- Song #1
- Defeating Death
- The Final Day
- Song #2
- Coming Home
- Bring Them Low
- Seeking God Early
- False Gods
- State of the Dead
- Song #3
- The Vineyard
- A Desolate Land
- The Trumpet
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Isaiah 25-27 consists of three songs. This is a different feel to the previous chapters which meted out coming judgments for nations around Israel.
The first song praises God for being Israel's strength, particularly when it comes to battles. The passage reminds us that God has raised up a nation out of nothing and made the weak strong. Once again it is called to our attention that He is a champion for the poor and downtrodden.
In Isaiah 25:8 we learn the God is planning to defeat death. Sound familiar? It should, this is exactly what Jesus accomplished at the cross. We can see the explicit fulfillment of this prophecy in 2 Timothy 1:10 and Revelation 1:18. It is also quoted by John in Revelation 21:4 in confirmation that it has been fulfilled.
The Final Day
"In that day" clearly refers to a future time from Isaiah's perspective. Given the context of the passage, it seems to be referring to the final battle. This battle comes after death is defeated and involves all the earth. When the time comes, God's people will be firmly on God's side and will recognize His coming to save them.
Isaiah 26 gives us another song. This song is one he says will be sung in "that day." That day refers to the time previously discussed in Isaiah 25, which I believe to be the end time based on the context of passage.
An interesting observation in the first bit of the chapter is that it is requested to open the gates of city to let in the righteous nation. We know that the Israelites were scattered and this is one of the verses foretelling that they would be brought back together. Many think this was completely fulfilled in the 60's with the creation of the modern nation of Israel, but I have a feeling it's not done yet. For starters, the song is sung in Judah, so there are people there to welcome the nation back. The people welcoming the nation back are clearly not the Palestinians who are currently fighting for rights in Israel. They did not welcome the loss of control of their home when the UN formed Israel. In fact, a war quickly erupted, giving us the volatile situation we have today.
Between the fact that the 144,000 will come from all tribes (given in Revelation), the curse laid on Israel in Deuteronomy 28, and the inclusion of Gentiles into the nation by faith (notice Isaiah refers to those entering in as those who "keepeth the truth"), I think a second revival of the nation will occur. Near the end, God will call His people out the cities into "the wilderness" just as He did with Israel (calling them out of Egypt). At this time, I think the true believers and the rest of Israel will return. Note this return could be during the very end, when God establishes His kingdom on Earth; I don't really know.
Bring Them Low
We all know that in the end, the first will be last and the last will be first, but sometimes it's hard to focus on that. We see people doing all manner of ungodly things and they seem to have all the things we want. Usually, however, those things are tied to worldly desires, or they are not what they seem to be (re: everything on social media). In this song of praise to God, Isaiah reminds us how quickly God can flip the tables for us. The rich and powerful can quickly become low and unimportant.
In the very end, God will open the eyes of those who refused to do right and they will finally be ashamed of their actions, but it will be too late. It is after eliminating those who refused to do right that we will have peace.
Seeking God Early
Isaiah 26:9 is a beautiful verse—memory verse level. There's so much meaning hidden in this simple verse. We often cry out to God when trouble (or darkness) falls upon us. It is then that we realize how much we need Him. However, we should be seeking God much earlier than that. We should seek God out early, not just when it becomes convenient to us or after we've tried everything else.
Isaiah admits that Israel has given themselves to false gods. As they point out the faults of the false gods, we see the truth about the true God. Our God is the Living God, He has power over life and death.
State of the Dead
Another issue addressed in Isaiah 26 is the state of the dead. I found this verse interesting because of the contradicting philosophies concerning the dead. In Judaism, the state of the dead is controversial, however there is a prevailing thought that there is not life after death. In Christianity, many think the dead go straight to heaven or hell, even though there are several texts in the Bible that prove otherwise. In Isaiah 26:19, Isaiah confirms that the dead will live again.
Isaiah 27 is likely a new song, though it may be a continuation of the previous song. It continues the theme of praising God in His victory.
Most people have heard of Leviathan—the mighty creature whom God slew in defense of His people. Leviathan is mentioned at least 4 times in the Bible: Job 41, Psalm 74:14, Psalm 104:26, and Isaiah 27. The creature is described as some sort of monstrous sea serpent. In Isaiah 27:1, it is quiet obvious that Leviathan is Satan. "That day" that Isaiah refers to is the final victory, when God triumphs over Satan. What better way to kick off a song, than to boast of God's victory over His enemies?
In the first stanza (Isaiah 27:2-6), God's people are referred to as a vineyard. God watches over this vineyard at all times for two reasons: 1) to ensure no one disturbs it and 2) to care for it. Similarly, God is here to protect us from Satan and sin; in doing so, He provides us with life and sustenance. God explains that His people will take root and fill the world with fruit. This prophecy covers two major things.
First, the people of God must take root. This past December, my dad and I rooted a plant for a friend of mine. For those unfamiliar with the process, we broke off a piece of the original plant, stuck it in water until it developed it's own roots, and then planted it in soil. The second step is crucial because if the plant doesn't develop roots, it can't feed itself nutrients to survive when we plant it. Similarly, God's people were cut off from Him by sin. We have to be watered (by Jesus, through Baptism, and studying the Word) to develop the strength to stand for God outside of our protected environment. Once we are rooted in the Earth, we are free to grow and produce fruit—the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
A Desolate Land
When we choose not to listen to God or we come against God's people, we put ourselves on the path of what happens in Isaiah 27:7-11. God will purge sin from His people and cause desolation upon those who do not surrender to His Will.
The last two verses of Isaiah 27 redirect my attention to the end of time.
Deuteronomy 28:68 tells us that part of Israel was scatterEd into Egypt, and 2 Kings 17 tells us that the Northern tribes were "lost" to Assyria. Here, they return to Jerusalem—new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2)?—after the sound of the trumpet—the final trumpet (Revelation 11:15)?—and worship God. I don't know if this is the meaning that is supposed to be taken from these verses (hence the question marks), but as I read the scripture that is where I felt the Spirit leading my thoughts.
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