Today we take a look at what it means for God's righteous to fill the earth.
Isaiah Chapter 26
Lessons from the text
Dust to Dust Rejecting God, man and his creation will return to the state it was in before God granted him life: a pile of useless dust. God is the one who gives the increase (I Cor 3:6). Any work produced without His blessings will amount to nothing. All the hard work of man, all of his achievements, will be reduced to dust in God’s judgment. While we may think we own a piece of land or build a business, everything belongs to God (Ps 50:10).
We are the stewards of His creation, granted power over the earth for the purpose of caring for it (Gen 1:28,2:15). To think that I make anything of my own is a fallacy because whatever power I have comes from God (Jn 19:11). People who build a life independent from God will one day have a very rude awakening; God will destroy their works and judge them for their rejection of His righteous ways. His works will return to dust and his soul will be cast into torment where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt 13:49-50). You don’t want to go there.
Build your life around God, on His principles, and then you can enter into the gate of salvation where there is peace and eternal life.
1 In the day that God reigns from Mount Zion (24:23), His people will rejoice in song because He has made salvation as sturdy as a defensive wall. One can rest confidently in God’s salvation because it is so study.
2 The gates of salvation are open to whoever wants to enter. One just has to choose to walk in.
3 Trusting in the Lord means being confident that He will take care of one’s life and circumstances. When God constantly fills one’s thoughts, then one is always aware of God’s strength, righteousness, and faithfulness to take care of His children, thus bringing peace of mind to that person.
4 Expounding on verse 1, Isaiah says that we can trust God because He will endure forever and His power will never fade away.
5 Once again Isaiah comments that God will bring low the haughtiness of man. Considering that man himself was formed out of the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7), it is worthy to note that God will bring man’s work to the dust.
6 God will invert the current world system by placing the poor and needy above those that “dwell on high.”
7 Justice and uprightness feed off each other. To be upright means to seek out justice, and justice is performed when one lives uprightly. Everything that is classified as good relates to each other in a beautiful harmony, just as everything classified as wicked relates in a destructive harmony.
8 This justice of the upright is not their own; it comes from God. All good things come from Him (Jm 1:17).
9 When one is obedient to God, one’s desires will align with the will of God; that is, one will desire righteousness. A servant of God should be pained by the suffering and existence of evil in the world, looking forward to the day when all the earth will know righteousness.
10 Also in alignment with God’s will, the servant of God desires that mercy and special favor be given to the wicked so that they may repent and learn to do right. However, it is up to each person to accept God’s way. A person may choose to ignore the signs of God’s mercy and grace, refusing to “behold the majesty of the Lord” in favor of continuing to deal unjustly.
11 Even though the wicked choose to be blind to the hand of God, in the end they will be forced to acknowledge their choice. They will be ashamed and subject to the punishment created for the enemies of God who are satan and his angels (Mt 25:41).
12 The works of the righteous are not physical works; they are faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (II Pet 1:5-11). As they are not physical works, they will not parish even when God destroys the earth. This is why Jesus calls them treasures in heaven, for they will be with us always (Mt 6:19-20).
13-14 Compare with Matthew 10:28. Earthly rulers do not endure and therefore should not be mistaken as the final authority in one’s life.
15 God’s kingdom will expand over all of the earth when He comes back to reign from Mount Zion.
16 The ungodly are content to live without God until they are under His wrath, and by then it is too late, and they are experiencing the consequences to their decisions.
17-19 God’s people have been trying to bring forth righteousness but have been unsuccessful. While men witness and make plain the consequences to sin, people refuse to repent. Only after the resurrection of the saints and the conversion of the living will the earth be full of righteousness. Compare with I Thessalonians 4:16-17.
20-21 Until the redemption of the body and evil is removed from the earth, one is to be separate from the rest of the world. God encourages the believer with the statement that this time of indignation is but a “little moment.” This could refer to the Tribulation period or simply the span of one’s life, for the human life is a tiny amount of time compared to eternity.
Verse by Verse Commentary
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