is endowed with power to discriminate between right and wrong. God designs that men shall not decide from impulse, but from weight of evidence, carefully comparing scripture with scripture. Had the Jews laid by their prejudice and compared written prophecy with the facts characterizing the life of Jesus, they would have perceived a beautiful harmony between the prophecies and their fulfillment in the life and ministry of the lowly Galilean. DA 458.3Read in context »