Reading through the Bible together
In this chapter Isaiah starts off with the symbolic name “Ariel” for Jerusalem, meaning “lion of God,” also a probable name for the Temple Mount or “Mount Zion” used in David’s days. In prophetic language there were two Mount Zions, an earthly one and a heavenly one. The earthly one is in Jerusalem and the heavenly one is in New Jerusalem in heaven.
Isaiah then lets Satan speak (vv. 2-3), and Satan explains his agenda against the “lion of God” or the temple or sanctuary of God on earth: he will bring distress there and there shall be lamenting and mourning (v. 2a-b). For the suffering city to change and become a lion means that God had to take control to punish Satan. It is not God who will wage war against the city, Satan says that he will “camp against” the city and encircle it with the Assyrian armies. Siege-works and battle towers will be placed against Jerusalem (v. 3b-c). The city shall be brought low (v. 4a) and from the earth it will speak to God from the dust (v. 4b). Their words shall come like whispers of a ghost (v. 4a-f).
At the Second Coming, the multitude of enemies of the remnant, shall become like dust (v. 5a). The ruthless ones shall become like chaff that the wind blows away (v. 5b). Satan and his proxies will be punished “from the Lord of hosts” “with thunder and earthquake and loud noise” (v. 6a). After the millennium the Warrior Messiah will take care of the fighting nations who wage war against the heavenly Jerusalem (v. 7). Their attempt to attack the heavenly New Jerusalem which came down from heaven at the end of the millennium will not succeed. Christ, the Warrior Messiah, will take care of them (v. 8a-g).
Isaiah then touches upon what the people knew about the Delay and Waiting (v. 9a) which precedes the Second Coming of the Lord. The Bible is everywhere, in almost every language, on internet and so on, but many cannot understand it for they never read it. These people are secularists who draw near the Lord with words but not with hearts (v. 13). They worship with tradition but not heartfelt reverence, and the “wisdom of their wise men will perish” (v. 14b). Their worship and lifestyle habits try to hide things from the Lord. They continue in sin and pretend to worship (v. 15). It is like clay opposing the potter saying “He has no understanding” (v. 16).
After the Second Coming followed by the Millennium there will be a new creation and the eradication of all evil. The earth will turn into a fertile field (v. 17b). At the Second Coming “the deaf shall hear” and the “blind shall see” because at the Second Coming and the resurrection God will be giving the remnant perfect bodies (v. 18). The afflicted and needy “shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel” (v. 19).
Isaiah sees Satan, “the ruthless one come to an end (v. 20a). There will be total eradication of all evil. “The scorner will be finished” and “all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off” (v. 20b). It is the absolute finality of evil, of those who have caused people to be indicted by a word (v. 21a-c). Thus the Lord says of his remnant, who like Abraham are full of faith, “Jacob shall not be ashamed, nor shall his face now turn pale” (v. 22).
They have nothing to fear with the Lord on their side. The remnant shall see the work of the Lord in their midst. They will stand in awe of the God of Israel” (v. 23a-c). “And those who erred will come to understand (v. 24a). “And those who complained will accept instruction” (v. 24b).
Grant that we will be ready in the final Spirit-filled event to be receptive of Your truth. Provide us with understanding, and help us also to endure the Last Days with Your sustaining Hand. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea