Our next reading this week is Isaiah 25:1-5
We will not receive the fullness of G-d’s blessings or His promises until we enter into His Kingdom. This does not mean that G-d does not bless us now in this world, at this time. He does – graciously and abundantly. The fullness of G-d’s Kingdom, though, will not be realised until His wrath/judgment has been poured out. For those who are in a covenantal relationship with G-d, His judgment leads to good things.
v1: O L-rd, You are my G-d: Isaiah is prophesying, but he’s doing so in a very personal way. He is acknowledging the L-rd G-d as his G-d. We could see this declaration as Isaiah’s statement of faith.
- I will exalt you: G-d has revealed Himself to Isaiah. Isaiah has experienced G-d. This causes Isaiah’s response toward G-d to be one of exaltation and praise.
- Praise (give thanks for) Your name: Isaiah is recognising the character (name is synonymous with character) of G-d and he is thanking G-d for His character. Giving thanks can also be a confession or an acknowledgement of the goodness of G-d’s character.
- You have done wonderful things: In the past, in the present and especially in the future G-d has/is and will manifest His wonders, His marvellous things.
- Counsels of old: G-d’s blueprints for the future – His plans and purposes. G-d’s plan has been made known to mankind from ancient times.
- Faith(fulness): This is what our response should be to G-d’s plans and purposes. We need to respond to them in faith.
- Truth: This speaks of being in agreement with G-d.
v2: A ruin (literally: a heap): The city has changed. It has undergone a transformation. No longer is it a city, but it is a pile of ruins.
- A fortified city: A fortified city is a strong and powerful city.
- A ruin (literally: collapses): This is the same word that can be used for a waterfall cascading down. Destruction has happened, and G-d has brought it about. This is what G-d does to all who stand in opposition to Him.
- Foreigners: Those that are outside of Israel. These are the ones who enjoy the finer things that this world has to offer (‘palace’) – those who have no covenantal relationship with G-d. Within their human power, intellect and capabilities they made glorious things. But G-d is going to destroy them.
- Never be rebuilt: No more opportunities for them, no second chances after G-d’s judgment has taken place. The time to repent has come and gone.
v3: Therefore: This is the response of those who witness G-d’s judgment and survive (i.e. the remnant).
- Strong: Powerful.
- Glorify/Honour: Even though they have strength, power and resources they are not going to rely on themselves. When they see G-d’s judgment, they are going to make a wise decision and are going to respond by honouring or glorifying G-d.
- Terrible/Ruthless: In modern Hebrew this is the Hebrew word for tyranny – those who enslave, oppress and punish others.
- Nations: The Gentiles – those who have not been interested in G-d, and so have not put their faith in Him.
- Fear: When the Gentiles witness the judgment of G-d they are going to be changed/transformed.
v4: Terrible ones: Probably referring to those who practice tyranny, those who breathe (blast) threats towards others.
- As a storm against the wall: The words, the threats, are going to have no power. They are no problem for G-d. Although rain may be strong, as it beats against a wall it has no effect on that wall, it makes no impressions.
v5: Reduce: G-d is going to subdue them; He is going to make them submit. This submission could be either through a change or transformation in their hearts, or it can simply mean that G-d is going to conquer them.
- Noise: Uprising.
- Aliens: Foreigners. Those who have no covenantal relationship with G-d.
- Heat: This word implies ‘arid’ or ‘dry’ – the result of what happens when it is very dry.
- Heat in a dry place (desert): The expectation is that the desert is going to be hot. Heat is not a bother in this location.
Note: In this passage we see how G-d is going to bring great change to this world. If we are desiring righteousness, holiness, morality, and justice then G-d’s judgment is going to be of interest to us.