Monday, March 23, 2015
A Song of Rejoicing
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” (Isaiah 26:1-2)
In the day when the Lord restores Israel and destroys her enemies, they will have a time of rejoicing and singing, celebrating the fact that God has made their city strong. This is a sample of what they will be singing. Their faith in God will be their defense, and he will grant access to those who do righteously. Revelation 21:24-27 describes this aspect of the New Jerusalem. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.Isa 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.” (Isaiah 26:3-6)
A person who is focused on what God has promised and believes he will keep his word will not live in fear of day to day events because he knows what the ultimate end will be, and what will happen to him. His life will be pretty stable. Knowing that, his people need to learn to put their faith in him for the long term, rather than focusing on the immediate future. He has everlasting power and will overthrow those who reign is such pride today, completely wiping them out so that their glory is just another pile of dust that those they despised will walk on.
“The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:7-9)
Those who live a proper and fair life live an open and honest life and God judges their lifestyle. Those who wish to please him seek his approval. Their desire is to bring honor to his name and cause people to remember him. Their desire is for a closer relationship with him, knowing that when he is in charge, other people will do what is right.
“Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.” (Isaiah 26:10-11)
Contrary to what many believe, no amount of favor or support will cause a wicked person to change. In fact he will become more aggressive when surrounded by those who good, expecting them to let him get by with it, with no concern for God, even when he lifts his hand in judgment. They will only take notice after they have lost everything they thought made them better than others. Their own greed and jealousy will destroy them.
“LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.” (Isaiah 26:12-14)
It is God who produces peace and it is God who enables us to accomplish the things we do. Other people try to control us, but they all die and will not rise again. It is god who killed them and caused them to be forgotten. He is the only one whose power lasts, or can save anyone.
“Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.” (Isaiah 26:15-18)
It is god who has caused the Jewish people to be scattered throughout the entire world. chastening them for their disobedience, and it will be God who makes them strong again. They have been like rebellious children, calling out to god when they get into serious trouble, but ignoring him the rest of the time. Like a woman giving birth, they will finally realize things are going to go as God planned regardless what they do.
“Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:19-21)
At the same time God rebuilds Israel and makes it once again his land, he will resurrect those who believe in him. As Revelation tells us, those who serve the Lord will live and reign with him, rejoicing in their freedom. Before that happens there will be the Tribulation period, the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” during which Israel will be forced to flee to the mountains for safety, according to Matthew 24:15-21. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”