Series: Thru the Bible
Real repentance & physical resurrection
Last week we ended with Isaiah prophesying devistational judgment on all pagan nations surrounding Israel, the global language of which made it clear that its ultimate fulfillment is to be found during the Great Tribulation.
Then the chapter ended with the last verse speaking of God’s eventual rule and reign.
Let’s recap some of those highlights…
“(1) Look, the LORD is ready to devastate the earth and leave it in ruins; He will mar its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
(2) Everyone will suffer –
the priest as well as the people,
the master as well as the servant,
the elegant lady as well as the female attendant,
the seller as well as the buyer,
the borrower as well as the lender,
the creditor as well as the debtor.
(3) The earth will be completely devastated and thoroughly ransacked. For the LORD has decreed this judgment.
(21) At that time the LORD will punish the heavenly forces in the heavens and the earthly kings on the earth. (22) They will be imprisoned in a pit, locked up in a prison, and after staying there for a long time, they will be punished.
(23) The full moon will be covered up, the bright sun will be darkened; for the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion in Jerusalem in the presence of His assembly, in majestic splendor.”
Now the reason I reviewed this is because it provides the backdrop for Isaiah’s praise of God in the following chapter.
If there was any question that God has been talking about both local affairs surrounding Isaiah as well as future events where He will fulfill all His purposes at the final end of the age this next chapter should put it to rest for it speaks of when God destroys death forever!
“(1) O LORD, you are my God! I will exalt you in praise, I will extol your fame. For you have done extraordinary things, and executed plans made long ago exactly as You decreed.
(2) Indeed, You have made the city into a heap of rubble, the fortified town into a heap of ruins; the fortress of foreigners is no longer a city, it will never be rebuilt.
(3) So a strong nation will extol You; the towns of powerful nations will fear You. (4) For You are a protector for the poor, a protector for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm, a shade from the heat.
Though the breath of tyrants is like a winter rainstorm, (5) like heat in a dry land, You humble the boasting foreigners. Just as the shadow of a cloud causes the heat to subside, so He causes the song of tyrants to cease.
(6) The LORD of Heaven’s Armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain. At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine – tender meat and choicest wine.
(7) On this mountain He will swallow up the shroud that is over all the peoples, the woven covering that is over all the nations; (8) He will swallow up death permanently.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from every face, and remove His people’s disgrace from all the earth. Indeed, the LORD has announced it!
(9) At that time they will say, “Look, here is our God! We waited for Him and He delivered us. Here is the LORD! We waited for Him. Let’s rejoice and celebrate His deliverance!”
(10) For the LORD’s power will make this mountain secure. Moab will be trampled down where it stands, as a heap of straw is trampled down in a manure pile.
(11) Moab will spread out its hands in the middle of it, just as a swimmer spreads his hands to swim; the LORD will bring down Moab’s pride as it spreads its hands. (12) The fortified city (along with the very tops of your walls) He will knock down, He will bring it down, He will throw it down to the dusty ground.”
“(1) At that time this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city! The LORD’s deliverance, like walls and a rampart, makes it secure. (2) Open the gates so a righteous nation can enter – one that remains trustworthy.
(3) You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith, for they trust in You. (4) Trust in the LORD from this time forward, even in Yah, the LORD, an enduring protector!
(5) Indeed, the LORD knocks down those who live in a high place, He brings down an elevated town; He brings it down to the ground, He throws it down to the dust. (6) It is trampled underfoot by the feet of the oppressed, by the soles of the poor.”
(7) The way of the righteous is level, the path of the righteous that You make is straight. (8) Yes, as Your judgments unfold, O LORD, we wait for You.
We desire Your fame and reputation to grow. (9) I look for You during the night, my spirit within me seeks You at dawn, for when Your judgments come upon the earth, those who live in the world learn about justice.”
(10) The wicked love the darkness and injustice…
If the wicked are shown mercy, they do not learn about justice.
Even in a land where right is rewarded, they act unjustly;
they do not see the LORD’s majesty revealed.”
We see this all the time today. Very large corporations will continue to openly support ungodly lifestyles even when it costs them financially.
“(11) O LORD, You are ready to act, but they don’t even notice. They will see and be put to shame by Your angry judgment against humankind, yes, fire will consume Your enemies.
(12) O LORD, You make us secure, for even all we have accomplished, You have done for us. (13) O LORD, our God, masters other than You have ruled us, but we praise Your name alone.”
The Unrighteous Dead do not rise
“(14) The dead do not come back to life, the spirits of the dead do not rise. That is because You came in judgment and destroyed them, You wiped out all memory of them.
(15) You have made the nation larger, O LORD, You have made the nation larger and revealed Your splendor, You have extended all the borders of the land.
(16) O LORD, in distress they looked for You; they uttered incantations because of Your discipline. (17) As when a pregnant woman gets ready to deliver and strains and cries out because of her labor pains, so were we because of You, O LORD.
(18) We were pregnant, we strained, we gave birth, as it were, to wind. We cannot produce deliverance on the earth; people to populate the world are not born.”
The Righteous raised to new life
“(19) Your dead will come back to life; Your corpses will rise up. Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground! For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew, and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.
(20) Go, My people! Enter your inner rooms! Close your doors behind you! Hide for a little while, until His angry judgment is over!
(21) For look, the LORD is coming out of the place where He lives, to punish the sin of those who live on the earth. The earth will display the blood shed on it; it will no longer cover up its slain.”
“(1) At that time the LORD will punish with His destructive, great, and powerful sword Leviathan the fast-moving serpent, Leviathan the squirming serpent; He will kill the sea monster.
(2) When that time comes, sing about a delightful vineyard! (3) I, the LORD, protect it; I water it regularly. I guard it night and day, so no one can harm it. (4) I am not angry. I wish I could confront some thorns and briers!
Then I would march against them for battle; I would set them all on fire, (5) unless they became my subjects and made peace with Me; let them make peace with Me.”
I am reminded of two things mentioned in the New Testament regarding Briars and Thorns. They can be actions of people, or they can be people themselves. In this case they are people – like the tares which the enemy sowed among the wheat in Jesus’ parable. They both were allowed to grow up together, but at harvest time the tares were separated from the wheat and burned.
Here it appears God is giving them one last chance at repentance. At any rate, the removal of these evil influences is imperative to the fruitfulness of the vine – even as it is with natural vines.
“(6) The time is coming when Jacob will take root; Israel will blossom and grow branches. The produce will fill the surface of the world. (7) Has the LORD struck down Israel like he did their oppressors? Has Israel been killed like their enemies? (8) When you summon her for divorce, you prosecute her; He drives her away with His strong wind in the day of the east wind.
(9) So in this way Jacob’s sin will be forgiven, and this is how they will show they are finished sinning: They will make all the stones of the altars like crushed limestone, and the Asherah poles and the incense altars will no longer stand.”
How does one show that they are finished sinning? By destroying all remnants of their rebellion and all access to its recurrence.
Well using drunkenness as a go-to example – it is to destroy all alcohol from their house, to tell their family and friends about their decision and to please help them by not serving it to them.
In states where the law allows they should also distribute their personal information to local retailers requesting a denial of sale due to addiction.
In short it is to go to the furthest extent possible to make such sins as impossible to engage in as possible. This shows a true hatred for their rebellion and a determination to not enter into it again!
In Florida we have a statute under Chapter 562 Beverage Law: Enforcement – section 562.50 Habitual drunkards; furnishing intoxicants to, after notice.
That makes the sale of any alcohol to any person after being given written notice from themselves or family members a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree.
When I used to work in a convenience store I had this happen several times. People, most often mates would come to the store with copies of their mate’s license and tell us they were addicted to either alcohol or lottery and to please deny sale to them, which we did (or at least I did). This made the customer irate but, the purchase of tobacco, alcohol and lottery is a privilege not a right and it can be denied. So use this!
“(10) For the fortified city is left alone; it is a deserted settlement and abandoned like the wilderness. Calves graze there; they lie down there and eat its branches bare. (11) When its branches get brittle, they break; women come and use them for kindling. For these people lack understanding, therefore the One Who made them has no compassion on them; the One Who formed them has no mercy on them.
(12) At that time the LORD will shake the tree, from the River to the Stream of Egypt. Then you will be gathered up one by one, O Israelites. (13) At that time a large trumpet will be blown, and the ones lost in the land of Assyria will come, as well as the refugees in the land of Egypt. They will worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.”
I offered the example of drunkenness before studying this next chapter and it appears it was a well suited example indeed.
God addresses the sin of drunkenness in the Northern Kingdom (called by its largest tribe Ephraim). This is both a literal physical drunkenness and a spiritual drunkenness – both of which cause a lack of discernment, and increase in personal filth and ultimate destruction.
This is NOT a statement against drinking anymore than judgments against gluttony could be taken as statements against eating. It is an excessive abuse of something God gave us to enjoy.
To the one who asks, “why not just avoid it?” one might equally say, “why not just avoid sumptuous foods?”
Most people do not gorge on tasteless wafers and water, they gorge on delicacies and preferred, good tasting foods.
It is one of the most obvious and sickening displays of pious hypocrisy to witness entire Christian circles who demonize responsible drinking as if it were drunkenness while simultaneously gorging themselves like fattened pigs over fried chicken and heavily laden dessert tables at church dinners, picnics and potlucks. Both gluttony and drunkenness are sins of gross indulgence and excess and most often appear in the same list of sins God hates and condemns.
Here in this chapter though, drunkenness is the sin of choice and the one God addresses.
I so liked what Guzik said in regard to this that I am going to read from his most excellent commentary on these verses…
This is one of several passages of Scripture that speaks to drunkards. Prov. 23:29-35 speaks of the folly of drunkenness.
Eph. 5:18 tells us to be filled with the Spirit instead of being drunk. Rom. 13:13, 1Cor. 5:11; 1Cor. 6:10; 1Cor. 11:21, Gal. 5:21, and 1Pet. 4:3 each contain commands against drunkenness.
Jesus specifically warned against drunkenness in the last days in Luke 21:34-36.
Our society pays a terrible price for drunkenness; the direct effect on the drunkard is bad enough, but the extended costs are staggering.
Yearly, in the United States, alcohol is responsible for almost 100,000 deaths (25,000 by drunk drivers alone), 6 million non-fatal injuries, and more than $100 billion in economic losses such as unemployment and loss of productivity.
Drunkenness is behind many other crimes and sins. Many drunkards either commit violent or sexual crimes, or become victims violent or sexual crimes. 75% of the men and 55% of the women involved in date-rape situations had been drinking or taking drugs just before the attack. The FBI says that 50% of all rapes involve alcohol.
Drunkenness is heavily promoted in our culture, and advertising often targets young people, recruiting them to a future of heavy drinking. The average television viewer sees 90,000 incidents of drinking on TV by age 21, and 100,000 beer commercials by age 18. Many of the commercials use cute animals and upbeat music that appeal to young audiences.
I did an updated search on this and found that
- Alcohol or drug use is involved in 40-60% of domestic abuse situations.
- More than half of individuals who abuse their elder parents (age 60 or older) are dependent on alcohol or drugs.
- Each year, about 300,000 victims of violent assaults report that their attackers were under the influence of alcohol.
- Alcohol plays a role in 32% of all murders in the United States.
- Chronic substance users also have a greater risk of dying by suicide.
In short alcohol abuse is ungodly and leads to more ungodliness, which is just like the enemy. He takes something God gave man for enjoyment and to make the heart glad (Ps. 104:15) and turns it into something by which they are made angry, abusive and violent. Satan always works to distort the face of God in any way he can.
“(1) The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards is doomed, the withering flower, its beautiful splendor, situated at the head of a rich valley, the crown of those overcome with wine.
(2) Look, the Lord sends a strong, powerful One. With the force of a hailstorm or a destructive windstorm, with the might of a driving, torrential rainstorm, He will knock that crown to the ground with His hand.
(3) The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards will be trampled underfoot. (4) The withering flower, its beautiful splendor, situated at the head of a rich valley, will be like an early fig before harvest – as soon as someone notices it, he grabs it and swallows it.
(5) At that time the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will become a beautiful crown and a splendid diadem for the remnant of His people. (6) He will give discernment to the one who makes judicial decisions, and strength to those who defend the city from attackers.
(7) Even these men stagger because of wine, they stumble around because of beer – priests and prophets stagger because of beer, they are confused because of wine, they stumble around because of beer; they stagger while seeing prophetic visions, they totter while making legal decisions.
“(8) Indeed, all the tables are covered with vomit, with filth, leaving no clean place.
(9) Who is the LORD trying to teach? To whom is He explaining a message? Those just weaned from milk! Those just taken from their mother’s breast!
(10) Indeed, they will hear meaningless gibberish, senseless babbling, a syllable here, a syllable there. (11) For with mocking lips and a foreign tongue He will speak to these people.
(12) In the past He said to them, “This is where security can be found. Provide security for the one who is exhausted! This is where rest can be found.” But they refused to listen.
(13) So the LORD’s message to them will sound like meaningless gibberish, senseless babbling, a syllable here, a syllable there. As a result, they will fall on their backsides when they try to walk, and be injured, ensnared, and captured.”
Paul quotes this verse in 1Cor. 14 as at least partially fulfilled by the Gift of Tongues with Interpretation.
1Cor. 14:10-25, “(10) There are probably many kinds of languages in the world, and none is without meaning. (11) If then I do not know the meaning of a language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. (12) It is the same with you. Since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, seek to abound in order to strengthen the church. (13) So then, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. (14) If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive. (15) What should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praises with my spirit, but I will also sing praises with my mind. (16) Otherwise, if you are praising God with your spirit, how can someone without the gift say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? (17) For you are certainly giving thanks well, but the other person is not strengthened. (18) I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you, (19) but in the church I want to speak five words with my mind to instruct others, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. (20) Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking. Instead, be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. (21) It is written in the law: “By people with strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, yet not even in this way will they listen to me,” says the Lord. (22) So then, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. (23) So if the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and unbelievers or uninformed people enter, will they not say that you have lost your minds? (24) But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or uninformed person enters, he will be convicted by all, he will be called to account by all. (25) The secrets of his heart are disclosed, and in this way he will fall down with his face to the ground and worship God, declaring, “God is really among you.”
However, I believe this was also partially fulfilled on the day of pentecost when the people first heard the disciples speaking they thought they were drunk – though this was clearly not the gift of tongues with interpretation NOR praying the spirit – but a special gift where each person hearing, heard the words in their own native tongue. For those who are Star Trek fans, this would have worked very much like having universal translators where one can speak in one language but the hearer will hear the words in their native tongue in real-time.
“(14) Therefore, listen to the LORD’s message, you who mock, you rulers of these people who reside in Jerusalem!
(15) For you say, “We have made a treaty with death, with Sheol we have made an agreement. When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by it will not reach us. For we have made a lie our refuge, we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word.”
(16) Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD, says:
“Look, I am laying a stone in Zion, an approved stone, set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation. The one who maintains his faith will not panic.
(17) I will make justice the measuring line, fairness the plumb line; hail will sweep away the unreliable refuge, the floodwaters will overwhelm the hiding place.”
Writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter makes a direct connection between these verses and their fulfillment in Messiah and those who will place their faith in Him.
1Peter 2:1-12, “(1) So get rid of all evil and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. (2) And yearn like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation, (3) if you have experienced the Lord’s kindness. (4) So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and precious in God’s sight, (5) you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (6) For it says in scripture, “Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and whoever believes in Him will never be put to shame.” (7) So you who believe see His value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone , (8) and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (9) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His Own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (10) You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy. (11) Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, (12) and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when He appears.”
“(18) Your treaty with death will be dissolved; your agreement with Sheol will not last. When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by, you will be overrun by it.
(19) Whenever it sweeps by, it will overtake you; indeed, every morning it will sweep by, it will come through during the day and the night.” When this announcement is understood, it will cause nothing but terror.
(20) For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the blanket is too narrow to wrap around oneself.
(21) For the LORD will rise up, as He did at Mount Perazim, He will rouse Himself, as He did in the Valley of Gibeon, to accomplish His work, His peculiar work, to perform His task, His strange task.
(22) So now, do not mock, or your chains will become heavier! For I have heard a message about decreed destruction, from the Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies, against the entire land.
(23) Pay attention and listen to My message! Be attentive and listen to what I have to say!
(24) Does a farmer just keep on plowing at planting time? Does he keep breaking up and harrowing his ground?
(25) Once he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter the seed of the caraway plant, sow the seed of the cumin plant, and plant the wheat, barley, and grain in their designated places?
(26) His God instructs him; He teaches him the principles of agriculture.
(27) Certainly caraway seed is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin seed.
Certainly caraway seed is beaten with a stick, and cumin seed with a flail.
(28) Grain is crushed, though one certainly does not thresh it forever.
The wheel of one’s wagon rolls over it, but his horses do not crush it.
(29) This also comes from the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, Who gives supernatural guidance and imparts great wisdom.”
Next week we will attempt to cover chapters 29-33.
PLEASE read ahead and be familiar with the passage beforehand.
Your diligence will pay off in terms of understanding due to your faithfulness over what you have.