Text: Isaiah 32
If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “When the King Reigns.” The LORD shows Isaiah a king, but he is not an earthly king of Judah or Israel. Why?
After the Assyrian exile of northern Israel and then the Babylonian exile of Judah, there were no more kings in Israel, to this very day — well, except for the King of kings! His kingdom is not of this world, but is established inside of those who are filled with His Holy Spirit, after they have believed into Him. The King of kings says this —
Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within (inside) you.”
So, I will glorify the King of kings by speaking as one in whom He reigns.
But as usual, I am getting ahead of myself! Let’s look at the text, and wonder and marvel at God’s truth!
Verse 1 —
The LORD gives Isaiah a vision of a king who will reign righteously, and whose princes (children) will rule justly. The LORD our Righteousness —
Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
And who are His princes (that is, the children of the King)? Oh, when the King reigns, He will be accompanied by a royal priesthood, filled with His Spirit and therefore His justness, a people for God’s own possession, so we may proclaim the excellencies of Him who brought us out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1Peter 2:9)!
Verse 2 —
Each member of this Spirit-filled royal priesthood will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm. We rest in the shadow of the wings of the King (Psalm 91:4)! And we invite you to do likewise, by asking your Father to fill you with His Spirit!
We are filled with rushing, flood-stage rivers of living water (John 7:37-39), as we walk about the dry country of the dying church and the dying world. And we are like the shade of a huge (glorious) rock, even the rock which is Christ, in the parched land that is the dying church and the dying world. Paul says —
1Corinthians 10:4 and all (in the wilderness wanderings of Israel) drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
Verse 3 —
And when we encounter those who have eyes but do not spiritually see, they suddenly see! And when we encounter those who have ears but do not hear and heed the words of the Lord, they suddenly hear and heed!
Verse 4 —
The mind (heart) of the hasty (rash, foolish) will discern the truth! They will receive discernment from the Spirit who indwells them fully. And the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly! There will be no more confusion about the gospel in their speech or in their hearts. They will proclaim the gospel clearly!
Verses 5-6 —
Because filled believers have spiritual discernment, we no longer call fools (wicked persons) noble (exhibiting high moral qualities). And no longer will we speak of the rogue (mean-spirited, stingy) as generous.
For a wicked person speaks nonsense, and his heart does wickedness. The wicked practice ungodliness and speak error against the LORD. They make hungry the hungry soul, and withhold drink from the thirsty.
Oh, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, we cry! Why? For they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6)!
Verses 7-8 —
Isaiah contrasts the rogue (mean-spirited) with the noble man (one who is highly moral because that one has become a partaker of the divine nature, per 2Peter 1:4).
The rogue has evil weapons. He devises wicked schemes. His desire is to destroy the afflicted (spiritually humble) with slander (words of falsehood), even though the spiritual beggar speaks justly.
Who is the father of the rogue? Listen to Jesus, and then Paul —
John 8:44 To the Jews who hated Him and wanted to kill Him — “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
2Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
But the noble man devises noble plans, and by noble plans he stands. In the original Hebrew to English, the words mean that the one who has become a partaker of the divine nature deliberates and advises correctly. And because the advice we give comes from the Holy Spirit, our advice is upright, and our wisdom will be shown to be true.
Verses 9-11 —
The LORD gives Isaiah words of warning to women (literally, adulteresses). Adulterous ones are males and females who are His, but worship other gods who are not gods at all, thus committing spiritual adultery.
The LORD says through Isaiah, “Rise up (get up from your bed of adultery), you spiritual adulteresses who are haughty and proud. Hear my voice. Give ear to my word, you complacent (careless) daughters (of Judah).
Isaiah continues prophesying. Within a year and a few days, you will be troubled (tremble, fret), O careless ones, for the vintage is ended (shall fail) and the fruit-gathering will not come. It is a picture of famine.
Tremble, you who are haughty and proud. Be troubled, you careless. Strip, undress, and put sackcloth on your waist. You will mourn! Beat your breasts (mourn) for the pleasant (delightful) fields and the fruitful vine.
I tell you the truth, there was no spiritual fruit in Judah, and there is little spiritual fruit in today’s church! Yet no one mourns, because they are blind to their spiritual condition, just like five of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3.
Verses 12-14 —
What will replace the delightful fields and fruitful vines? Thorns and briars. Mourn for the joyful houses and the jubilant city (“yea” is not in the original Hebrew). There will be no joy, but only desolation and fear.
For the palace has been abandoned, the city of multitudes forsaken. Hill and watchtower have become caves (dens) forever. Wild donkeys and flocks will eat from the pastures.
Forever! Israel remains spiritually poverty-stricken and spiritually destitute, for the Jews have not received the Messiah sent by their Father.
Much of the church is the same, for they do not believe such things are “for today,” or have been taught that when you believe you are filled. But there is still evidence of the sin nature in them. It is a dead give-away, for when you are filled, the sin nature is crucified, beloved!
Forever! There will be no restoration until . . .
Verses 15-16 —
Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high! Just as in Acts 2, the Spirit of the Lord will be poured out into all those who believe into Jesus Christ, and then see their spiritual poverty — that they cannot cease from sinning against the Lord — and ask their Father in heaven for the infilling of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)!
Then the wilderness (the desert in them) becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field a forest! Spiritual fertility, spiritual fruit, will be borne by those in whom the Spirit dwells fully, with the Father and the Son (John 14:23)! These words are an echo of Isaiah 29:17 —
Isaiah 29:17 Is it not yet just a little while, before Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field, and the fertile field will be considered as a forest?
Then justice will dwell in the land that was once a desert, devoid of justice. Why? Spirit-filled believers, partakers of the divine nature, will dwell there! Because they dwell there, righteousness will abide (remain permanently) in the fertile field, for His righteousness remains permanently in them!
Verses 17-18 —
What will be the work (product) of righteousness? The righteousness of Christ in filled believers produces peace! It is peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7), peace in all circumstances (2Thessalonians 3:6)! It is the peace of Christ, with which He promises to fill us! Listen to His words to His disciples about the coming infilling of the Holy Spirit —
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
What will be the service (effect) of this righteousness of Christ in filled believers? Quietness (repose, even the sabbatismos of resting from our works so He works in and through us), per Hebrews 4:9-10! And the effect will be confidence (trust) forever! It is impossible to distrust Him, when He has filled you with Himself!
Then, when the Spirit is poured out, believers will live in a peaceful habitation, safe places filled with His peace, and in secure (assured) dwellings, for they will be sure He is in them, and His peace has filled them!
And they will dwell in undisturbed (quiet) resting places, having entered His rest!
Verse 19 —
There will be a time when hailstones fall, when the Lord pours out His wrath at the end of things —
Revelation 16:21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.
The forests — all who are haughty and proud — will fall! And the city, spiritual Babylon, will be laid low in a low place (it will sink into a depression, utterly humiliated) —
Revelation 18:10 (those who loved Babylon were) standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, “Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.”
Verse 20 —
But blessed you are who sow beside all waters, who send out the foot of the ox (in order to prepare soil for planting). In those from whom living waters flow, the seed of the Word of God will be sown in soil softened by the living waters flowing from their bellies!
And the ox is a type, a symbol, of servanthood. Spiritually blessed are those servants sent out to prepare the soil with their living water, and plant the seed of the Word of God!
Jesus says —
Matthew 13:23 “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
What is your response to Isaiah’s glorious picture of Pentecost? Will you believe it? Will you receive it? Will you cry out to be filled, so this prophecy is fulfilled in you?
Oh, pray this way — Your kingdom come, in me! Your will be done in me! O Lord, crucify my sin nature and fill me with Your Spirit so that I obey just as every creature in heaven obeys!
Make it so, Lord Jesus, I humbly pray. Amen!