We are in this long part of Isaiah – chapters 27 – 35 – devoted almost exclusively to the love/hate relationship God has with His people. That He loves them there is no doubt, for He cannot leave them alone. He punishes, but he blesses. And back and forth He goes.
There are two enigmatic passages in chapter 28 that are often misused. Found in verses 10 and 13, they say the same thing: “Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule, a little here, a little there.”
I’ve most frequently heard people say this is a rule for biblical interpretation, justifying the practice of taking a “little here” and a “little there” and putting all together to formulate doctrine.
Chapter 28, however, looks at life in the northern kingdom and pronounces judgment on it as an example for the southern kingdom (Isaiah is not written to the North, remember, but to the South). The north is characterized in this chapter by drunkenness. All those “befuddled with wine” hear God’s words as so much blah blah blah (do and do, do and do). In Hebrew, there is a word play going on. And so God responds, if all you hear is blah blah blah, then I’m going to speak blah blah blah. Except that it won’t really be blah blah blah, but the incomprehensible language of foreign invaders.