Restoration of Israel

A few years ago, an angry man at the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam took out a knife and slashed the famous painting “Nightwatch” by Rembrandt. A short time later, a distraught, hostile man slipped into St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome with a hammer and began to smash Mic … More

Restoration

Isaiah turns from the subject of rebellion to restoration (vv. 18-26). Even though the people had turned from the Lord, he still wanted to be gracious and compassionate to them (vv 18-19). He says that the Lord has given you much sorrow and hurt but will continue to tell you the way you should go (vv. 20-21). He urges them to cast out their “graven images” (v. 22) in order that God might bless them with the “bread of the increase of the earth” (v. 23). He describes the future day when Israel will be restored to her land. Instead of scoffing they will listen to God’s word and put away foolish idols. The land will be restored and prosperous once again (v. 24). Many Bible scholars see the “great slaughter” (vv. 25-26) as a reference to the battle of Armageddon which will occur just before the return of Christ to deliver His people and establish His kingdom (Rev. 19:11-21).

The final theme in this woe is retribution (vv 27-33). He tells how God allows Assyria to discipline Judah with (1) fire, (2) water, the sieve of judgment and the horses bit of destruction but He would not permit them to take Jerusalem (vv. 27-28). Just by a command of anger, God would shatter Assyria with His scepter and rod (vv 29-31). The Assyrian army was destroyed, like a pile of wood in the valley of Hinnon, south of Jerusalem (vv. 32-33). By God’s breath, He would figuratively kindle the fire by which He would consume the Assyrian soldiers.

Application

When the Israelites left God’s path, He would correct them and He wants to do the same for me. However, when I hear His voice of correction, I must be willing to follow it. Next time I go through a difficult time, I need to appreciate what God is doing and learn what He wants to teach me.

Isaiah 30:18-33 (English Standard Version)

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, "Be gone!" And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the LORD binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow. Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke; his lips are full of fury, and his tongue is like a devouring fire; his breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches up to the neck; to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray. You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel. And the LORD will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. The Assyrians will be terror- stricken at the voice of the LORD, when he strikes with his rod. And every stroke of the appointed staff that the LORD lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

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