God has told his people, “Here is a place of rest; let the weary rest here. This is a place of quiet rest.” But they would not listen. So the Lord will spell out his message for them again, one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there, so that they will stumble and fall. They will be injured, trapped, and captured.
Therefore, listen to this message from the Lord, you scoffing rulers in Jerusalem. You boast, “We have struck a bargain to cheat death and have made a deal to dodge the grave. The coming destruction can never touch us, for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception.”
Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.
I will test you with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness. Since your refuge is made of lies, a hailstorm will knock it down. Since it is made of deception, a flood will sweep it away.
Judah was afraid of the Assyrians, the “coming destruction.” Instead of trusting God, the Judeans turned to other sources for security. God accused them of making a covenant with death. This passage may refer to Hezekiah’s alliance with Pharaoh Tirhakah against Assyria (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9). God would cancel this agreement—Egypt would be of no help when Assyria attacked.
So, what help could Judah count on? Isaiah speaks of a “foundation stone”—a “precious cornerstone” that will be laid in Zion (11:16). This cornerstone is the Messiah, the foundation on whom the wise build their lives.
If you’re building anything, you need a firm foundation. Otherwise, whatever structure you’re building will collapse. A life also requires a foundation. If you want lasting peace and protection, turn to the only one able to deliver you from eternal death—God. Is your life built on the flimsy base of your own successes or dreams? Or is it set on a firm foundation (see Psalm 118:22; 1 Peter 2:8)?