26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
"That day" is a code word for the end of the present age.
“We have a strong city;
God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks.
2 Open the gates,
That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.
Jerusalem is in view here.
3 You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
4 Trust in the Lord forever,
For in Yah, the Lord, is Rock of Ages.
Comfort, peace for all who are trusting the God of Israel.
5 For He brings down those who dwell on high,
The lofty city;
He lays it low,
He lays it low to the ground
He brings it down to the dust.
Isaiah began his ministry in 740 BC and about 140 years later Jerusalem was leveled and destroyed--on the 9th of Av, 586 BC, by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians. Jerusalem was destroyed again in 70 AD by the Romans under Titus. Isaiah saw ahead more than 2700 years to the end of the age we live in now.
Incidentally, Isaiah as a Young Man was told by God at the beginning of his life-work, that his preaching would be ignored and that Israel would go down hill spiritually the whole time. According, to tradition Isaiah was martyred during the reign of Manasseh about 680 BC. By human standards his life was a total waste and left no legacy except an old hand-written scroll. The book of Isaiah which we have today is a Bible in miniature and one of the most wonderful books ever written.
26:6 The foot shall tread it down—
The feet of the poor
And the steps of the needy.”
7 The way of the just is uprightness;
O Most Upright,
You weigh the path of the just.
8 Yes, in the way of Your judgments,
O Lord, we have waited for You;
The desire of our soul is for Your name
And for the remembrance of You.
9 With my soul I have desired You in the night,
Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;
For when Your judgments are in the earth,
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
In writing comments on Isaiah’s Little Apocalypse earlier this morning I overlooked Isaiah 26:9!
“With my soul I have desired You in the night,
Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;
For when Your judgments are in the earth,
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”
The rumors and hype about the Coronavirus are surely a form of judgment from God designed to get everyone’s attention. Especially now that we are on the eve of the rapture! We are not supposed to focus on the problem, but upon Jesus who is in full control of everything. We followers of Jesus have already "died" and have nothing to fear.
“...how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.“ (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known.
“...For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all (have) died; and Jesus died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
“...Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.“ (2 Corinthians 5:9-19)
Outsiders who do not yet know Jesus should be terrified.
Of course governments are to be concerned about the health, safety and security of all citizens as mandated to them in Romans 13.
But our ultimate accountability is to God. How many people in our world of 7.8 billion souls, living on the planet now, have ever even heard of Jesus? How many will be “in Christ” when they depart? 10% perhaps?
The alternate destination for all who choose to stay “outside of Christ" is the ”backside of love” --which is pure hell.
Everyone is without without excuse.
“...the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse...” (Romans 1:18-20)
World DataI beg you (parakaleō) therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1,2)
10 Let grace be shown to the wicked,
Yet he will not learn righteousness;
In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly,
And will not behold the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see.
But they will see and be ashamed
For their envy of people;
Yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.
12 Lord, You will establish peace for us,
For You have also done all our works in us.
13 O Lord our God, masters besides You
Have had dominion over us;
But by You only we make mention of Your name.
14 They are dead, they will not live;
They are deceased, they will not rise.
Therefore You have punished and destroyed them,
And made all their memory to perish.
15 You have increased the nation, O Lord,
You have increased the nation;
You are glorified;
You have expanded all the borders of the land.
16 Lord, in trouble they have visited You,
They poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them.
17 As a woman with child
Is in pain and cries out in her pangs,
When she draws near the time of her delivery,
So have we been in Your sight, O Lord.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain;
We have, as it were, brought forth wind;
We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth,
Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
19 Your dead shall live;
Together with my dead body they shall arise.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust;
For your dew is like the dew of herbs,
And the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past.
21 For behold, the Lord comes out of His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
The earth will also disclose her blood,
And will no more cover her slain.
Here Messiah is seen as Israel's champion, deliverer, savior and long expected Messiah. He is also the only legitimate Savior for the gentiles.
Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, Charles Wesley Hymn
At that time it will be said
To this people and to Jerusalem,
“A dry wind of the desolate heights blows in the wilderness
Toward the daughter of My people—
Not to fan or to cleanse—
12 A wind too strong for these will come for Me;
Now I will also speak judgment against them.”
13 “Behold, he shall come up like clouds,
And his chariots like a whirlwind.
His horses are swifter than eagles.
Woe to us, for we are plundered!”
14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness,
That you may be saved.
How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan
And proclaims affliction from Mount Ephraim:
16 “Make mention to the nations,
Yes, proclaim against Jerusalem,
That watchers come from a far country
And raise their voice against the cities of Judah.
17 Like keepers of a field they are against her all around,
Because she has been rebellious against Me,” says the Lord.
18 “Your ways and your doings
Have procured these things for you.
This is your wickedness,
Because it is bitter,
Because it reaches to your heart.”
Jeremiah adds his personal anguish as he watches Jerusalem being plundered and laid waste by the Babylonians.
19 O my soul, my soul!
I am pained in my very heart!
My heart makes a noise in me;
I cannot hold my peace,
Because you have heard, O my soul,
The sound of the trumpet,
The alarm of war.
20 Destruction upon destruction is cried,
For the whole land is plundered.
Suddenly my tents are plundered,
And my curtains in a moment.
21 How long will I see the standard,
And hear the sound of the trumpet?
Yet Jeremiah realizes that Israel is being pillaged and plunder because they were called to represent the one true God for the whole world to see and learn from. But instead their behavior became worse than that of neighboring pagan nations who were shocked. See for instance Ezekiel 20.
22 “For My people are foolish,
They have not known Me.
They are silly children,
And they have no understanding.
They are wise to do evil,
But to do good they have no knowledge.”
23 I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void;
And the heavens, they had no light.
24 I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled,
And all the hills moved back and forth.
25 I beheld, and indeed there was no man,
And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
26 I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were broken down
At the presence of the Lord,
By His fierce anger.
Isaiah 24 speaks of a time of radical chaos in the created order, a return to tohu wa bohu (chaos) at the beginning of the creation. Compare Revelation 16:17-21 for a vivid description of the great shaking of the earth beginning during the Gog-Magog invasion of Ezekiel 38-39, culminating in a great world-wide earthquake at the Second Advent of Jesus seven years later, when He returns to be rightful King of Israel--ushering in at last earth's Golden Age, Isaiah 40. At that time Jesus will bring with Him, the Bride, that is the true church, which He had been calling out since Pentecost. Israel, it turns out is called the unfaithful "wife" of God, and the church is pictured in the Bible as a virgin bride.
A Great Shaking is Ahead
Seventh Bowl: The Earth Utterly Shaken
Revelation 16:17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done! 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great. (Revelation 16:17-21)
Ray Stedman said, "As we draw near to the end, there will be a physical shaking of the earth. In the book of Revelation a key event, described repeatedly throughout that book of images and visions, is a great earthquake, so tremendous that the very foundations of the earth are shaken and every mountain and hill is removed from its place. That is a guide to the understanding of the book of Revelation, for as you read through those visions, you find them returning again and again to the great earthquake which will wind up the course of human events in this age.
But when the writer of this passage speaks of God's shaking of the heavens and the earth, it is a different kind of shaking to which he is referring. He reminds the readers that once God shook the earth when he spoke from Mount Sinai in the giving of the Law. This was the time when the Law, coming to man, shook the nations of the world, shook their very foundations. Now, it is true that when God spoke from the mountain, the mountain itself shook and trembled like a leaf in the autumn wind, billowing smoke and fire. And the people were amazed and trembled with great fear when they saw this entire mountain shaking, as a symbol of the effect of the Law coming to men and nations throughout history.
And now the writer is quoting from the prophet Haggai, reminding them that there would come another shaking. "Yet once more," God says, "I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven." If you look back to the prophecy from which that was taken, you will find that Haggai was looking forward to the coming of Messiah, the coming of Christ. This will be the time, he says, when God will shake not only the earth but the heavens as well. And this will be a shaking which no one can avoid. The warning of this passage is, "Do not refuse him who is speaking, for there is no way to avoid the shaking that is to come."
In that day men will ask, "Where is Jesus Christ? How do you find him? Where is he?" The answer is, wherever you see the signs of his activity. They are always unmistakable. He comes to transform life, to make it over anew. He comes to remove delusion and deceit and to lead instead into truth and reality. He comes to deliver from guilt, from fear, and from hate. Even in those terrible days of unheard-of violence, cruelty, and death, he will be busy with his everlasting ministry. If you want to know where he is working, look for the sign of transformed lives.
It has always been true. It will be true in the days of his glorified presence on earth, but it is also true now, in the day of his spiritual presence. He is sovereign, uncontrollable, unlimited by geography. False faiths forever say "We have a corner on Christ," but the true faith says he is universally available. He is at the instant disposal of any heart which in humility and contriteness is ready to do business with him. (The book of Revelation: The End and a New Beginning by Ray Stedman).The prophet Joel foresaw the time of the end vividly:
Joel 3:1: “For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land.
3 They have cast lots for My people,
Have given a boy as payment for a harlot,
And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.
4 “Indeed, what have you to do with Me,
O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia?
Will you retaliate against Me?
But if you retaliate against Me,
Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head;
5 Because you have taken My silver and My gold,
And have carried into your temples My prized possessions.
6 Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem
You have sold to the Greeks,
That you may remove them far from their borders.
7 “Behold, I will raise them
Out of the place to which you have sold them,
And will return your retaliation upon your own head.
8 I will sell your sons and your daughters
Into the hand of the people of Judah,
And they will sell them to the Sabeans,
To a people far off;
For the Lord has spoken.”
9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for war!
Wake up the mighty men,
Let all the men of war draw near,
Let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ ”
11 Assemble and come, all you nations,
And gather together all around.
Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord.
12 “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, go down;
For the winepress is full,
The vats overflow—
For their wickedness is great.”
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and moon will grow dark,
And the stars will diminish their brightness.
s16 The Lord also will roar from Zion,
And utter His voice from Jerusalem;
The heavens and earth will shake;
But the Lord will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel.
17 “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God,
Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain.
Then Jerusalem shall be holy,
And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
18 And it will come to pass in that day
That the mountains shall drip with new wine,
The hills shall flow with milk,
And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water;
A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord
And water the Valley of Acacias.
19 “Egypt shall be a desolation,
And Edom a desolate wilderness,
Because of violence against the people of Judah,
For they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20 But Judah shall abide forever,
And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21 For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted;
For the Lord dwells in Zion.”
Isaiah 26: 27
For thus says the Lord:
“The whole land shall be desolate;
Yet I will not make a full end.
28 For this shall the earth mourn,
And the heavens above be black,
Because I have spoken.
I have purposed and will not relent,
Nor will I turn back from it.
29 The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen.
They shall go into thickets and climb up on the rocks.
Every city shall be forsaken,
And not a man shall dwell in it.
30 “And when you are plundered,
What will you do?
Though you clothe yourself with crimson,
Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,
Though you enlarge your eyes with paint,
In vain you will make yourself fair;
Your lovers will despise you;
They will seek your life.
31 “For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labor,
The anguish as of her who brings forth her first child,
The voice of the daughter of Zion bewailing herself;
She spreads her hands, saying,
‘Woe is me now, for my soul is weary
Because of murderers!’
I have copied Isaiah chapters 24-28 below so you can see the entire scope. Recently I was thinking about Moses being hidden in a rock crevice for his own safety while the Lord passed by, showing only His backside to Moses. Everyone who knows Jesus as Lord has been hidden “in Christ” and is safe, sheltered, protected and guarded by God. We are the “the hidden of the Lord.”
In contrast outsiders who refuse and resist are vividly described by the Apostle John in the last book of the Bible
Revelation 6:12: And when I saw the Lamb open the sixth seal, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black like sackcloth of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth like unripe figs dropping from a tree shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place.
15 Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the commanders, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and free man, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?”
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s trespasses against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
The stored up wrath of God was poured out on Jesus on the cross when He traded places with you and me and was punished in our stead.
In the Cross -- Jesus Death: Six Hours in Eternity on the Cross
This is all summed up in passages such as Romans Chapter 5:
6 For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him! 10 For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! 11 Not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned. 13 For sin was in the world before the law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many! 16 Again, the gift is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment that followed one sin brought condemnation, but the gift that followed many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18 So then, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all men, so also one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
24:1 Behold, the LORD lays waste the earth and leaves it in ruins. He will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants—2 people and priest alike, servant and master, maid and mistress, buyer and seller, lender and borrower, creditor and debtor.
3 The earth will be utterly laid waste and thoroughly plundered. The LORD has spoken this word. 4 The earth mourns and withers; the world languishes and fades; the exalted of the earth waste away.
5 The earth is defiled by its people; they have transgressed the laws; they have overstepped the decrees and broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore a curse has consumed the earth, and its inhabitants must bear the guilt; the earth’s dwellers have been burned, and only a few survive.
7 The new wine dries up, the vine withers. All the merrymakers now groan. 8 The joyful tambourines have ceased; the noise of revelers has stopped; the joyful harp is silent. 9 They no longer sing and drink wine; strong drink is bitter to those who consume it. 10 The city of chaos is shattered; every house is closed to entry. 11 In the streets they cry out for wine. All joy turns to gloom; rejoicing is exiled from the land. 12 The city is left in ruins; its gate is reduced to rubble.
13 So will it be on the earth and among the nations, like a harvested olive tree, like a gleaning after a grape harvest. 14 They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they proclaim the majesty of the LORD. 15 Therefore glorify the LORD in the east. Extol the name of the LORD, the God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. 16 From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One.” But I said, “I am wasting away! I am wasting away! Woe is me.” The treacherous betray; the treacherous deal in treachery.
17 Terror and pit and snare await you, O dwellers of the earth. 18 Whoever flees the sound of terror will fall into a pit, and whoever climbs from the pit will be caught in a trap. For the windows of heaven are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken.
19 The earth is utterly broken apart, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken violently. 20 The earth staggers like a drunkard and sways like a shack. Earth’s rebellion weighs it down, and it falls, never to rise again.
21 In that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven above and the kings of the earth below. 22 They will be gathered together They will be confined to a dungeon and punished after many days.
God will deal with fallen angels, demons, evil spirits, and with corrupt evil rulers and men and women of influence on earth down through history. The heavens are to be made new as well as the visible creation. God is holy and overlooks nothing.
23 The moon will be confounded and the sun will be ashamed; for the LORD of Hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,and before His elders with great glory.
25:1 O LORD, You are my God!I will exalt You; I will praise Your name. For You have worked wonders—plans formed long ago in perfect faithfulness.
2 Indeed, You have turned the city into a heap of rubble, the fortified town into a ruin. The fortress of strangers is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore, a strong people will honor You. The cities of ruthless nations will revere You.
4 For You have been a refuge for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like rain against a wall,
5 Like heat in a dry land. You subdue the uproar of foreigners. As the shade of a cloud cools the heat, so the song of the ruthless is silenced.
6 On this mountain the LORD of Hosts will prepare a banquet for all the peoples, a feast of aged wine, of choice meat, of finely aged wine.
7 On this mountain He will swallow up the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations;
8 He will swallow up death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face and remove the disgrace of His people from the whole earth. For the LORD has spoken.
9 And in that day it will be said, “Surely this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He has saved us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”
10 For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain. But Moab will be trampled in his place as straw is trodden into the dung pile. 11 He will spread out his hands within it, as a swimmer spreads his arms to swim. His pride will be brought low, despite the skill of his hands.
12 The high-walled fortress will be brought down, cast to the ground, into the dust.
Isaiah 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation is established as its walls and ramparts. 2 Open the gates so a righteous nation may enter—one that remains faithful.
3 You will keep in perfect peace the steadfast of mind, because he trusts in You. 4 Trust in the LORD forever, because GOD the LORD is the Rock eternal.
5 For He has humbled those who dwell on high; He lays the lofty city low. He brings it down to the ground; He casts it into the dust. 6 Feet trample it down—the feet of the oppressed, the steps of the poor.
7 The path of the righteous is level; You clear a straight path for the upright. 8 Yes, we wait for You, O LORD; we walk in the path of Your judgments. Your name and renown are the desire of our souls.
9 My soul longs for You in the night; For when Your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.
10 Though grace is shown to the wicked man, he does not learn righteousnesses In the land of righteousness he acts unjustly and fails to see the majesty of the LORD.
11 O LORD, Your hand is upraised, but they do not see it. They will see Your zeal for Your people and be put to shame. The fire set for Your enemies will consume them!
12 O LORD, You will establish peace for us. For all that we have accomplished,You have done for us.
13 O LORD our God, other lords besides You have had dominion, but Your name alone do we confess.
14 The dead will not live; the departed spirits will not rise. Therefore You have punished and destroyed them; You have wiped out all memory of them. 15 You have enlarged the nation, O LORD; You have enlarged the nation. You have gained glory for Yourself; You have extended all the borders of the land.
16 O LORD, they sought You in their distress; when You disciplined them, they poured out a quiet prayer. 17 As a woman with child about to give birth writhes and cries out in pain, so were we in Your presence, O LORD.
19 Your dead will live; their bodies will rise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust! For your dew is like the dew of the morning, and the earth will bring forth her dead.
20 Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves a little while until the wrath has passed. 21 For behold, the LORD is coming out of His dwelling to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer conceal her slain.
Isaiah 27:1 In that day the LORD will take His sharp, great, and mighty sword, and bring judgment on Leviathan, the fleeing serpent —Leviathan, the coiling serpent—and He will slay the dragon of the sea.2 In that day: “Sing about a fruitful vineyard.
3 I, the LORD, am its keeper; I water it continually. I guard it night and day so no one can disturb it;
4 I am not angry. If only thorns and briers confronted Me, I would march and trample them, I would burn them to the ground. 5 In the days to come, Jacob will take root. Israel will bud and blossom and fill the whole world with fruit.
7 Has the LORD struck Israel as He struck her oppressors? Was she killed like those who slayed her? 8 By warfare and exile You contended with her and removed her with a fierce wind, as on the day the east wind blows. 9 Therefore Jacob’s guilt will be atoned for, and the full fruit of the removal of his sin will be this: When he makes all the altar stones like crushed bits of chalk, no Asherah poles or incense altars will remain standing.
10 For the fortified city lies deserted—a homestead abandoned, a wilderness forsaken. There the calves graze, and there they lie down; they strip its branches bare. 11 When its limbs are dry, they are broken off. Women come and use them for kindling; for this is a people without understanding. Therefore their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor.
12 In that day the LORD will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered one by one.
13 And in that day a great ram’s horn will sound, and those who were perishing in Assyria will come forth with those who were exiles in Egypt. And they will worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
28:1 Woe to the majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards, to the fading flower of his glorious splendor, set on the summit above the fertile valley, the pride of those overcome by wine.2 Behold, the Lord has one who is strong and mighty. Like a hailstorm or destructive tempest, like a driving rain or flooding downpour, he will smash that crown to the ground.
3 The majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards will be trampled underfoot.
4 The fading flower of his beautiful splendor, set on the summit above the fertile valley, will be like a ripe fig before the summer harvest: Whoever sees it will take it in his hand and swallow it.
5 On that day the LORD of Hosts will be a crown of glory, a diadem of splendor to the remnant of His people, 6 a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and a strength to those who repel the onslaught at the gate.
7 These also stagger from wine and stumble from strong drink: Priests and prophets reel from strong drink and are befuddled by wine. They stumble because of strong drink, muddled in their visions and stumbling in their judgments.
8 For all their tables are covered with vomit; there is not a place without filth.
9 Whom is He trying to teach? To whom is He explaining His message? To infants just weaned from milk?To babies removed from the breast
10 For He says, “Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line; a little here, a little there.” 11 Indeed, with mocking lips and foreign tongues, He will speak to this people 12 to whom He has said: “This is the place of rest, let the weary rest; this is the place of repose.” But they would not listen.
13 Then the word of the LORD will come to them: “Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line; a little here, a little there,” so that they will go stumbling backward and be injured, ensnared, and captured.
14 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 For you said, “We have made a covenant with death; we have fashioned an agreement with Sheol. When the overwhelming scourge passes through it will not touch us, because we have made lies our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.”
16 So this is what the Lord GOD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will never be shaken.
17 I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level. Hail will sweep away your refuge of lies, and water will flood your hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be dissolved, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand.
When the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be trampled by it.
19 As often as it passes through, it will carry you away;it will sweep through morning after morning, by day and by night.” The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.
20 Indeed, the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the blanket too small to wrap around you.
21 For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim. He will rouse Himself as in the valley of Gibeon, to do His work, His strange work, and to perform His task, His disturbing task.
22 So now, do not mock, or your shackles will become heavier. Indeed, I have heard from the Lord GOD of Hosts a decree of destruction against the whole land.
23 Listen and hear my voice. Pay attention and hear what I say.
24 Does the plowman plow for planting every day? Does he continuously loosen and harrow the soil?
25 When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin? He plants wheat in rows and barley in plots, and rye within its border.
26 For his God instructs and teaches him properly.
27 Surely caraway is not threshed with a sledge, and the wheel of a cart is not rolled over the cumin. But caraway is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod.28 Grain for bread must be ground, but it is not endlessly threshed. Though the wheels of the cart roll over it, the horses do not crush it.
29 This also comes from the LORD of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.
Zechariah gives a later picture than Isaiah, about 520 BC, of the Final Redemption, when Jesus returns to Jerusalem at the end of the Great Tribulation
12 The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. 4 In that day,” says the Lord, “I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.’ 6 In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.
7 “The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. 8 In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. 9 It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.
13:1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.
2 “It shall be in that day,” says the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land. 3 It shall come to pass that if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the Lord.’ And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies.
4 “And it shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive. 5 But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.’ 6 And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
Against the Man who is My Companion,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered;
Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
Says the Lord,
“That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one-third shall be left in it:
9 I will bring the one-third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them.
I will say, ‘This is My people’;
And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”
14 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.
5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley,
For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.
Yes, you shall flee
As you fled from the earthquake
In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Thus the Lord my God will come,
And all the saints with You.
6 It shall come to pass in that day
That there will be no light;
The lights will diminish.
7 It shall be one day
Which is known to the Lord—
Neither day nor night.
But at evening time it shall happen
That it will be light.
8 And in that day it shall be
That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem,
Half of them toward the eastern sea
And half of them toward the western sea;
In both summer and winter it shall occur.
9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.
In that day it shall be—
“The Lord is one,”
And His name one.
10 All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.
11 The people shall dwell in it;
And no longer shall there be utter destruction,
But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
12 And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem:
Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet,
Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets,
And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.
13 It shall come to pass in that day
That a great panic from the Lord will be among them.
Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor,
And raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand;
14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem.
And the wealth of all the surrounding nations
Shall be gathered together:
Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.
15 Such also shall be the plague
On the horse and the mule,
On the camel and the donkey,
And on all the cattle that will be in those camps.
So shall this plague be.
16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
20 In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.
In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another,
He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light,
and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
But I will show you whom you should fear:
Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore;
you are of more value than many sparrows.
“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man
also will confess before the angels of God.
But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him;
but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities,
do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.
For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Then one from the crowd said to Him,
“Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?”
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness,
for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.
And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’
So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater,
and there I will store all my crops and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years;
take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’
But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you;
then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Then He said to His disciples,
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.
Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap,
which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them.
Of how much more value are you than the birds?
And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.
For all these things the nations of the world seek after,
and your Father knows that you need these things.
But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old,
a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master,
when he will return from the wedding,
that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.
Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself
and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.
And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch,
and find them so, blessed are those servants.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come,
he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Therefore you also be ready,
for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward,
whom his master will make ruler over his household,
to give them their portion of food in due season?
Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’
and begins to beat the male and female servants,
and to eat and drink and be drunk,
the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him,
and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two
and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
And that servant who knew his master’s will,
and did not prepare himself or do according to his will,
shall be beaten with many stripes.
But he who did not know,
yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few.
For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required;
and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
But I have a baptism to be baptized with,
and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!
Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth?
I tell you, not at all, but rather division.
For from now on five in one house will be divided:
three against two, and two against three.
Father will be divided against son and son against father,
mother against daughter and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Then He also said to the multitudes,
“Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west,
immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is.
And when you seethe south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is.
Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth,
but how is it you do not discern this time?
“Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?
When you go with your adversary to the magistrate,
make every effort along the way to settle with him,
lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer,
and the officer throw you into prison.
I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”
Email Lambert Dolphin
March 19, 2020