Almighty Father Holy Majestic, rekindle in our lands a passion to seek Your truth so that the world may know Your Grace. Lord, I pray that people will honor Your character, and use it to test themselves. Abba, let the nations know Your Peace. In Jesus' name I pray. AMEN.
We live in an age when people want to mix the contents of many mystical faiths into the boiling pot of their own pseudo-religions. Most do not know that the basic claim of Scripture is simple and clear. Only God, the Almighty Yahweh, is truly God. Only the one true and living God is to be worshiped. Only this Abba Father is to be trusted. Yes, there are other spiritual powers, but these powers lead to despair, death, and destruction. Jesus triumphed over them for us in the cross (Colossians 2:13-15). Seek God, YAHWEH, the great "I AM" of Israel, the Almighty, the righteous Father of Jesus and all who follow him. Seek God and live.
When they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
When the people, instead of putting confidence in God, shall propose to apply to necromancers. In the time of Ahaz the people were, as they were often, much inclined to idolatry; 2 Kings 16:10. In their troubles and embarrassments, instead of looking to Yahweh, they imitated the example of surrounding nations, and applied for relief to those who professed to be able to hold converse with spirits. That it was common for idolatrous people to seek direction from those who professed that they had the power of divining, is well known; see Isaiah 19:3; Isaiah 29:4. It was expressly forbidden to the Jews to have recourse to those who made such professions; Leviticus 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:10-11.
Yet, notwithstanding this express command, it is evident that it was no uncommon thing for the Jews to make application for such instructions; see the case of Saul, who made application to the woman of Endor, who professed to have a familiar spirit, in 1 Samuel 28:7-19; Deuteronomy 18:11. The word is most commonly applied to women; as it was almost entirely confined to women to profess this power; Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Jeremiah 48:31; Isaiah 16:7; to coo, as a dove, Isaiah 37:14; Isaiah 59:11; and then to roar like a lion; not the loud roar, but the grumbling, the suppressed roar (Bochart); Isaiah 31:4. The idea here is, probably, that of gently sighing, or mourning - uttering feeble, plaintive lamentations or sighs, as departed shades were supposed to do; and this was; probably, imitated by necromancers. By thus feigning that they conversed with the dead, they imposed on the ignorant populace, and led them to suppose that they had supernatural powers.
Should not a people seek … - Is it not proper that a people should inquire of the God that is worshiped, in order to be directed in perplexing and embarrassing events? Some have understood this to be a question of the idolaters, asking whether it was not right and proper for a people to seek counsel of those whom they worshiped as God. I understand it, however, as a question asked by the prophet, and as the language of strong and severe re-bulge. ‹You are seeking to idols, to the necromancers, and to the dead, But Yahweh is your God. And should not a people so signally favored, a people under his special care, apply to him, and seek his direction?‘
For the living - On account of the affairs of the living. To ascertain what will be their lot, what is their duty, or what will occur to them.
To the dead - The necromancers pretended to have contact with the spirits of the dead. The prophet strongly exposes the absurdity of this. What could the dead know of this? How could they declare the future events respecting the living? Where was this authorized? People should seek God - the living God - and not pretend to hold consultation with the dead.
Copyright Statement: These files are public domain.
Bibliography: Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 8:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary".