Text: Isaiah 26:7-21, 27:1
If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The LORD Protects the Righteous.” Those who are righteous in His eyes will be protected in the day when the inhabitants of the earth, and Satan himself, are judged because they have defied Him and refused to repent.
Verse 7-8 —
The way of the righteous is smooth. The Upright One, the LORD, makes the path of the righteous level. We walk in His righteousness when we humble ourselves before Him and repent, just as Isaiah prophesies in Chapter 40 —
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley (that is, the humbled) shall be exalted (lifted up), and every mountain and hill (the proud) shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain . . . (KJV)
Isaiah 40 was John the Baptist’s marching orders for calling Israel to repentance (Matthew 3:2-3). He lifts up those who have humbled themselves before the Lord, per James 4:10 and 1Peter 5:6!
The way of the LORD’s judgments is this — he lays low those who exalt themselves and He exalts those who have humbled themselves before Him. He judges righteously. Therefore, His obedient ones wait for Him, entwining themselves with Him.
I tell you the truth, when you entwine yourself with the Lord, it will be as Isaiah prophesies in Chapter 40 —
Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for (entwinte themselves with) the LORD will gain new strength (exchanging theirs for His); they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
His name (His nature) and the remembrance of Him, are the desire of all of those who love and obey Him. They constantly meditate upon His nature — His goodness and righteousness. And, since Jesus Christ came and died and rose and ascended and was glorified, they become partakers of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4) when they are filled with the Holy Spirit!
Verse 9 —
Isaiah says to the LORD, At night, my soul longs for You. Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently. All who truly love the Lord are like Isaiah —
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (KJV)
I praise God that He made me hunger and thirst for righteousness, for indeed, He filled me (Matthew 5:6), after I sought Him diligently. It is a great reward to be filled with Him!
Those who have diligently sought Him and entwined themselves with Him look forward to His righteous and just judgment of the earth and its inhabitants who have defied Him. The earth dwellers will learn that He is righteous, for He will righteously judge them! None will be able to claim that He has been unjust in His judgment of their defiance.
Verse 10 —
The wicked are shown favor — He causes the blessings of sunrise and rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). As I have said from the beginning of this study, He does not desire any to perish, but blesses all of mankind so they would see His righteousness and repent and diligently seek Him.
But many continue to defy Him, dealing unjustly in the world that the LORD created. They do not perceive the majesty (excellency) of the LORD. Why? They who refuse Him are blinded by the god of this world, Satan, as Paul teaches the wayward believers in Corinth, who are being blinded by Satan’s false teachers —
2Corinthians 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Verse 11 —
Because those who defy the LORD are blind, they do not see that His hand is lifted up, poised to judge them. But they will surely see His uplifted hand, at the moment they stand before Him, in the day of judgment. Jesus says —
John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good (loving and obeying Him) to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil (defying Him) to a resurrection of judgment.”
Indeed, fire will devour the LORD’s enemies —
Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Verses 12-13 —
The LORD will establish peace for us — and He means peace between Him and us! Jesus Christ died on a cross to remove us from God’s wrath, and to reconcile (make peace) between the Father and us (Isaiah 53:5)! It is the Lord who has done it — He has faithfully performed it for us!
And He fills us with His peace, when we are filled with His Holy Spirit (John 14:27)! Again, it is the Lord who has done it!
Other lords have ruled His people — kings of other lands, and even the god of self, which is behind every false idol His people have worshiped and been enslaved to, then and now. But in this verse, His people have turned back to Him, and now His name is written over them, just as Jesus promises —
Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.”
Verse 14 —
Those who have defied the LORD and are therefore spiritually dead will be judged, and will not have His eternal life. Those who have died in their sin will not rise to life, but only to judgment —
John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good (believed in and obeyed Him) to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil (defied Him) to a resurrection of judgment.”
Verse 15 —
Isaiah twice repeats “You have increased (enlarged) the nation.” Remember that when the LORD repeats the same phrase twice to His prophets, it means it will be a sudden event. Indeed, He has extended the borders of His kingdom, by making His Son a light of salvation to those who are not Jewish by lineage, as He speaks through Isaiah —
Isaiah 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Verse 16-18 —
Isaiah now speaks to the LORD about His people. He sees a vison of their repentance, in which they sought Him in their distress — they turned back to Him! As I have said, He disciplines and punishes them so they will seek Him! And it worked!
Their strength upon which they had relied was gone. They were so weakend that they could only whisper a prayer of repentance, because His chastening (restraint in order to discipline) was upon them. It was true of me, when He brought me low in order to bring me in!
Again, Isaiah sees a picture of their weakness, and their inability to prosper by their own strength. They could not increase themselves, even though they were pregnant and in labor. They could not deliver themselves, but gave birth to wind, to nothingness. They could not deliver the earth — only the LORD is able to do it, for all who repent!
Verse 19 —
Your (literally, My) dead will live! All who are the LORD’s, all who obey Him, and all who repent with their whole hearts, will live! Their corpses will rise, to a resurrection of life, at the time of the Rapture. Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica to explain how it will all unfold —
1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep (died) in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up (Latin: rapturo) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Jesus said, when briefing His disciples prior to His crucifixion —
Matthew 24:30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect (all who believe into Him) from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
And Paul writes to the believers at Corinth —
1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
Those who lie in the dust will awaken and shout for joy, for their dew (covering) is as the dew of the dawn (which covers everything). They have been covered, and
now, the earth will give birth to those who have died in Him!
Verse 20-21 —
The LORD will provide those who love Him with a safe place, in the day of judgment of the dwellers on the earth. He says, “Come, My people!” Enter your rooms, and close the door behind you. Hide for a little moment, until My indignation passes over.” Why must they hide?
For behold! Isaiah sees that the LORD is about to come out from His place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth because of their sin, for they have defied Him. The earth will reveal both the bodies and the blood of all those whom Jesus Christ will righteously and justly slay the wicked —
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword (the Word of God), so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Verse 1 —
In that day, the day when Jesus Christ comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth because of their sin, He will also deal with Leviathan, the fleeing serpent. Leviathan is a type, symbolic of Satan.
In pagan cultures, Leviathan represents the chaos god, out of whom the world came. But the true god of chaos is no god at all — it is Satan, a created being.
Satan will try to flee from the LORD, but the LORD will easily capture Him. Satan’s destruction is marked out for him, as I have spoken in previous studies (see Revelation 20:10)!
Jesus Christ will slay him with His fierce and mighty sword — the Word of God. And He will also kill the dragon who lives in the sea (a type of the people of the world), who is the Antichrist, the beast who comes up out of the sea (Revelation 13:1).
The LORD is victorious over all evil, in the end. But even now, if we are His, we become super-conquerors when He indwells us fully —
Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer (literally, we are super-conquerors) through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Beloved, are you still willfully disobeying Him? Then you are defying Him. Turn from your sin, ask Him to forgive you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, and you will walk in His victory over sin.
Lord Jesus, may believers who obey You rejoice at both their present and their future with You! And may both the inhabitants of the earth and those who rebel against You while claiming to know You repent and turn back to You today, for you will surely hear their cry and answer! Amen.