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Bible: What Does Isaiah 24-27 Teach Us About the Great Tribulation and Divine Judgment?
Isaiah 24-26: Great Tribulation and Divine Judgment Before Kingdom
The Great Tribulation
Because of the magnitude of the destruction predicted here, Isaiah must be prophesying about the Great Tribulation judgment that Jesus mentioned (see Matthew 24).
To limit the extent of the disaster to the land of Israel is difficult to maintain, to say the least (vv. 1-4).
Nevertheless, Israel is the center of attention here, because Isaiah alludes to the breaking of the “everlasting covenant” (v. 5).
The prophet mentions the curse, a great burning, and a great loss of life (v. 6).
The people celebrate no more festivals (vv. 7-9); the city itself is abandoned and desolate (vv. 10-13). In the midst of this horror stands a group singing praises to the LORD and glorifying Him (vv. 14-15).
[Who could this choir be? The 144,000 of Revelation 7?]
This scene quickly passes, however, and Isaiah resumes his description of the ruin of those who live on Earth in that day, for no possible escape exists (vv. 17-18).
Great earthquakes strike (vv. 19-20), and the LORD imprisons and punishes both fallen angels and earthly kings (vv. 21-22) before reigning gloriously in Jerusalem (v. 23; cf. Matt. 24:29).
The Destruction of Leviathan
The Existence of Satan
Do you believe Satan exists and is a fallen angel who rebelled against God in the beginning?
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Isaiah 27: The Slaying of Leviathan
The LORD judges Leviathan (Satan)
Isaiah continues the theme of judgment, announcing the slaying of the fleeing, twisted serpent/reptile, Leviathan (v. 1).
God will use His sword (His word, Hebrews 4:12) to punish what symbolically appears to be Satan (see also Revelation 20).
Yahweh then speaks about His care for Israel, His vineyard (vv. 2-3), averring that nothing can thwart Him in His purpose to make that nation fruitful (vv. 4-6).
God's punishment of Israel is mild in comparison with how He deals with his oppressors (vv. 7-8).
By means of exile, He will cause His people to repent of their wickedness and to reject idolatry (vv. 8-9).
However, during their chastisement, the city and the people will become desolate, bankrupt, and under divine disfavor (vv. 10-11).
Still, the time will come when the LORD will gather Israel from many parts of the world to worship Him in Jerusalem (vv. 12-13).
Do you believe Israel as a nation will reign in the future kingdom?
John MacArthur: Pastor/Teacher
Israel is Saved
Isaiah praises his God for doing wonderful things, including His judgments upon a fortified city that will never be rebuilt (vv. 1-2).
[Might this place be Babylon]?
The prophet alludes to the 'strong people', the 'terrible nations', and the 'terrible ones' (vv. 3-5).
The former two will undergo a conversion of sorts, perhaps because Yahweh defends the weak against them (v. 4).
However, the 'terrible ones' will not survive (v. 5).
A divine feast day will transpire in Jerusalem (Mt. Zion) where God will remove spiritual blindness from His people, and manufacture "millennial" conditions (vv. 6-8; cf. Rev. 21:4).
The Jews will proclaim the appearance of the Savior for whom they have long waited (v. 9).
Meanwhile, Isaiah predicts further divine judgment upon Moab for its pride (vv. 10-12).
Isaiah Prays for Yahweh's Kingdom to Come
The prophet records a song that Judeans will sing "in that day," that is, the period prior to Yahweh's judgment upon the world (vv. 1-6).
Judah finds comfort in God and in the protection of His city (vv. 1-2).
Perfect peace and strength go to the righteous ones as a reward for trusting in the LORD (vv. 3-4).
He who keeps Israel will humiliate the proud city (v. 5), and the poor will take it over (v. 6).
Isaiah prays earnestly for the soon coming of Yahweh and His righteous rule.
His spiritual heartbeat manifests a deep love for God and His justice (vv. 7-9).
Even though he realizes that the wicked will continue in sin while under Yahweh's reign, he asks God to be gracious to them (v. 10).
Their destruction will come at the hand of the LORD's enemies (v. 11).
Yahweh is the source of all of His people's good works (v. 12).
As the speaker distinguishes between the LORD and other masters, he asserts that Yahweh has enlarged the nation and prospered it, while the others are dead, divinely destroyed (vv. 13-15).
Isaiah mentions their (the other masters?) prayer during severe chastening and pain (v. 16).
Israel, on the other hand, has experienced pain like that of childbirth, but has not brought forth deliverance upon the earth (vv. 17-18).
Nevertheless, God's people will rise from the grave (v. 19); "they," however, will not (v. 14).
Finally, the prophet exhorts the nation to hide until judgment has finished its work and is passed (vv. 20-21; cf. Rev. 12:14).
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