Bible Study: Isaiah 27:1-13
Today's lesson continues a praise towards God for taking care of His people.
Isaiah Chapter 27
Lessons from the text
The Blessing of Judgment
Blessing and judgment. The two do not mix ... or do they?
What happens when God's people are under His judgment? Chapter 24 verse 13 compares it to the shaking of an olive tree; all the fruit that is not securely attached falls away. The song of the vineyard of red wine is a song of tender caring and protection for the vineyard. This comes after all the judgments and after the song of the wellbeloved's vineyard of chapter 5. That is, the blessings of provision and protection come after judgment on His own people and on the world.
We do not have the riches of heaven. We have the promise of them, but right now we have not yet inherited them. We still have troubles, still have problems accomplishing what is good and honest, and battle in a spiritual warfare. Only after death will we be untouched by a fallen world.
God's judgement, then, is a way to keep us focused on that eternal promise. It keeps us humble enough to remember that this world and all that it offers will not endure forever. Like when gold is tried by fire, the heat brings to surface all the impurities of the metal, allowing them to be removed. Even so, we, when tried by God's fire, have the things of the world shown to us that we may remove them from our lives. Then, purified, we are acceptable before a holy God. That is perhaps the greatest blessing of all.
Verse by Verse Commentary
Chapter 27 is a continuation from chapter 24 and speaks of the time when God will reign from Mount Zion in Israel (24:23).
1 Leviathan is mentioned in Job 41:1 and Psalms 74:14 and 104:26. The context of these verses implies that it is a real sea monster, but there is no detailed description given. Job suggests that it is a creature that only God can subdue. Therefore, a spiritual application would be that God is going to destroy an enemy of the saints that the saints have been unable to defeat.
2-4a God refers to Israel as a vineyard. In chapter 5 God was angry with Israel because despite His efforts they had brought forth wild fruit. Here, however, God is promising that He will "water it every moment," keep it from hurt, and will not be angry with it. His people have passed from judgment to restoration.
4b-5 No one is able to fight against God. No one has the power or authority to defeat Him. If one tries to overpower or usurp Him, God will burn that person. If, however, one turns to God acknowledging that He is all-powerful, then one can have peace with God. Compare with verse 2 of the previous chapter; God's kingdom is open to any who wish to enter.
6 God promises a special blessing on Israel (Jacob). Going back to Abraham, the children of Jacob are the children of faith. God honors Israel not as a nation but as the children of those who were faithful to Him. The fruit of Israel, then, is faith in God. When He returns to rule in Mount Zion, the faith will spread across the world, but, as verse 10 of chapter 26 says, the ungodly will be ungodly still.
7-8 Those who took advantage of Israel have been utterly destroyed. Israel, although thoroughly beaten, is still alive today as a coherent nation. It has not and will never suffer the same level of destruction its enemies suffer. Instead, Israel will be measured, pleaded with ("debated"), and shown mercy. In the time of tribulation (the east wind), God will stay His mighty wind as to not put on Israel any more burden than what it is already enduring.
9 God's purpose in measuring and dealing with His people is to remove sin. Everything that is not build upon the truth of God will be destroyed when He moves His hand on it.
10 In contrast to His people, those who are full of pride against God relying on their own defenses will be utterly destroyed to the point where no human will live there anymore.
11 God calls those who are prideful as people who have no understanding. Psalm 14:1 says that "the fool says in his heart there is no God." To reject God and His ways is foolishness and shows a lack of wisdom.
12-13 In conclusion, when judgments have passed, a great trumpet will sound to summon all of God's people, both the Israelites and the believing Gentile, to worship God in Mount Zion.
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