Monday, October 2, 2017

Isaiah Post 13 - Mini Apocalypse (Chapters 24-27)

This section of Isaiah is sometimes known by scholars as a mini book of Revelation.

Verse 1 jumps right in...  Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants.

The earth is laid waste and the wrath of God is poured out. In Revelation, we see the wrath of God poured out when we read of the trumpets and bowl judgments.

Verse 2 lets us know that pretty much everybody is affected:  both servants and masters, business people, borrowers, lenders, and religious people.

Why is this happening?  Why does the earth languish and fade away under the wrath of God?

Verse 5 tells us why:
 The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, 
Because they have transgressed the laws, 
Changed the ordinance, 
Broken the everlasting covenant.

Verse 6 warns of what is to come, and it isn't pretty.
Therefore the curse has devoured the earth,
And those who dwell in it are desolate.
Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,
And few men are left.

So the curse will devour the earth, because the everlasting covenant was broken.  What is this referring to?

Of the seven covenants between God and man in the scripture, there is only one which is everlasting and also promises a curse if not heeded- the Abrahamic covenant of Genesis 12, 15, and 17.

If you are not familiar with these seven covenants, you can click here for a refresher.

While introducing the Abrahamic covenant, YHVH says to Abraham in Genesis 12:3,  I will bless those who bless you, and he who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

 It is very important to note that there are two different words used in this verse for curse.

  • Arar – curse.  
  • Qalal – lightly esteem, treat as unimportant, scorn
The NET (New English Translation) clearly differentiates the two words: I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse

Nations coming against Israel will be cursed.  The land is a key component to the Abrahamic Covenant.  People and nations want to take it away… that tiny little sliver of land that God gave to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in an everlasting covenant.  For more details, you can read Genesis 15 and 17.  You can also read Genesis 26:3 and Genesis 28 where you will see that the covenant promised to Abraham was passed down to Isaac and then to Jacob (Israel).

The nations will try to take away the land.  They are still trying today.  See what one of King David's chief musicians, Asaph, wrote thousands of years ago in Psalm 83. It starts out like this:

Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

The psalm continues, calling for a curse on all those who oppose Israel.

While you might think it is mean-spirited of the psalmist to do this, it comes straight from YHVH.  See Joel 3:1-2 and Zechariah 12:3.

Satan is hard at work deceiving people against Israel, both inside and outside of the church, in the media, in the universities, in the UN, and in the hearts of people.

Why?  The return of Yeshua is inseparable from the land of the Abrahamic covenant.  According to the scriptures, the Jews had to return to the Promised land before He would come back.  And when Yeshua returns, satan knows he is toast.

Rev 12:12 tells us, Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

A few verses later, verse 17 shows us exactly who satan's targets are:  Jews and Christians. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.  

I believe that the holocaust was a manifestation of satan's rising panic, knowing that his time was growing ever shorter.  Perhaps he noted the great numbers of Jews returning to the land starting in the late 1800s, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Anyway, start esteeming Israel if you don't do so now.  It’s important.

Back to Isaiah 24:  In the midst of destruction, we see praise happening in verses 14-15.  I am reminded of Revelation 7:  even though there is about to be great wrath being poured out on earth, people from every tribe, tongue, and nation bow before the Lamb in worship.

Chapter 24 wraps up with the kings of the earth, along with the host of demons, punished and thrown in the pit.  The LORD of hosts will then reign on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

Chapter 25 begins with the exaltation of YHVH, and Isaiah includes the Hebrew term pele yo-etz - meaning wonderful counselor from chapter 9.  What follows is a beautiful prophecy of restoration!  Isaiah gives us a picture of the start of the millennial kingdom. 
Someday we will be praising Him in person.  We will praise Him for destroying enemies.  We will be feasting in His presence, and He will remove the veil of sorrow that has covered the nations. 

In verse 8, we see death swallowed up forever, and every tear will be wiped away, which is repeated in Revelation 21:4.

Also, the rebuke of His people will be wiped away.  This is great news! Israel has been hated since they became a nation while in Egypt.  The hatred actually goes even further back to Hagar and Sarah.  Satan hates what God loves.

I love verse 9:
And it will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
This is the Lord;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation

In chapter 26, we see a song of salvation, sung in the land of Judah.  They will trust in Him!  Some highlights from this chapter:

  • Verse 12 – Lord, you will establish peace for us.  You have done all our works in us.
  • Verse 17 – A woman in childbirth (see Revelation 12:1-2)
  • Verse 19 – A picture of the future resurrection, which we know will happen at His return 
    • Your dead shall live!
    • Their dead bodies, they shall arise!
    • Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust!
    • In Revelation 20, we see the first and second resurrections; the earth shall cast out the dead.  You can read 1 Corinthians 15 for a collaborating view on the resurrection, as well as Daniel 12:2.
  • Verses 21-22 –  God's people are supernaturally protected while the rest of the earth is being punished. (See Revelation 3:10, where the congregation at Philadelphia is promised protection within a sphere of danger)
Isaiah wraps up this mini-apocalypse with chapter 27.  In the first verse, he mentions the destruction of leviathan, that twisted and fleeing serpent.  Leviathan is transliterated from the Hebrew, but it means a beast.  I believe it is a metaphor for the satanic beast empire of the last days, which also meets its demise by the mighty hand of the LORD.


The next section speaks of another vineyard.  Remember chapter 5 and the vineyard with the wild grapes and the thorns?  Here we have a reversal.  We see another reference to the root, Israel, blossoming and budding, and filling the face of the world with fruit. 

I don’t think we can even imagine the restoration and abundance that is coming to fill the earth when Yeshua returns. Rev 22:2 tells us, In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Isaiah continues in verses 7-9 with a theme parallel to Romans 11.  Israel is judged, but then saved.

This entire section is wrapped up with this awesome foretelling of the coming kingdom in verse 13:
So it shall be in that day:
The great trumpet will be blown;
They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria,
And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt,
And shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

I can hardly wait.

For the next post in the Isaiah series, click here.

If you would like to start at the beginning of Isaiah, click here.

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