New International Version
No longer will the fool be called noble
nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
For fools speak folly,
their hearts are bent on evil:
They practice ungodliness
and spread error concerning the Lord;
the hungry they leave empty
and from the thirsty they withhold water.
Scoundrels use wicked methods,
they make up evil schemes
to destroy the poor with lies,
even when the plea of the needy is just.
But the noble make noble plans,
and by noble deeds they stand.
In our world and in the world of Isaiah, the rich and famous were often seen as wise and looked at and put on a pedestal. But during the kingdom age in which Christ will reign it will no longer be this way. The fool will no longer be called noble and the scoundrel will no longer be highly respected. We may ask the Lord why the wicked prosper and when will we see your justice. But God has a right and perfect time for all things. Each day we move ever closer to the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. When He is our focus, no matter what happens around us, we will be filled with hope and peace. He alone rules the nations of the world and holds all life in the palm of His hands.
The definition of a fool is one who says in his heart there is no God. When people reject the Lord and who He is, the only thing they are left with is darkness. Here the Lord describes the very actions of the fool. He says they speak nonsense, in his heart he plans wickedness, he practices ungodliness and speaks error concerning the Lord, he doesn’t provide for the hungry or the thirsty. The poor and the needy are cast aside and abused. Those who reject God, reject His mercy. To reject the Living God is to bring judgement upon oneself. Where every person will spend eternity is based upon their own choices and decisions. God sends forth His word, but the fool rejects the word of God, sees it as folly, is filled with arrogance and pride, and in the end is destroyed by their own wickedness. They have no one to blame but themselves.
The target of the scoundrel or the rogue is the poor and needy. Those who are filled with wickedness in our society and in the day of Isaiah saw the poor and needy as easy prey. The Lord says here that they use wicked schemes, they make up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies. Those who immerse themselves in wickedness actually begin to take on the character and nature of Satan. In the beginning temptation may not seem like that big of a deal. But as we make more and more compromises we give Satan access to our lives and hearts. The more we engage in sin and wickedness, the more that Satan takes over and in the end the person we become is unrecognizable.
But those who are honorable and noble stand by their deeds that are based upon the word of God. Those who will rule and reign with Christ in the kingdom age will be those who are noble. Now we are being refined every day and we are being prepared for our place alongside Jesus. Depending on our faithfulness now will determine what we will be entrusted with. In this life we are truly tested on a regular basis. We may claim to love the Lord and even praise Him with our lips, but the course of our lives truly reveals the condition of our hearts. Jesus said we would be known by our fruit. Those who are truly noble and love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength will desire to honor God with their every breath and decision. The decision to follow Jesus is a decision to commit every part of our lives into His hands and surrender all things to His Lordship. When we choose Jesus we no longer sit upon the throne of our lives, He alone takes the throne and His will becomes the driving force of our lives.