But Isaiah does not stop there. The LORD will be merciful. Verse 19 highlights a beautiful section of God's promises to Israel:
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
You shall weep no more.
He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.
|Broken pottery makes a beautiful mosaic|
Isaiah continues in verses 4-5 with two metaphors for YHVH – a roaring Lion and like birds flying about – defending Jerusalem. He will deliver it, and passing over, He will preserve it. The word used here is the Hebrew word for Passover, when the Lord YHVH miraculously delivered the Israelites from Egypt.
We begin with a civics lesson in verses 1-4: the king and princes will rule in righteousness and the people will listen. This is also a messianic picture of the coming kingdom. A king ruling in righteousness is music to a Middle Eastern ear, a land whose history has been riddled with conflict since its inception.
This righteous kingdom of peace has been the national hope of
In verses 5-7, Isaiah warns fools and schemers against their sin.
What follows that is a warning against complacency, particularly warning women, in verses 9-11. We see judgment on those who just sit there. We can't just sit there! The LORD wants us to rise up and be involved in His plan!
Following the warning, the passage switches gears again (are you dizzy yet?). The spirit will be poured out from on high, and the land will bloom! The thorns and briers in the forsaken land will be reversed! YHVH is merciful; the judgment is not forever.
The restoration is always connected to the land, which is why the land was part of the everlasting Abrahamic covenant. They are inseparable! And as YHVH is wrapping up His plan for human history, we can see the land of Israel coming to life, after sitting there for nearly 2000 years of wilderness wasteland.
|See all the green? |
Fun fact: Since 1901, over 240 million trees have been planted in Israel
The remainder of the chapter is a beautiful prophecy of what is to come for the land and its people:
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
And righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
Though hail comes down on the forest,
And the city is brought low in humiliation.
Blessed are you who sow beside all waters,
Who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.
I have added a highlight to verse 18, because it is such a wonderful promise.The word for dwellings is mishkan – the word used for the tabernacle in the wilderness. It was the place where YHVH dwelt with man, and He will dwell with us again! Mishkan comes from the same root word as shekinah – which means YHVH's manifest presence.