On to Isaiah 30:18-22
G-d keeps covenant with His people. This means that what He has promised He will be faithful to fulfil. In the last days, G-d is going to bring about a heart change among the people through discipline, judgment, and adversity. Adversity brings the people to repentance. G-d’s faithfulness to bring about a change in the people shows and manifests His steadfast love for His (old and new) covenant people.
v18: The L-rd will wait: The people are not responding to G-d, but He does not cancel His covenant with them or reject them, replace them, or cast them aside. He waits to be gracious to them.
- He will be exalted: Lifted or raised up. This could also be a reference to the cross. Yeshua was lifted up (exalted) on the cross (He lay down His life for His people) so that He could show us mercy.
- Gracious… mercy: There is a correlation between the grace of G-d and the mercy of G-d.
- Blessed: This word is parallel to the New Testament word where we get the concept of the beatitudes from (Matt 5:3-12). Beatitude means ‘happy’ and ‘blessed’. This word combines blessing with the feeling that one has because of the blessing that has been received.
- Blessed are all those who wait for Him: The commentaries agree that this waiting is a waiting for G-d to move – waiting for G-d to bring the Redeemer, to bring His Messiah. There is a connection between Messiah, the grace and mercy of G-d, and the expectation to be waiting for Him.
v19: Zion: Zion is a Kingdom word. It is speaking about the location of the physical Jerusalem, but it is Jerusalem in a different state, her redeemed state. Zion is Jerusalem redeemed.
- Shall weep no more: Crying will be cut off (Rev 21:4).
- The sound of your cry (literally: scream): When they cry or yell out G-d is going to respond. He is going to show them grace and He is going to answer them.
- He will answer you: This is a future event but is written in the past tense in the Hebrew Bible. This shows assurance and certainty. In G-d’s eyes this is as good as already done. When the past tense is used in regard to a future event, it’s to teach us that this is certainly going to take place.
v20: L-rd: Adonai. The name of G-d referring to Him as the Master.
- Bread of adversity… water of affliction: This bread is not good; this water is putrid. This speaks of the fact that the people are going to go through terrible times of suffering. G-d has given the children of Israel wonderful promises. He is going to be gracious and merciful to them, He is going to hear their cries and He is going to respond to them. However, in order to bring these promises to fruition, Israel is going to go through a very difficult and unpleasant time of trouble and persecution known as Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7). G-d uses the difficult time to bring about an inward change in the remnant of the Jewish people – the 1/3rd that is left (Zech 13:8-9, Roms 9:27-28, Roms 11:5).
Note 1: ‘Jacob’s trouble’ is an end time persecution and time of trouble specifically for the Jewish people. Before this time of trouble for Jacob, and before the wrath of G-d falls (as believers we are not appointed to be here on earth when the wrath of G-d falls – 1 Thess 5:9), there is going to be a Great tribulation that is specifically aimed at the believers – those who believe in Yeshua, ie the Lamb (Rev 7:13-17). This Great tribulation happens just before our blessed hope (the rapture- Titus 2:13. The rapture is NOT the second coming of Messiah to earth. At the rapture, Yeshua only comes as far as the clouds – 1 Thess 4:17). It is through this Great Tribulation that believers are called to overcome (Revelation 2-3). Why do we need to go through tribulation? To be purified and made spotless, made ready (Dan 12:10, Rev 6:11, Rev 7:9,14, Rev 19:7-8)
Note 2: To give a timeline: the Great Tribulation for the believers happens during the opening of the seals in Revelation. After the sixth seal, the Believers who have not been martyred during this time (Revelation 6:9-11) are raptured and, at the same time as the rapture takes place, there is a sealing of the remnant of the Jewish people (Revelation 7). These sealed Jewish people ARE going to go through the wrath of G-d (which commences with the trumpet and bowl judgments), and, at the same time as the wrath of G-d is falling on the world, they are going to go through their intense persecution or time known as Jacob’s trouble (Dan 12:1). The church will not be around to see this (we would have been martyred or raptured), but at the end of this time we will be coming with Messiah as a part of His second coming (Rev 19:11-14, 1 Thess 3:13).
- Affliction: Pressure, anxiety, stress.
- Your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore: Those who have the truth are no longer going to be in the corner – set aside (like a “naughty” corner, so to speak).
- Your eyes shall see your teachers: This means that they are going to perceive (through experience) the revelation of G-d. His truth and prophetic revelations are no longer going to be put in the corner, shelved, ignored.
v21: Your ears shall hear a word: This is clearly speaking about revelation.
- A word behind you: The word ‘behind’ shows something that has been left, they ‘moved past this truth’ so to speak and it is now ‘behind’ them. Most scholars see this as a word related to the necessity of repentance.
- Way: This is such an important word. The first believers were called the people of the Way (Acts 9:2, 19:9 etc). Messiah is known as the Way (Moses was asking who the Messiah -the Way, G-d Himself- was, the One who was going to go with him in order to lead the people into the Promised Land – Ex 33:12-17, see also John 14:6).
- To the right hand…to the left: They need to change their direction (not going right or left) and they need to walk in the straight and specific way of the L-rd (Prov 3:5-6). Hardship is going to put the people on the right course.
v22: Note: Right up until the last days, Israel will be in idolatry.
- Defile: Render unclean. Idols being defiled is a good thing.
- Graven images: Statues. Idols
- An unclean thing: Literally a menstrual rag.
- You will say to them: Some would say that this phrase is related to a confession. They are going to confess that their idolatry is a defilement, and they are going to turn away from it.