September 17, 2021

Isaiah 25:1–28:13

Isaiah 25 is a song and celebration of the salvation of the Lord. The “City” that has been ruined is probably a reference to Babylon. God would one day judge the nation and city that came against His people, but it’s also a reference to ALL of our enemies. One day God will judge the world and destroy the cities of the “terrible nations.” God will judge the ungodly and save those of us who have placed our faith in Him. God will even judge (eradicate and end) death (1 Corinthians 15:26).

Isn’t it beautiful what we read in:

Isaiah 25:8 (NKJV) “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken.”

And then:

Isaiah 25:9 (NKJV) “And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

Warren Wiersbe said this of Isaiah 26-27, “The phrase ‘in that day’ links these two chapters (Isaiah 26:1; 27:1-2, 12-13) and focuses attention on the glory of God in the promised kingdom (Isaiah 26:15). Knowing that the future is secure in the Lord is an encouragement when you suffer (Romans 8:18–25; 2 Corinthians 5:1–8).”

Life is hard, this world is fallen, we must do our best to live a good life and impact the world for good, but we must not focus on ourselves, or on our world…we must focus on the Lord. Isaiah 26:3 is a special verse to me:

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

It’s the only way we can find perfect peace…if we keep our minds, our thoughts, our hearts on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1).

During the Millennial Kingdom the inhabitants of the world have the opportunity to learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9) but the wicked won’t truly learn and be saved (Isaiah 26:10). It’s hard to fathom the thought, but at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, Satan will be loosed and there will be one final fight from mankind. After one-thousand years of Jesus’ reign, man will still rebel, those who don’t really know the Lord! This is why it’s of utmost importance to make sure that our life in Christ is not superficial, or artificial, but official! Is it really real, deep, genuine, and true? All things and everyone will eventually be exposed.

There are different views on Isaiah 26:20-21. Some say it’s in reference to Israel being sheltered during the Tribulation Period in Petra. Others see it as the Rapture of the church, as God pulls His people out of this world, before He judges the world. Either way the principle is the same as articulated by Peter:

2 Peter 2:9 (NLT) “So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.”

Isaiah 26:20–21 (NKJV) “Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.”

Isaiah 27:1 mentions the punishment of Leviathan. This is definitely symbolic. Leviathan may be the antichrist, the false prophet, or even the devil himself.

Isaiah goes on to describe the restoration of Israel – what a contrast between this vineyard which is fruitful and protected, and the vineyard of Isaiah 5 which was barren and judged. When Israel receives their Messiah, their sin will be taken away (Isaiah 27:9).

Isaiah 28 speaks of the judgment of Israel and Jerusalem. There’s always a remnant of believers who are spared, but going back in time, Israel was judged by Assyria,  Jerusalem was judged by Babylon, and both were allowed to be judged by the LORD Himself.

Thankfully there’s always a remnant (Isaiah 28:5) but it’s sad to see the way the so-called leaders of the Jews, led them astray (prophets and priests). If only they would have been under the influence of the Spirit of God and the Word of God, they wouldn’t have cause the people of God to err. Beware of wine…and beware of a time when you tire of hearing the truth of God, line upon line, and precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:9-13). The people of Isaiah’s day despised it and would not listen, even though God was offering them salvation and rest.

Isaiah 28:12 (NKJV) “To whom He said, ‘This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing”; yet they would not hear.”

Galatians 3:10-22

Paul explains that the law was never intended to save a single soul. The law is good in that it keeps people in check, but ultimately it brings a curse because no one can keep the law – no one, that is, except Christ, who not only kept the law, but bore the curse for us, when He hung, bled, and died on the cross of Calvary.

The Ceremonial law of Moses was temporary, til the Seed should come to whom the promise was made (Galatians 3:16, 19).

Paul quotes from the book of Habakkuk 2:4

Galatians 3:11 (NKJV) “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’”

“The just shall live by faith,” is also quoted in Romans  1:17 and Hebrews 10:38 – it takes three New Testament passages to explain this amazing truth rooted in the Old Testament.

It’s not human works that save us, it’s not ceremony or sacraments, it’s not baptism or circumcision, and it’s not the law of Judaism, it’s faith in Jesus Christ that saves us, “The just shall live by faith.”

Paul goes on to reason that the Divine Covenant God made with Abraham and his Seed, of salvation by faith, cannot be altered. The law came AFTER the covenant with Abraham! The Judaizers wanted to go back to Moses, but if they wanted to get to the heart of the matter they should have gone back farther, to Abraham. There they would discover that salvation is by faith; something that even the OldTestament explicitly stated in Habakkuk 2:4.

The Mosaic law has no power over sin, it can only point to our sin, and was therefore intended to point us to Jesus.

Psalm 61:1-8

In the midst of the masses who were probably praying at the time, David pleaded, “O God, hear my cry, please, listen to my prayer!” 

He wanted to get God’s attention.

David was a rugged soldier, but he was also a tender poet, musician, writer, and worshipper. It’s hard for most men to admit when their heart is overwhelmed, but blessed is the man who is emotionally healthy and seeks to have that sensitive heart.

David prays for God to meet him there, when he’s down; for God to lead him, and lift him up “to the Rock that is higher than I.” A rock is a solid foundation, the Rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).

David knew where to turn, and he knew how to turn; he also knew that this in turn would work out for his deliverance. Imagine that, being right smack dab in the middle of depression and even danger – and yet KNOWING that God will preserve me. That’s the heart of faith.

I’m blessed by the way David ends the Psalm, with an eternal perspective of praise, and yet – it affects him to obey, every single day.

Psalm 61:8 (NKJV) “So I will sing praise to Your name forever, that I may daily perform my vows.”

Proverbs 23:17-18

Proverbs 23:17-18 (NKJV) “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; 18 For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.”

We have this command repeatedly throughout the Scriptures – not to be envious of the wicked:

Psalm 37:1 (NKJV) “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.”

Proverbs 24:1 (NKJV) “Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them.”

Proverbs 24:19 (NKJV) “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the wicked.”

Why would we be tempted to be envious of sinners? Maybe it’s their money – the lifestyle of indulgence, footloose and fancy free, seems like fun. They get to do whatever they feel like doing…and on and on and on.

But here we read the reason we’re not to envy them – and it’s a big one. It’s because there is a hereafter, there is life after death in one of two places, heaven or hell.

So, friend…don’t just fear the Lord, be zealous for the fear of the Lord, all day of every day, and remember there is no reason to envy the wicked (see also Psalm 73:1-17).

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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