TODAY’S READING: ISAIAH 26-31
Worship in the Millennial Kingdom; praise for the preservation of Israel; woe against the drunkards of Ephraim; woe against Jerusalem; woe against the schemers; woe against those who trust in Egypt; woe against those who trust in Egypt’s military defense.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Chapters 26 and 27 describe the worship that will be taking place in the Millennial Kingdom. Chapter 26 begins with the words, “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah,” and then it goes on to give us the actual words of the song! The song is a song of praise to the Lord for His glorious protection. The godly will enter into the “strong city” of Jerusalem, but the strength of the city is not because of her physical walls, it is the salvation imparted to its occupants by the Lord Himself (26:1-2)! Because of their trust in the Lord and their meditation on the Lord, the Lord blesses them with perfect peace (26:3). Don’t miss that verse 3 is a biblical prescription for that kind of peace now, as well as then!
The song in chapter 26 continues with praise for the Lord’s judgment against His enemies in verses 5-11. In verses 12-15, it is praise for God’s permanent victory over His enemies; and verses 16-21 are praise to the Lord for his deliverance from suffering. Isaiah is describing Israel’s suffering in the Tribulation, and is giving to them the glorious promise of resurrection (26:19)!
The song continues in chapter 27, praising God for the slaying of Leviathan. Israel’s enemies are pictured here by this slithering creature that is described as a serpent and a dragon. As we discussed in our coverage of Job 41, Leviathan is none other than that seven-headed red dragon (Ps. 74:13-14; Rev. 12:3) that is “that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan” (Rev. 12:9). Israel’s enemies in the Tribulation Period are the nations, but God identifies for us the actual power that is working behind the scenes and through these nations. It is none other than Satan. Rev. 13:4 tells us that Satan has wanted to devour Israel since the day she was born! Chapter 27 goes on to praise the Lord for His judgment against the Gentile nations that have afflicted Israel. The chapter ends with Israel “worshipping the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem” (27:12-13). It’s exactly what the Father has always longed for His Son to receive.
In the remaining chapters in today’s reading (28-31), Isaiah pronounces five of six “woes” upon those who scoff at God’s Word (We will pick up the sixth “woe” in the next day’s reading). For the most part, God is indicting Israel and Judah for trusting in their wealth and the help they could receive from their alliances with foreign nations, rather than trusting Him.
The first woe is directed against Ephraim, the large tribe that was representative of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. It anticipates the Assyrian invasion and subsequent fall of the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C., but also looks ahead to the day of the Lord (“in that day” – verse 5) when the remnant of Israel would repent and receive a “crown of glory” and a “diadem of beauty,” the very Lord Jesus Christ when He returns to the earth to establish His Millennial reign.
In chapter 29, the second woe is given against “Ariel, the city where David dwelt!” (29:1 – i.e. Jerusalem). It prophesies the invasion of the Assyrian army under Sennacherib, and describes in an historic sense and a prophetic sense, how the nations that hunger and thirst for Israel’s destruction will be destroyed themselves.
The third woe appears in verses 15-24 of chapter 29, and is directed against those who seek to scheme against the Lord, thinking He doesn’t see them.
Chapter 30 opens with the fourth woe, directed against Judah for their rebellion against the Lord — specifically the rebellion they expressed by trusting in Egypt rather than the Lord Himself. The chapter continues on to describe how that their alliance with Egypt would fail, and how Judah would be chastened of the Lord. In verse 18, God begins to point, once again, to that time when the chastening would be over, and He would destroy the nations of the world that set themselves against Israel, and bring them into the blessings of the Messiah when He rules in His Kingdom.
The fifth woe, in chapter 31, continues the condemnation against Judah for looking to Egypt for help militarily against the Assyrians. The chapter ends with God’s declaration that Assyria would ultimately be defeated, not by man, but by Him (!), and that they would be defeated, not by man’s sword, but God’s! You’re holding that Sword in your hands at this very moment! Allow it to defeat and destroy all of the worldliness that is afflicting your life today!
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
26:1 – “in that day”
27:1 – “in that day”
27:2 – “in that day”
27:12 – “in that day”
27:13 – “in that day”
28:5 – “in that day”
29:18 – “in that day”
30:23 – “it is a day of trouble”
30:25 – “in that day”
30:25 – “in the day of the great slaughter”
30:26 – “in the day”
31:7 – “in that day”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the PRECIOUS (CHIEF) CORNER STONE, A SURE FOUNDATION – Isa. 28:16 (Eph.2:20-21; Matt. 1:42; Acts 4:10-12; Rom. 9:33; I Pet. 2:6-8)