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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah

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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 26: An extension of the song of praise

 

Context:

1.3 God's Outworking of the End Judgment Ch.24-27

Ch.24 The Lord's devastation of the earth

Ch.25 – Subsequent Praise to the Lord

Ch.26 An extension of the song of praise

Ch.27 Deliverance by Discipline of Israel

   

This Chapter:

v.1,2 The Strong City for the Righteous

v.3-9a Principles & Consequences

v.9b-11 Responses of the Righteous & Unrighteous to God's Judgments

v.12-15 After your work, you alone exist and reign

v.16-18 We failed you, you disciplined us

v.19-21 We will know resurrection when you come to discipline the earth

      

[Introductory Comment: The song of the previous chapter continues on here. After having brought security by dealing with their enemies, the prophet now continues to celebrate the security of life in Jerusalem [v.1], a city where only the righteous can enter [v.2]. In ‘celebratory mode' he declares that the Lord will give peace to those who trust in the Lord [v.3] and will make the way of the righteous smooth [v.7]. The consequent call is to trust Him [v.4] and avoid self-centred pride [v.5,6] that brings destruction, but instead wait on Him [v.8] and desire Him [v.9a]. He observes that when God sends judgments, the wise learn from them [v.9b] but the wicked fail to realise what they are [v.10,11] and are destroyed. He further acknowledges, after this judgment of chapter 24, the Lord will have brought peace [v.12] as He rules over His people [v.13] having removed all idolatry from them [v.14]. He will have blessed and expanded them [v.15]. The fact was they had failed the Lord [v.16] but He had disciplined them [v.17,18] and had brought them through to a place of new life [v.19]. However until that happens they should just hide away and wait for His coming [v.20] for He WILL come to punish the earth [v.21]

 

 

v.1,2 The Strong City for the Righteous

 

v.1 (Israel will celebrate their security) In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

We have a strong city;
    God makes salvation
    its walls and ramparts.
v.2 (Jerusalem will welcome all the righteous) Open the gates
    that the righteous nation may enter,
    the nation that keeps faith.
    

  

v.3-9a Principles & Consequences

 

v.3 (A Promised Principle for Today [1]) You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
v.4 (Consequence: Trust Him) Trust in the Lord for ever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
v.5 (Warning: beware being proud, He will bring you down) He humbles those who dwell on high,
    he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
    and casts it down to the dust.
v.6  Feet trample it down –
    the feet of the oppressed,
    the footsteps of the poor.

v.7 (A Promised Principle for Today [2]) The path of the righteous is level;
    you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
v.8 (Consequence: we wait for You) Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
    we wait for you;
your name and renown
    are the desire of our hearts.
v.9 (Desire: day and night yearnings) My soul yearns for you in the night;
    in the morning my spirit longs for you.

    

   

v.9b-11 Responses of the Righteous & Unrighteous to God's Judgments

 

(Judgments teach righteousness) When your judgments come upon the earth,
    the people of t
he world learn righteousness.
v.10  The wicked fail to learn and do not change) But when grace is shown to the wicked,
    they do not learn righteousness;
even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil
    and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
v.11 (They fail to realize what is happening) Lord, your hand is lifted high,
    but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
    let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.

    

   

v.12-15 After your work, you alone exist and reign

 

v.12 (The Lord brings peace and success) Lord, you establish peace for us;
    all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
v.13 (The Lord alone rules over us) Lord our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us,
    but your name alone do we honour.
v.14 (All past idolatry has gone) They are now dead, they live no more;
    their spirits do not rise.
You punished them and brought them to ruin;
    you wiped out all memory of them.
v.15 (God has blessed the nation and is glorified) You have enlarged the nation, Lord;
    you have enlarged the nation.
You have gained glory for yourself;
    you have extended all the borders of the land.

    

    

v.16-18 We failed you, you disciplined us

 

v.16 (The prophet – seeing into the future – sees the people turning to God) Lord, they came to you in their distress;
    when you disciplined them,
    they could barely whisper a prayer.
v.17 (He took them through a transforming disciplinary time) As a pregnant woman about to give birth
    writhes and cries out in her pain,
    so were we in your presence, Lord.
v.18 (They have not been what they could have been) We were with child, we writhed in labour,
    but we gave birth to wind.
We have not brought salvation to the earth,
    and the people of the world have not come to life.

  

  

v.19-21 We will know resurrection when you come to discipline the earth

 

v.19 (Yet the prophet sees the Lord will raise His people up) But your dead will live, Lord;
    their bodies will rise –
let those who dwell in the dust
    wake up and shout for joy –
your dew is like the dew of the morning;
    the earth will give birth to her dead.

v.20 (So, in the meantime, hide and wait) Go, my people, enter your rooms
    and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
    until his wrath has passed by.
v.21 (God WILL come to punish the earth) See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling
    to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will disclose the blood shed on it;
    the earth will conceal its slain no longer.

           

         

Continue to Chapter 27