Our next portion: Isaiah 26:12-21
v12: Establish: This is a word for arranging and setting things in order.
- Us: Those who are in a covenantal relationship with G-d.
Note: In this chapter Isaiah goes back and forth between the righteous and the unrighteous.
- Peace: Peace is related to the fulfilment of the will of G-d. The fulfilment of G-d’s will is experienced by His people.
- You have done all our works in us: All the good deeds/works that we have done (through the Holy Spirit working within us) have eternal characteristics and consequences.
v13: Other masters… have had dominion over us: In the past they have been enslaved.
- But…we make mention of Your name: Even though Israel (in the past) had been ruled over by others, that had not caused them to forget the L-rd G-d. They have remembered Him, and His character (name), in the midst of their exile. It was this remembrance that brought them back to the land.
v14: Dead: Here Isaiah goes back to talking about the unrighteous. Those who do not belong to G-d are dead. They do not have life.
- Punished: This is literally the word ‘visited’. G-d went all in. He fully committed Himself to this.
- Made all their memory to perish: They will be remembered no more.
v15: Increased: Added to. This is what G-d has done for His people. He has added (believing Gentiles) to the nation promised to Abraham.
- Nation: Written in the singular, therefore a reference to Israel (and for those who have entered into Israel through the grafting in by the New Covenant – Roms 11:17-26a).
- Expanded all the borders of the land: There is an inherent relationship between G-d’s people and the land (of Israel). There is an emphasis, throughout the Bible, upon the land. One of the things that several commentators say is that G-d is expanding the land’s borders because a great number of redeemed will be brought into it.
v16: In trouble: Trouble (Jacob’s trouble – Jer 30:7) is what is going to bring Israel to repentance. G-d can use difficulties to bring people to salvation.
- Visited: Responded to. They are all in. This is a word of commitment.
- Chastening: Can also be translated ‘uprightness’ or ‘ethics’. There has been a change – from walking in disobedience, to embracing the ethical standards of G-d.
v17: Pain…(labour) pangs: Israel will go through her worst time of trouble in the last days.
v18: Note: Israel were called to establish salvation and bring light to the Gentiles (Acts 14:47) but, as a nation, they failed miserably at this. They were not the ones who established salvation. What this verse is telling us is that Israel had no merit – nothing good that they had done that they could turn and point to. The only reason Israel turned to G-d was because she was in trouble.
- Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen: Israel had not brought about a change. They had not defeated their enemies, the tyrants and wicked leaders of the world as they should have (Deut 20:17-18).
v19: Your dead: Speaking of those who are G-d’s covenant people.
Note: This verse is in contrast to Isaiah 26:14. Isaiah 26:14 is referring to the dead of non-covenantal people. Those whom G-d has punished and destroyed in judgment will not rise up.
- They shall arise: Death for G-d’s covenantal people comes to an end (1 Cor 15:35-49). This foreshadows resurrection.
- Awake and sing: These are words that show joy.
- Your dew: (G-d’s dew) What G-d provides for His people sustains them and gives them life.
- Dew: Morning dew has a special significance in Judaism. Prayers for dew to come down are said throughout summer (from the time of Passover) until the end of autumn (until the feast of tabernacles). This morning dew is seen as a blessing; it is related to life.
v20: Note: This verse teaches, emphatically, that unredeemed Israel WILL go through the wrath of G-d (this will NOT be the case for the church, who will be raptured before the wrath of G-d falls – 1 Thess 5:9). Before the wrath of G-d falls, a sealing of the remnant of unredeemed Israel will take place (Rev 7:18). This seal is similar to the seal that was placed on Cain so that no one could harm or kill him (Gen 4:13-15). The remnant of Israel will be sheltered and protected while the wrath of G-d falls on the earth. It is also important to note that the source of the “time of Jacob’s trouble’ is not G-d. The source of Israel’s trouble, in that day, will be because of the persecution from the enemies of G-d – this persecution will be orchestrated by the antichrist empire.
v21: Behold: This is a word that is used to grab our attention, as what is to follow this word is of the utmost importance.
- The L-rd comes out of His place: He will respond, at the end of this period of time.
- Punish: This word can be translated ‘visit’. When G-d visits people, He visits them either to go all out to bless them, or He goes all out to utterly and totally destroy them.
- The inhabitants (dwellers) of the earth: See comments made on Isaiah 24:17
- Her blood: Her guilt.
- Will no more cover her slain (the ones that they have killed): Instead of being instruments of life they ministered death.
Note: Those who love G-d and are in a covenantal relationship with Him are going to want to be a blessing (minister life) to others. They will never take G-d’s grace and exploit it for their own sinful purposes. Instead, G-d’s grace leads us to be committed to Him – in mind and deed (our actions).