Scripture reading – Isaiah 25
As we have noted in earlier devotionals, the prophecies of the Old Testament often present Bible students with an imminent fulfillment, as well as, a far-reaching application. Isaiah 25 is no exception to that rule.
Recent Scripture readings (Isaiah 13-23) have been concerned with God’s judgment against the nations that were the enemies of His people. Isaiah had prophesied that Assyria would be used by the LORD to destroy neighboring nations for their wickedness, including the fall and captivity of the northern ten tribes of Israel. Yet, God did intervene for Judah (the southern kingdom whose capital was Jerusalem), and He spared that people for a brief season.
Isaiah 24 presented us with a portrait of God’s universal judgment of the earth during the Tribulation, and concluded with Christ’s reign over the nations of the earth at His Second Coming. In its imminent application, Isaiah 24 was most likely a revelation of Babylon’s overthrow of Jerusalem, and the seventy-year exile of the people of Judah.
Isaiah 25 transitions from God’s judgment (Isaiah 23-24) to His people rejoicing in anticipation that their captivity would be for a season. Knowing the prophetic vision of mighty Babylon’s fall, the prophet Isaiah rejoiced that the LORD is a refuge for His people, and gives strength and rest to the poor and needy (25:1-12).
A Song of Praise for Deliverance (25:1-5)
Worshipping the LORD in song, Isaiah declared regarding Babylon, “thou hast made of a city [Babylon] an heap [a pile of rubble]; Of a defenced [walled] city a ruin: A palace of strangers to be no city; It shall never be built” (25:2). Powerful rulers have aspired to rebuild ancient Babylon, but its ruins remain today as a testament of Isaiah’s prophecy.
The fall of Babylon would be sudden (Isaiah 13:19-22), and other nations would see in its destruction the sovereign hand of God, and would glorify and fear the LORD (25:3).
As a people, the Jews survived the Babylonian captivity, and their return to their homeland was a testimony of God’s care. The poor and needy of Judah would find the LORD was a “refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, When the blast of the terrible ones [enemies of Judah] is as a storm [i.e., nothing more than a thunderstorm]against the wall [of the city]” (25:4). Though the sounds of battle might rage [“noise of strangers”] (25:5a) and the heat of battle might afflict, the prophet foresaw how the LORD’S presence would be like “the shadow of a cloud” (25:5b).
The Millennial Kingdom: Rejoicing in the Bounty of God’s Care (25:6-8)
Isaiah prophesied of a day when believers would be gathered together “in this mountain” [Mount Zion, upon which Jerusalem was built], for a “feast of fat things” (25:6). This feast will bring together the nations of the world, who would gather at Jerusalem to worship the LORD.
The feast described here has not been fulfilled (25:6), but I believe it will be fulfilled at Christ’s Second Coming. The LORD will call believers from all nations and people, and invite them to gather with Him at a Great Feast (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:15-24).
When Christ reigns, there will be a peace on the earth like humanity has never known, for the “vail” of sorrow that had been “spread over all nations” will be lifted (25:7). In that day, the LORD “will swallow up death in victory; And the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; And the rebuke [shame] of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: For the Lord hath spoken it” (notice those promises are repeated in Revelation 7:14; 21:4).
A Confession of Faith in the LORD (25:9)
“In that day,” when Christ reigns in Jerusalem, believers will confess, “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” (25:9).
Why Should God’s People Trust the LORD? (25:10-12)
The Jews will witness the sovereign hand of the LORD upon Jerusalem (25:10). They will confess in that day how the LORD had crushed Moab, and “trodden [trampled Moab] down for the dunghill [hill of manure]” (25:10b). The Moabites will attempt to flee [swim away] from God’s judgment, but the LORD “shall bring down their pride” [humbling, and humiliating them, 25:11]. The fortress and high walls of Israel’s enemies will afford them no safety, for the LORD will bring their walls “to the ground, even to the dust” (25:12).
Closing thoughts – Moab is a type representing the heathen nations of the world, and their pride, and false religions. Like Moab, there will be a day when the armies of the world will be crushed and humiliated (25:10-11). When that day comes, and Christ reigns on the earth, His enemies will be defeated, and there will be no death, no sorrows, and no tears (Revelation 21:1-4).
Only believers, clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, will be invited to the Great Feast of the LORD. Have you accepted your invitation? “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 24:14).
Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith