Reading through the Bible together

Monday, March 10, 2014

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Isaiah knows his biblical history well, especially Moses and Job. Isaiah also received visions or oracles directly from the Lord regarding future events. He describes the bad imperialistic and self-centered nations in the context of Lucifer and the sad Rebellion in Heaven. Lucifer was cast down and there were a number of “casting downs” of nations in history all of which were products of the Lucifer-type-rebellion.

Isaiah also keeps reminding his readers of the various functions of the Messiah, salvation, atonement, judge, warrior, and re-creator. Isaiah put his book together at a fairly advanced age and his writing can be seen in poem, diary, report, oracle, and various types of notes.  Sometimes he moves from one set of word-pictures to another.  It is all part of the desire of Isaiah to educate his audience to be not only horizontal and vertical thinkers but especially “cirmcumventional” thinkers. That is, they need not only to have insight into present things but need to understand them in an overall perspective. Isaiah wants to connect the events of the Day of the Lord directly with tragic events in his own day.

In verse 1-3 Isaiah describes the time when God will choose “Spiritual Israel” as His own and settle them at the Second Coming in the New Jerusalem, in “their own land” and strangers will join them and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the heaven, in the land of the Lord. The concept of spiritual Israel will include all peoples. The Lord will give them rest from pain (verse 3). They will sing a “Fallen is Babylon” song and praise the Lord. We know it is eternity and not history since (verse 7a) says the whole earth is at rest, is quiet. Satan is bound, and in heavenly Zion or New Jerusalem there are shouts of joy (verse 7b).

After the millennium there will be a resurrection of the evil leaders of the earth (verse 9), and they will recognize the true nature of Satan and the temporary futile power of empires (verses 10-11). The spirit of these empires lies in Lucifer who became Satan and was cast out of heaven (verses 12-14). “Nevertheless, you [Satan] will be thrust down to Sheol the lowest recesses of the pit” (verse 15). All in the universe will say, is this the man who made the earth tremble” (verse 16). Satan is a master of disasters. He “made the whole world like a wilderness” (verse 17) and overthrew its cities. He created the various Babylons and then overthrew them. During the millennium all the evil kings of the earth lie in tombs, but Satan will be in his own “pit” (verse 19d) and will not be united with the evil dead during that time (verse 20a).

In verse 22 the Lord spoke and said that He will cut off from the “city of Babylon the survivors, the offspring and posterity.” The Babylons of the earthly empires have no eternal future. The Lord will “break Assyria in My land” (verse 25). It is not the land of physical Israel. The breaking here is speaking of Assyria as representing the nations of the world which in the Executive Judgment of the Lord will be trampled “in My land” for the earth belongs to the Lord. That is when He will come out as the Messiah Warrior to bring finality to evil on this earth. “This is the plan devised against the whole earth” (verse 26). “For the Lord of Hosts has planned and who will annual it?” (verse 27). The time-event schedules of God known to Him are sure and cannot be changed.
God will destroy the “serpent’s root” (verse 30c). The end-time Babylon will fall “wail, O gate, cry O city” (verse 31). The Lord has founded Zion, and at the Second Coming the afflicted of His people will take refuge in it [New Jerusalem]” (verse 32b-c).

Dear God,
This world holds no security for us and no Babylon can exist eternally. Grant that we will find security in the recreated earth, in the heavenly city of God, and in the recreated mountains of God in the new earth.  Amen.

Koot van Wyk
National University
Sangju, South Korea