Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Prophecy of the Present

Isaiah 32:1-20

“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.  And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” (Isaiah 32:1-2)

When Christ sets up his earthly kingdom he will rule in total righteousness, and his administrators will be totally honest and fair in their decisions.  No favoritism or discrimination of any kind will be permitted, nor any coercion.  People will be as free from pressure and fear as they are from the effects of the wind when they are in place where the wind doesn’t blow and the rain doesn’t come.  It will be like coming to a river in the middle of the desert or finding a shadow of a huge rock after a long day of walking in the hot sun. 

“And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.  The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.” (Isaiah 32:3-4)

In that day people will see clearly,  While there will be no disease, the point here is that people’s minds will not be blinded by preconceptions or prejudices so they will understand fully.  Those who hear will understand the importance and act on God’s commands.  People who have lived without thinking about the consequences will actually think about them, and people will no longer fear to say what they think or believe. 

“The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.  For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.  The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.  But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. ” (Isaiah 32:5-8)

The word liberal used here as an adjective means generous or giving freely.  As a noun it means a grandee or important person.  Criminals such as the Dalton gang, the James gang, or the Dillon gang have earned a reputation for being liberal because they gave so much to people to get their assistance when in fact they were nothing more than thieves and murderers.  What they were giving away wasn’t even theirs, but had been stolen from other people.    Political figures earn a reputation for being liberal by forcibly taking from those who have earned what they have and giving it to those who haven’t.   They never volunteer to give their own wealth, always somebody else’s.   
The word churl means a person who is selfish and self-centered.  Anything he gives comes with a price tag.  Like a political donor, they are not just giving the money as a gift.  They are expecting something major in return for their donation.  The vile person will still rip people off, allowing those who are starving to go without and the churlish person ignores the needs of those who are hurting.  Truly liberal people give of their own to help others, and make sure they are actually helping. 

“Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.  Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.  Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.  They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.” (Isaiah 32:9-12)

Israel had become like a wife who never considers how much she is spending or has to take any responsibility if their husband loses his job and they don’t have the money to keep on living the same way.  Suddenly they won’t have the things they have come to depend on.  Instead of the best gourmet food and wine they will be forced to eat the same old things day after day.  They will have to sell off their designer clothes and jewelry, trading it for the cheapest thing available to avoid being plumb naked.  They weep and consider the loss of the constant source of plenty very unfair. 

“Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.” (Isaiah 32:13-15)

Instead of rich crops, Israel will be unfarmed, producing only weeds and brush, even where nice homes once stood.  The mansions and palaces will be forsaken, and the military structures will become dens for wild animals.  The people will all be gone and populated cities will be places where wild animals graze.  It will stay that way until the time of the Lord’s return and establishment of his kingdom.   This is where Israel has been from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD until 1948, when the nation of Israel was reestablished and they began the process of rebuilding.  They still haven’t seen the power of God turning the desert into fruitful fields and the fields they use today into a forest. They are still living in this prophecy.

“Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.  And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.  And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.  Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.” (Isaiah 32:16-20)

When God sets up his kingdom and pours out his Spirit on Israel, justice and right will be available everywhere.  As a result their e will be peace, confidence and tranquility.  The people will not fear losing their homes, and storms will not bother them because they know they are protected, just as a city in a valley is protected from the worst of the wind.  They will be like a farmer whose field lies next to the river and is able to allow his animals to graze alongside it.  

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