We begin this week by reading Isaiah 26:1-11
Judgment is like two different sides of the same coin. One side is condemnation or punishment. But for those who have repented, the other side is vindication. G-d’s judgment brings vindication for His covenant people, whereby we are positioned in His will. There is an inherent relationship between being in the will of G-d and being in the Kingdom of G-d. When we are in G-d’s will we are going to experience Kingdom provision (joy, gladness, fullness).
v1: That day: Judgment Day (usually referring to that final Judgment Day).
- This song will be sung: This is a unique introduction to this chapter. It is not a burden, or a vision, but here we are told of a song that is going to be sung on Judgment Day. Songs, in Hebrew, are closely related to poetry. Poetry, very frequently, employs parallelism. In this chapter we see the dichotomy between those who are condemned and those who are vindicated.
- The land of Judah: Within the context, Judah is a term that gives this passage a Kingdom connection – G-d’s Kingdom.
- City: This is presumably speaking about the main city in Judah – Jerusalem. Jerusalem has an eternal character. Jerusalem is an eternal city (Rev 21:1-2).
Note: Many translations translate this: “strong city”. Grammatically this is incorrect, as the word ‘city’ is written in the feminine and the word ‘strong’ is written in the masculine. These two words cannot be linked together grammatically.
- Strong: This word alludes to the fact that because Jerusalem still exists, we are in a good position, we have hope.
- Walls: There are two words that denote walls in Hebrew. One kind of a wall is a wall of a house (which this word is not). The walls spoken of here are the walls that would surround a city. The primary purpose of this kind of wall is to provide security and defence.
- Bulwarks: Ramparts. Extra reinforcement. These provide additional security to a city.
Note: What G-d is saying here is that in the last day the people will sing a song of security, a song of defence, a song that will speak about salvation.
v2: Gates: Referring to the gates of this city.
- Nation: (see Isaiah 9:1). When this word is written in the plural it is mainly referring to the nations – the Gentiles. However, when it is written in the singular (as it is here) it is most often referring to the nation of Israel. Abraham was told that he was going to be a great nation (Gen 12:2. Here, ‘nation’ is also written in the singular and is referring to the nation of Israel – Abraham’s natural descendants).
- Keeps the truth: They have believed and have been faithful.
v3: Their mind stayed (inclined): This has to do with a mentality or a thought process. The way that they think is attached to the way that G-d thinks.
- (Kept in peace): Peace is an outcome of being in G-d’s will. Those who do G-d’s will will experience peace.
v4: YAH: A name of G-d (shortened form of YHWH).
- Everlasting strength: (literally Rock of Ages) An eternal rock. ‘Rock’ shows connection to Messiah (Mark 12:10).
v5: Those who dwell on high: These people exalted themselves instead of exalting G-d. They did not have the right mentality or thought process. This is in contrast with the people of faith that we read about in Isaiah 26:4.
v6: Poor…needy: Those who are meagre in possessions. This is speaking of people who are very, very poor.
Note: These people were prideful and did not show compassion to the poor. They did not love their neighbours as they loved themselves. Therefore, their judgment is to be trampled by the very ones that they despised and neglected.
v7: (Path)way: The course or the journey. Those who exalt themselves do not consider their pathways. They do not care if they trample others underfoot in their journey through life. The righteous consider their walk, their lifestyle.
- Uprightness: Justice.
- O Most Upright: Some translators say these words can be referring to the G-d who is upright. Other translators simply see it as a description of what is right (ie a straight path).
- Weigh: Measure. When things are measured out, they are brought into balance and equality. It’s a measurement that demands a response. It’s an adding to what is lacking.
- The path of the just: Those who walk in the righteousness of G-d see what others are lacking. They get involved, as they want to help. They want to make up what is lacking.
v8: Name: Character. Character is connected to behaviour.
- Remembrance: Memory of. This is speaking about their desire to remember G-d’s covenantal promises to them.
v9: Soul: Spirit
- Early: (literally: at dawn) The earliest part of the morning.
- Righteousness: True believers want to live righteously. This is a believer’s motivation when they turn to Messiah. They want to turn away from sin and unrighteousness and want to live righteously.
v10: Grace: Favour.
- Wicked one: The wicked person is now contrasted with the righteous. Those who are wicked do not desire to be in a covenantal relationship with G-d. They do not want the righteousness of G-d in their lives. This is the difference between a true believer and a non- believer.
- Land of uprightness: A land of justice.
- Deal unjustly: He will twist justice. Even when he experiences G-d’s goodness in his life, he doesn’t acknowledge it as from G-d.
- He will not behold the majesty of the L-rd: G-d’s Presence will not be manifest in his life.
v11: Envy: A wrong desire, a jealousy.
- Fire…shall devour: This is the eternal destiny of those who do not love G-d. They are going to be ashamed, and they are going to be consumed by the fire of G-d.