In today's lesson we get a prophetic glimpse of the future of Israel.
Isaiah Chapter 4
Lessons from the text
Judah and the Messiah
This chapter gives us another piece of the future of Israel. No where in Scripture does God provide an "Okay, here's exactly what will happen in the final days." We have to piece together all these little snapshots to get a larger view of events like the Tribulation Period, the Millennial Reign, and New Jerusalem/New Earth.
I know there is a wide variety of interpretations of prophetic events, but here are some things we can know about this period in Israel's future from today's reading.
In Zachariah 14:1-21 we learn:
And Revelation 19:11-20:6 talks in detail about the war that will begin this time period. The text also add that:
This 1000 year period is known as the Millennial Reign. One other aspect of this time period that I find fascinating is to see which parts of the environment stay the same and which parts change. Zachariah talks about the Mount of Olives splitting into two and areas being turned into plains. When God comes to earth, there will be changes. But some things stay the same. I find it peculiar that there will still be storms (Isa 4:6).
Now, what has all of this to do with us here and now?
The Promise of Shelter
Aside from giving us the hope of a wonderful future, we have the promise of a refuge from life's storms. In the presence of God, we find shelter.
On the flip side, this chapter also teaches me that even in God's Kingdom, there will be storms. Peter writes, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (I Peter 4:12). I feel like we so often are surprised and become upset when trials and storms come our way. After all, once you're a child of God, there are no problems, right?
I wish it were that simple. But God wants to try us, to purify us by using problems to weed things out of our lives or to make us grow. This chapter of Isaiah reminds me that I might be sitting in the blessings of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, and a storm start raging around me. I should not be overwhelmed or panic the moment the wind picks up. Instead, I just need to head to God's tabernacle (metaphorically speaking) to find my refuge in Him.
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Verse by Verse Commentary
1 The text continues the description from chapter 3 of the desolation of the Judean women. They have become so desperate that they are willing to provide for themselves one hundred percent. They have given up the hope for an intimate, real marriage and are willing to accept a façade.
2-3 The phrase "branch of the LORD" tells us Isaiah is switching to the time of Christ. We also know that this is not referring to the first coming because the Jews shall be considered "holy." Israel, while still being the chosen people of God, are not as a whole considered holy; they have rejected Jesus as their Messiah.
4 After God purges Israel with a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning, Israel shall be holy. God Himself will dwell in Jerusalem.
5 This is reminiscent of the presence of God found in Exodus when He led the children of Israel through the desert by a cloud in day and a pillar of fire by night (Exo 40:34-38).
6 The picture concludes with a promise of safety and refuge in those days. Taking the text as a prophetic picture, we are promised shelter from the scorching heat of life in the shadow of the tabernacle, or presence, of God.
Please comment below to tell us what you learned from today's lesson.