Let's Go Back to the Bible

Getting Teachers Out of the Corners of the Room

The change in how students are disciplined in school is vastly different from what it used to be. In those days, there was the “board of education” (the teacher’s heavy paddle) and proper behavior was demanded. I remember another way of discipling at the West Huntsville Grammar School. A disobedient student was made to go to the corner of the room and touch his nose into that corner. He was shamed and no longer part of group activities and community. When the time came for recess and going outside to play, he had to remain in the corner. Remember this kind of punishment as you continue to read, for we shall come back to it shortly.

In Isaiah chapter thirty, we read how the nation of Israel had turned away from God.  They were children, who rejected God’s plans and refused His counsel (vs. 1-2). They were “…rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord” (v. 9).

God sent His messenger, called seers, and they told the seers, “Do not see,” and told His prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things; prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel” (vs. 10, 11). This sounds so much like what is happening in Christendom in our land.

The next several verses describe what the false prophets refused to tell them, and in this way gained favor with the people as they spoke “smooth things” to them. God told Isaiah to write in his book, the book of Isaiah, that there would be a permanent record of what lay ahead (v. 8). As we read that book, there is a description of an unseen crumbling in the wall of security they thought they had. It was bulging and about to fall suddenly and in an instant (v. 13). This is precisely what happened to that nation who despised His word and trusted in the perverted words of the false prophets.

Yet, there was hope for the nation if they returned to God and heard His teachers and prophets. When their hearts changed, God’s teachers “would not be moved into a corner anymore” (v. 20). As I read these words, I think of my childhood. The Jews had taken His teachers and removed them from the nation and sent them to the corner of the room. It was the way they removed the truth from their lives. However, when they repented, these prophets of God would be honored and figuratively stand in their midst. Their message would not change. If the Jews turned to the left or the right, they would again hear them say, “This is the way, walk in it” (v. 21).

God, help us to stop pushing Your message into the corners of our lives. God, help us to honor Your words and have them in the center of our lives.