In today's lesson, we learn that God's judgment is actually a cause of praise for the believer.
Isaiah Chapter 25
Lessons from the text
Judgment: Good for Believers, Bad for Sinners
Believers celebrate God for being faithful to His promise of righteousness and justice. We rejoice to see truth, grace, and love be victorious. Even so, we also welcome God's judgments, even at the cost of the utter destruction of this world. We trust that God knows what is best; if He has to admonish this creation and begin it anew, then so be it. We know that in the end, what God creates will be good. So we rejoice to see Him take step towards this goal.
The sinner, however, does not share this expectation. Instead of looking forward to a new, just world in the life to come, the sinner's joy is in this life only (Lk 16:25). When death comes, they are exposed for what they are, barren and without God. Therefore, they tremble and fear from any display of God's power and authority. They know that God's judgment means their destruction.
The judgment of God brings about a new, just world order. Once all evil and sin has been destroyed and cast into an everlasting fire, then God will wipe away the tears from the face of the believers. No more suffering, no more pain, no more sorrow. In the absent of evil, we can have everlasting joy.
The Jews of Isaiah's day probably heard this promise gladly. They were surely happy to know that God would one day wipe away their tears. However, they did not know what we now know; God will not fulfill this promise until He makes the new heaven and earth (Rev 21:14). Our hope is not in this life only but in the life yet to come. We look forward to eternity. Only after God's judgment is fulfilled, when evil is forever separated from good, only then will we live in a truly just society.
To the believer, God's judgment is therefore the final liberation from evil; it is the time when we are forever freed from oppression and rebuke. To the sinner, however, it is the destruction of everything in which they trusted; it is their annihilation. So, please, make sure you are able to meet God's judgment with faith in Christ. Don't go to God's judgment seat unprepared and still in your sin.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1-2 After all the judgments of the previous chapters, Isaiah praised the Lord. When all is said and done, believers will rejoice in how faithful He has been to His people.
3 The righteous are glad to see God’s judgment on the wicked, and everyone else is struck with fear.
4-5 God is faithful to take care of the poor and oppressed while debasing the wicked.
6-7 God will destroy the veil of darkness and lies that Satan has spread across the world (see Eph 6:12). This will make His ways plain to all people.
8 Through Jesus’ death at the cross, He overcame the power of death and enabled souls to return to heaven by Himself going into the prison that currently held all souls and then ascending to the Father (I Pet 3:19, Acts 1:9-11). For wiping away tears, compare with Revelation 21:14.
9-12 God promises that when He comes back, He will be our God. Those who have waited patiently for His coming will be saved (Mt 24:13, Rev 14:12). God also promises that the idolatry and haughtiness of man will be destroyed as He spreads His influence across the world.
Please comment below to share what you learned from today's lesson.