Archive for July 4th, 2017

The next 3 chapters are sometimes referred to as ‘Isaiah’s Apocalypse’ and the dramatic imagery is certainly reminiscent of the book of Revelation. In the previous chapters, Isaiah has been zooming in on particular nations – he now turns his eye on the whole world.

The opening word translated ‘See’ in the NIV and ‘Behold’ in the KJV, is the Hebrew word Hin-eh. Literally meaning ‘here’, Hin-eh has the sense of needing to pay attention, being attentive/present.  Isaiah wants us to know he is about to say something important. This is Judgement Day for the enemies of God both in the spiritual and earthly realms (v.21-22).  The first 3 nouns of verse 17 (Fear/Pit/Snare) in the original Hebrew sound like the repeated blows of a hammer: ‘pachad, pachat, pach’ where the ‘ch’ is a hard, guttural sound like in the Scottish ‘loch’. An onomatopoeic reminder of the relentlessness of judgement.

The reason for the judgements is revealed in v.5:  people’s flouting of God’s laws and Covenant obligations. And ‘Therefore a curse consumes the earth…’ (Verse 6).

In amongst the doom and gloom, there is a ray of hope. There will be a remnant who will not be destroyed. It may be a small number (verse 6b), but a number nonetheless! Verse 13b presents this in harvest imagery. It’s interesting to note that, in the farming world, olives that fall to the ground are considered ‘damaged fruit’ that can only be used for inferior products. The ‘good fruit’ is harvested using nets that are laid under the olive trees which are then shaken or beaten with sticks to dislodge the fruit. Isaiah confirms that through the trials and tribulations, good fruit will be gathered!

From this remnant will come shouts of joy! Isaiah hints here, that the remnant will not just be from the children of Israel but also from the Gentile nations – from the ends of the earth. From our New Testament vantage point, we know they will be from every tribe and tongue! Both Jewish and Gentile people groups will be praising and worshiping the King.  (John 11:51, 52)

We finish this chapter with the King reigning supreme – His glory outshining both the moon and sun. (Revelation 21:22-27).  In today’s troubled times, it’s encouraging to remember that evil will not last forever. It will be defeated both in the spiritual and earthly realms and God’s righteous remnant will be saved.

 

 

 

 

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Spend some time proclaiming the name of the Lord and His glorious Kingdom over troubled areas in our world today. Pray for a righteous remnant to be raised up in every nation, tribe and tongue!

 

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