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Isaiah pictures a time that resonates with the image of the end-times in Revelation. We currently live “between the times.”
The coming of Jesus inaugurated the arrival of the kingdom of God. He proclaimed the presence of the kingdom and also taught about the future fulfillment of God’s rule.
Scholars use the phrase “between the times” to describe the time between the coming of the kingdom with Jesus and the time when God rules everything.
The message of Isaiah 25 is mirrored in Revelation. There will come a time when the redeemed can exult in God’s activity in all its fullness.
However, as people who live “between the times,” we can join in the praise, too.
Following an announcement of the destruction of the city of Man, where oppression, evil, war, self-serving pride, and the like rule, the redeemed of God praise the fulfillment of the kingdom.
A Song of Thanksgiving
The oppressed and injured praise God and humbly recognize his power over those who have abused them.
O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure. (Isaiah 25.1)
John Oswalt in his insightful commentary on Isaiah puts words in the mouths of the grateful throng.
They say, “I want a Being like you for my God. I want to belong to One as powerful and faithful as you.”
As the crowd contemplates God’s actions on their behalf they say, “You have shown me that you do truly belong to me, because you have not abandoned me to the oppressor.
“You have kept faith with me when I was so afraid you had forgotten me. You are my God.”
The city of Man, the world-system that schemes, wars, struts in pride, and believes in its invincibility will be reduced to rubble.
For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
it will never be rebuilt. (Isaiah 25.2)
The arrogant only understand power. They see kindness as something soft and easy to exploit. When God displays his power, he gets their attention.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you. (Isaiah 25.3)
I praise God for taking prideful, willful, and strong people to “rock bottom.” In that place, they often look up and find a Savior.
God’s Care for the Vulnerable
A very consistent Biblical theme is God’s care for the poor, needy, immigrant, oppressed, orphan, and widow.
This collection of some of the most tragic figures in history will praise God for his care. What the city of Man refused to do for them, God will provide for them in his city.
For you have been a refuge to the poor,
a refuge to the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
The noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
the song of the ruthless was stilled. (Isaiah 25.4-5)
God works on behalf of the oppressed. He becomes their refuge.
God attacks all that belongs to the city of Man, because of what it does to people. Think of all that brings pain and harm to humans and that is what will fall under God’s judgment.
Both Revelation 22 and Isaiah 25 picture a banquet. On that day it will be abundantly clear that it is right to trust God.
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. (Isaiah 25.6)
The last enemy, death, is defeated in the city of God.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 25.7-8)
The nations cannot conquer death, but God can.
Imagine the finest meal possible in the greatest company. Imagine everlasting life in the atmosphere of the Greatest Being of All.
Without question, you will join the praise of those who adore God.
It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (Isaiah 25.9)
This praise is echoed in Revelation 7 by the redeemed of the Lord.
The Future and the Present
Isaiah and Revelation give us a “big picture” view of God’s rule. Without a doubt, we will praise God on that day like never before.
The question is what will we do in the present?
I once told a lady who wanted to die, “Why don’t you start living today like you’re already in heaven?”
She responded positively to that suggestion and lived in joy for several more years before she entered heaven.
What about us? If heaven is going to be so great, why don’t we try to live as if we are already there?
Is it possible that when Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6.10), he wanted us to live after this fashion?
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.