We are in the Prophetic Stream in the book of Isaiah where the judgments continue. There is some good news tucked into this passage though. We are reading from the New Life Version this week which is a charming, simplified version. We will cover Isaiah 25-28.
Whereas Isa. 24 is about a world convulsing toward destruction like we read of in Revelation 20, Isaiah 25 talks of enemy cities destroyed, and Jerusalem being a city of refuge, where a great and fine and rich feast for all the people of the earth will be held. This is a truly glorious event. Death and tears are overwith – as we read of also in Revelation 19:7-9. Isaiah’s writing style and pattern of transforming back and forth between the inevitable looming over a disobedient people and the glorious things that are to come is often recurring. In v. 9 he says “in that day” – he is referring to what will be the marriage supper of the Lamb in the new Jerusalem. Isaiah uses “in that day” to depict marvelous things the Lord will bring forth. The phrase is used 31 times in the first half of Isaiah – three times in the last half. True Isaiah is assigned to describe and call out many awful things that are happening and what must be endured but Isaiah repeatedly delights in telling of the wonders God plans to do with and for his people; for all people who come to God.
26~ Is a Song of Praise to the Lord that continues the “in that day” theme when God rules and things are good for our behalf because is God is followed faithfully; there is strength, protection, salvation, righteousness, peace, greatness, resurrection, restoration, new life…all this hints of eternity (from an earthly description vantage point.) The Revelation description is much more cosmically told about 7-8 centuries later.
27~ The “vineyard of Israel” will blossom and thrive again. Though the story of this vineyard has been bleak, Isa. 5:1-7, God will restore Israel; this vineyard. Israel has been punished and exiled, but more so He will punish the great enemies of Judah and Israel. Leviathan (Satan) will be dealt with also. Egypt and Assyria who have punished the Nation of God, (yes, it was their assignment to punish Israel), God’s people will return and be a fruitful vineyard that will benefit the whole world as prophesied by Isaiah.
28~ The vineyard of Israel will thrive one day (in that day) but nonetheless, Samaria / in Israel right is going to be punished first. Samaria is led by a bunch of irresponsible drunks. They act like severely unruly children who mock and talk back to their instructors. Yes, they are angry for being instructed and will no doubt will be angry for being punished for ignoring instruction. When they are punished, can you already hear them whine, “gee why didn’t you warn us?, waaaaaaaa”
Israel is arrogant, self-reliant, thinking Egypt will ‘cover for them’, they think they are secure, that they will cheat death, avoid a ‘flood’ of enemies, God will be their Cornerstone, but they don’t seem to want Him. Their scoffing of godliness, and Hezekiah and Isaiah and the prophets will only make their punishment sooner and worse.
The passage today ends with the illustration of a wise farmer who plans and plants and works. They will probably not hear this either. A sad day is coming for Israel.
Lord God Our Savior, may we hear your warnings and yield to your Spirit and return to you quickly. ;Your warnings are loving, not harsh. You warn us so we do not harm ourselves and others. Thank you for your salvation and your protection. Amen