Friday, March 20, 2015

Assurance of Future Victory

Isaiah 25:1-12

“O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.  For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.” (Isaiah23:1-2)

Judah was threatened from every side, by the Alliance between Syria and Israel, by the Egyptians, by the Ethiopians, and by the Assyrians.  At the same time Isaiah could look back and see how other groups that had threatened then had been destroyed, and believe that the prophecies against these countries would be fulfilled as well.   Heavily fortified cities such as Jericho had been miraculously destroyed by God’s power.   God’s word and promises had been proven repeatedly to be true and dependable.

The prophecies against cities like Tyre, Damascus, and Nineveh could be depended on.  Even Heavily fortified cities surrounded by the sea would not be able to escape God’s judgment.  Many would be destroyed even before they could complete the new palaces they designed.   Isaiah could look back at how often God had intervened to protect Israel and Judah in the past and even how he was giving the victory in that day, and glorify God for his wonderful power and protection.

“Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.  For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” (Isaiah 25:3-4)

Morally strong people will glorify God, respecting him as God and avoiding offending him.  Cruel, wicked people will hate and fear him because they resent his interference in their actions.  He protects the people the poor, the weak and the needy from the powerful just when the powerful think they can do whatever they please. 

“Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.  And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.  And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.” (Isaiah 25:5-7)

As easily as a cloud brings relief from the sun in a desert, God stills the threats of those who don’t know him against his people.   He can tear down the strongest and most terrible army like the wind snapping of a tree branch.  God will make the people in Israel to celebrate and enjoy the very best and most nutritious of everything.  Also he will destroy the ones who have deceived the world there, taking the Antichrist and the false prophet and casting them into the Lake of Fire and imprisoning Satan for a thousand years so they can no longer keep people from knowing the truth.   

“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.  And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.  And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.  And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.” (Isaiah 25:8-12)

In I Corinthians 15:51-57, Paul makes it very clear that this passage refers to the Second Coming of Christ, quoting from it.  “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Revelation 21:2-4 gives additional details about that time.  “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

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