A prophet of God is like a person on stilts. They often look silly; they’re vulnerable; and moving forward can prove rather cumbersome. Yet they have a better view than all those below them. This image shows Isaiah counting the rings in large trees which represent God’s faithfulness in Israel’s history. Ring after ring he sees this theme: God keeps His promise even though the ones He loves are continually breaking His heart.
A long line of ungodly kings turned the Israelites toward the empty promises of the world around them rather than toward the Lord. Isaiah was God’s voice from the death of King Uzziah to the reign of King Manasseh under whose persecution he was probably martyred. Isaiah’s messages confronted rebellion yet were sprinkled with grace, showing punishment for sin as preparation
The baboon with its hand stuck in a box represents how stubborn Israel was, in contrast to God’s faithfulness and patience. In an arid land, baboons know of ‘secret’ sources of water men cannot find. To find water, tribesmen will hide edible seeds in a hole in a rock with a narrow opening, so that a baboon could see. Overcome by curiosity, the baboon reaches in and tries to pick them up, but with a full fist, it can’t get its hand out. In its obstinacy, the baboon refuses to let go, and the tribesman can then catch the baboon. The tribesman waits until the baboon is so thirsty that it can’t help but run straight for water, and lets it go and follows.