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26th April

Isaiah 31-35; Psalm 116

Bible in a Year
6 minutes
In this article
26th April

Isaiah 31-35; Psalm 116

Bible in a Year
6 minutes


So far in Isaiah, we’ve read through the section focused on the judgement and future hope of Jerusalem, and the section focused on the judgement and future hope of the nations. Then yesterday we started the section accusations against Israel's leaders.

Through these different preaches and visions, we gathered a series of images. We saw Isaiah in God's courtroom, purified to be in God's presence and then commissioned to be a warning to the people that they will ultimately ignore. God was about to pour judgement on the Israelites for their wickedness and corruption. This punishment was described like God laying an axe to a tree and just a stump remaining. It was destruction intended to purge and purify.

Out of the remnant of his people, this tree stump, God would raise up a branch from the line of David, who would be king who reigned over the earth and brought peace. Isaiah mentioned a future son who would be born and who would come after the period of judgment. He would be king over, God's people, bring peace to the world, and restore all nations under his rule.

Focusing on the foreign nations, we got mention of a 'day of the Lord'. On this day, God will bring judgement, waging war on evil and wickedness. He will destroy powers that set themselves up against him, whether they be human kings or spiritual beings. These foreign nations are judged for their pride, oppression, and wickedness. Isaiah specifically mentions Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Cush (Ethiopia), Egypt, and Tyre.

Focusing on Israel's leaders, Isaiah pointed out that the judicial leaders, the priests, and even some of those who claimed to be prophets where proud drunkards, who put their trust in their own power and authority rather than God. They ignored God's principles and teachings while paying him lip service.

But through these preaches, Isaiah highlights some key ideas. The Israelites are not to turn to these foreign nations for support and protection. God is in control and will use all this for his purposes. Eventually even these foreign nations will be brought into God's future kingdom. In that time all people will celebrate, feast, and worship God, led by a king who will bring peace and flourishing.

Isaiah 31-35

Yesterday, we read how God challenged the things the Israelites had been putting their trust in. He challenged the leaders in the northern kingdom of Israel, and the priest in the southern kingdom of Judah, for leading his people poorly. He then challenged their trust in Egypt to save them, when they should put their trust in him. We continue on that thought today.

Once again, Isaiah calls out the people for trusting in the strength of Egypt and their horses, rather than God. He points out that the Egyptians are just men, and that God needs only to stretch out his hand and they would fall and perish. God, however, is strong and mighty to protect his people. Isaiah the prophecies that Assyria, the Israelite's biggest threat at the time, won't fall because of human swords and strength. They will fall because of God's might.

Isaiah then turns to a future hope of a king that will rule with righteousness and justice. Under this king, people will see and hear, and they will understand the things of God. Isaiah points out that while fools are often considered nobles, and scoundrels often get away with their evil and appear good, under this new king that will not be the case. Those people will be removed, and those who are truly noble will be exalted.

Next, Isaiah calls to 'complacent' women, women who until now have been content with how Israel has been living. Isaiah calls these women to listen, to see what will happen, and to mourn it. For soon the harvests will fail. Soon the palace will be empty, and the city be deserted, and wild animals will come to live in them.

But once again, Isaiah turns to a future hope. All this will happen, ‘until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high' (Isaiah 32:15). When God pours out his spirit, then the harvest will be fruitful. There will be justice and righteousness in the land. The justice and righteousness will lead to a time of peace and trust in God. Isaiah is trying to lay out a clear road map of what will happen in the future and provide the people hope, so when they see it all happening, they will put their trust back in God.

Isaiah now moves onto talking about Assyria, the 'destroyer'. He lets them know that their own destruction will be turned back on them. He then calls on God to be gracious and rescue his people. Isaiah puts his confidence in God, declaring his strength and his ability to bring righteousness, justice, and peace. He mentions briefly that there will be weeping and mourning, but then reaffirms his confidence that God will come and destroy their enemies.

We then get those who have been sinning in Jerusalem crying out, asking how anyone can survive God's judgement. Isaiah tells them that who live according to God's way will survive. Those who walk righteously, and that speak uprightly. Who despise oppression, bribery, bloodshed, and evil. And there will be a king who will end the evil, and the fighting, and bring peace.

Having finished challenging the different things the people have been putting their trust in, Isaiah then doubles down on putting your trust in God. First, he will bring judgement on the nations and on the spiritual beings in heaven, for how they have sinned against them. He will attack them with the sword and bring devastation to the land. Isaiah notes that just as it is written down here, it will happen. Nothing will be missed.

But after all that is done, God will restore all things to himself. He will transform the wilderness to a prosperous land. He will strengthen the weak, open the eyes of the blind and the ears of the death. Those who could not walk will leap about, and those who could not speak will sing for joy. God will make a highway so that all people who choose holiness can return to him. Finally, the ransomed, those that God has bought back, will return to Zion, God's restored holy city, and there will be everlasting joy.

Psalm 116

This psalm isn’t attributed to anyone in particular and falls into the category of thanksgiving psalm.

Psalm 116:1-4 - I love the Lord

Psalm 116:5-11 - The Lord is a righteous and merciful deliverer

Psalm 116:12-19 - How can I repay the Lord?

The psalmist opens with the declaration “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice”. The Lord is the one heard the psalmist in the darkest moment. When it felt like death was upon them, it was to the Lord the psalmist cried out.

The Lord is gracious, righteous, and merciful. He protects and rescues his people, dealing with them generously. It was the Lord that delivered the psalmist from death and from weeping. Now, even when the psalmist is going through difficult times, they trust in the Lord before anyone else.

This causes the psalmist to begin to wonder, how could they ever repay the Lord for what he has done. All they can do is hold on to God’s salvation and call on his name. The psalmist will seek to stay true to all that they say the will do before the Lord. They are the Lord’s servant and will offer sacrifices of thanksgiving to the Lord. They will do all this in the presence of God and others.

This psalm is the natural response of someone who has been blessed and saved by the Lord. They declare their love and trust in the Lord, even if things get hard again. Then they think through how they can bless the Lord in return.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

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