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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah

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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 33: Judgment on the Invader (Assyria), blessing on Jerusalem

   

For Context see chapter 28

 

Part One: v.1-14: God will judge the invader, and the sinners of Jerusalem

v.1 A warning to Assyria [?]

v.2-6 The all-powerful God is called upon, whose power devastates nations

v.7-10 When He comes nations fall and He is glorified

v.11-14 He burns up worthless peoples, sinners even in Jerusalem

Part Two: v.15-24: Peace & blessing will come to Jerusalem

v.15-19 But the righteous will be blessed, provided for, and enjoy the transformed land

v.20-24 Jerusalem will know security and provision, as God rules, the unrighteous are plundered and Jerusalem's inhabitants are blessed

     

[Introductory Comment: This is a particularly difficult chapter to assess because people are referred to by the prophet but without any name being given to them. The reader may find an alternative approach but we hope the following will be helpful.

Part 1: The Judgment: The inference is that this warning [v.1] is probably Assyria, the mighty power of the day. When they come the people will call for God's help [v.2] for they know He is a God of power who scatters enemy armies [v.3] so that any plunder they may have taken [v.4] is taken from them [as when Aram laid siege to Jerusalem – 2 Kings 7] and God will restore order to Jerusalem [v.5,6]. When God acts, enemy armies fall [v.7-9] and He is exalted [v.10]. He burns up that which is worthless [v.11], including unrighteous peoples [v.12-14].

Part 2: The Result: When the unrighteous are destroyed, the righteous will prosper [v.15,16] as they enter into a new relationship with the Lord [v.17] as He removes the unrighteous from their midst [v.18,19]. Jerusalem will become a place of peace, security and provision [v.20,21] as God reigns in their midst [v.22]. When the wind is taken out of the sails of the enemy's intentions, he will be plundered [v.23] and God's blessing will abound in Jerusalem [v.24].

A chapter of very figurative prophecy that seems to come as a warning of God's coming judgment on the invader which will leave Jerusalem blessed.]

 

 

Part One: v.1-14: God will judge the invader, and the sinners of Jerusalem

 

v.1 A warning to Assyria [?]

   

v.1 (A warning of retribution on an unnamed nation)   Woe to you, destroyer,
    you who have not been destroyed!
Woe to you, betrayer,
    you who have not been betrayed!
When you stop destroying,
    you will be destroyed;
when you stop betraying,
    you will be betrayed.

 

    

v.2-6 The all-powerful God is called upon, whose power devastates nations

   

v.2 (He calls on the Lord for grace and strength)  Lord, be gracious to us;
    we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
    our salvation in time of distress.
v.3 (He recognises peoples flee before God's army)  At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;
    when you rise up, the nations scatter.
v.4 (Others capitalize on God's victories)  Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;
    like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.

v.5 (God on high brings in justice & righteousness)  The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
    he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
v.6 (He is the One who brings salvation)  He will be the sure foundation for your times,
    a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
    the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

   

    

v.7-10 When He comes nations fall and He is glorified

  

v.7 (Their enemies are brought down)  Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;
    the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
v.8 (Invasive calamities bring emptiness and moral bankruptcy)  The highways are deserted,
    no travellers are on the roads.
The treaty is broken,
    its witnesses are despised,
    no one is respected.
v.9 (The land is turned into wilderness and desert)  The land dries up and wastes away,
    Lebanon is ashamed and withers;
Sharon is like the Arabah,
    and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

v.10 (The Lord says now is His time)  ‘Now will I arise,' says the Lord.
    ‘Now will I be exalted;
    now will I be lifted up.
     

    

v.11-14 He burns up worthless peoples, sinners even in Jerusalem

    

v.11 (You bring words and just produce more hot air that burns you)  You conceive chaff,
    you give birth to straw;
    your breath is a fire that consumes you.
v.12  (Peoples will thus be burned up)  The peoples will be burned to ashes;
    like cut thorn-bushes they will be set ablaze.'

v.13  (Let the world see my acts)  You who are far away, hear what I have done;
    you who are near, acknowledge my power!
v.14  (Those who sin in Jerusalem are rightfully fearful of my fire)  The sinners in Zion are terrified;
    trembling grips the godless:
‘Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
    Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?'
    

     

Part Two: v.15-24: Peace & blessing will come to Jerusalem

 

v.15-19 But the righteous will be blessed, provided for, and enjoy the transformed land

   

v.15 (But the righteous…)  Those who walk righteously
    and speak what is right,
who reject gain from extortion
    and keep their hands from accepting bribes,
who stop their ears against plots of murder
    and shut their eyes against contemplating evil –
v.16 (…they are the ones who will feel secure and be well fed)  they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,
    whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
Their bread will be supplied,
    and water will not fail them.

v.17 (They will see the Lord's beauty)  Your eyes will see the king in his beauty
    and view a land that stretches afar.
v.18 (The may look back at how things had been…)  In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:
    ‘Where is that chief officer?
Where is the one who took the revenue?
    Where is the officer in charge of the towers?'
v.19 (…but those people will not be there after God has acted)  You will see those arrogant people no more,
    people whose speech is obscure,
    whose language is strange and incomprehensible.

 

    

v.20-24 Jerusalem will know security and provision, as God rules, the unrighteous are plundered and Jerusalem's inhabitants are blessed

   

v.20 (Jerusalem will remain secure)  Look on Zion, the city of our festivals;
    your eyes will see Jerusalem,
    a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved;
its stakes will never be pulled up,
    nor any of its ropes broken.
v.21 (It will God's place of provision and security…)  There the Lord will be our Mighty One.
    It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.
No galley with oars will ride them,
    no mighty ship will sail them.
v.22 (…for God is our ruler)  For the Lord is our judge,
    the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king;
    it is he who will save us.

v.23 (when the wind fails, plunder will be easily taken…)  Your rigging hangs loose:
    the mast is not held secure,
    the sail is not spread.
Then an abundance of spoils will be divided
    and even the lame will carry off plunder.
v.24 (..and God's blessing will be on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem)  No one living in Zion will say, ‘I am ill';
    and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.

         

    

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 34