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Bible: What Does Isaiah 32-35 Teach Us About Messiah's Reign and Judgment?
The Desert Will Blossom
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Isaiah 32-35: The Messiah's Righteous Reign; Divine Judgment and Kingdom Restoration
The Reign of Messiah
This prophecy foretells the righteous reign of a king (the Messiah) and princes (Israel) [v. 1]. Messiah's subjects will live in safety (v. 2).
Other characteristics of His rule include:
(1) spiritual clear-sightedness,
(2) willingness to obey God's law,
(3) thoughtfulness instead of impulsiveness,
(4) physical correction of speech impairments, and
(5) correction of moral perceptions (vv. 3-5).
Then in three successive verses Isaiah shows the way of the foolish (v. 6), the ways of the schemer (v. 7), and the way of the generous man (v. 8).
The man of God rebukes certain complacent women, saying, “Difficult days of no harvest will descend upon you soon” (vv. 9-11).
Agricultural disaster will strike (vv. 12-13), and the desolation of cities will endure until the Holy Spirit renews Israel (vv. 14-15).
Speaking of this regeneration, Isaiah enumerates even more benefits of the millennial reign of Messiah: justice and righteousness (v. 16), and their effects—peace, quietness, and assurance forever (v. 17).
Despite present calamities, times of peace will surely come (vv. 18-19).
[What does it mean to "sow beside all waters" and to "send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey"? (v. 20).
Perhaps since they are the actions of the blessed, they signify evidences of trust in the provision of their sovereign LORD].
Chastening and Rest
Isaiah delivers his final "woe" message, addressing it to plunderers and the treacherous, promising them that they will reap exactly what they have sown (v. 1).
He asks for grace and salvation (v. 2), as Yahweh moves in judgment upon the nations (vv. 3-4).
The LORD's victory garners for Him and His people justice and righteousness; wisdom and knowledge lead to stability and strength (vv. 5-6).
Nevertheless, judgment produces weeping (v. 7), waste (v. 8), and wilderness (v. 9) among covenant breakers.
Still, Yahweh is exalted when He accomplishes His purpose: setting His moral order aright (v. 10).
The people of Jerusalem will undergo a fiery chastening, because God wants everyone to acknowledge that He has brought it to pass (vv. 11-13).
Hypocrites will fear the burning (v. 14), but those who live and speak rightly will survive in safety and certainty of life (vv. 15-16).
Those who survive the ordeal will see the King and the kingdom (v. 17); they will never see an invasion by a foreign army (v. 19; cf. Is. 36-37).
Instead, Jerusalem will have rest (v. 20), and its people will enjoy the LORD's presence in freedom (v. 21).
The Messiah will control all the branches of Israel’s government (v. 22).
The nation will prosper greatly from the failure of other nations to conquer Him; she will enjoy good health, physically and spiritually (vv. 23-24).
Do you believe God will judge the world during the Great Tribulation?
The Great Tribulation
Isaiah enjoins the world to heed his message of judgment from God (vv. 1-2). He describes the carnage rather vividly, especially in verse three.
Great cataclysms transpire in outer space (the second heaven) [v. 4].
God wields His sword against Edom (symbol of the God-rejecting world?) [vv. 5-6]; this slaughter resembles a ritual sacrifice (vv. 6-7).
[The "day of the LORD's vengeance" is most likely the Great Tribulation of Matthew 24 (v. 8) during which Yahweh's judgment ignites fires that will never cease (vv. 9-10)].
The land becomes utterly forlorn and desolate, fit only for animal scavengers, desert creatures, and cursed vegetation (vv. 11-15).
God orders these conditions to continue in this place apart from the rest of the rejuvenated millennial earth (vv. 16-17).
Millennial Golden Age
In contrast, Isaiah presents the joyful life of the redeemed in Zion during the Messianic kingdom.
Surveying desolate lands in his mind's eye, the man of God portrays them as singing and rejoicing over the LORD's presence and the restoration of Israel (vv. 1-2; cf. Rom. 8:19-23).
He then encourages his audience in God's future, yet certain salvation (vv. 3-4), which will include the healing of natural infirmities in man (vv. 5-6; cf. Matt. 11:5) and the appearance of "unnatural" sights in nature (vv. 6-7).
The "Highway of Holiness" ascends to Zion, and is reserved for redeemed feet; no unclean person or carnivore will travel it (vv. 8-10).
The saved will rejoice and sing as they return to Jerusalem on it (v. 10). So ends a lengthy section of poetry.
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