In that day

Throughout the theme of gloom and judgement, Isaiah weaves a different thread that brings light and hope. He speaks of a future day when there will be vindication for God’s people, when his enemies will be judged and defeated, when God will restore the land.  Quite often, it seems that God has in mind more than a restoration of Israel but a renewal of the whole creation.  The day to come is “The Day of the Lord” or “The Day of Salvation.”  If it’s about both judgement and salvation, we might observe that eschatologically, the day happens on two days

First, there was the day when God visited his judgement on Jesus Christ, the day when his new creation first begins to bear fruit. However, there is a further, future day to come when God will judge all those who are not in Christ, when he will return as king and when we will fully see the consummation of the new creation.

The next two chapters speak about that.

Read Isaiah 26-27

Isaiah says that the Day of the Lord will prompt a new song to be sung and then offers the words for the song.  It’s a song about how God is like a strong and secure city offer protection for all who are within its walls.  God’s nation, or his true people will find safety in him.  They need fear no evil attack. They can trust him. He is also like a rock, a firm and secure foundation to stand on (26:1-4).

The basis for this trust is what God does. He brings down the proud, compared to the destruction of a high and exalted city.  He allows the poor and lowly to trample that city, in other words, he exalts the humble.  He prepares the way ahead for those who are righteous (26:5-8). Because of this, the righteous long and yearn for God (26:9).  We se here too the importance of God’s justice and discipline.  How are the wicked to learn goodness if they go unchallenged and actively prosper?  They end up, as we saw back in chapter 6, ignorant of what God is doing (26:10-11).

God’s people will be able to look forward to peace and safety on that day because he will liberate them from false lords. This may apply both to the false gods they have worshipped and to the foreign rulers who have oppressed and exiled them. God has utterly defeated them (26:12-15).  God hears and acts in response to the cries of his people, cries of distress and repentance (26:16-21).

Leviathan is one of the great enemies that will be turned back, defeated and destroyed.  The sea monster metaphor is probably a reference to Phonecia (Tyre and Sidon), a coastal, and ocean going power (27:1).[1]

In contrast to the fate of the nations around and to Israel and Judah’s desolation during their own judgement, God’s people are now likened once again to a cultivated and protected vineyard.  God cares for this place and it does not come under judgement any longer. He has no anger against his people instead his desire is that they will come back to him and seek peace with him (27:2-6).

God’s purpose in bringing discipline and judgement was that Israel’s (Jacob) sin could be atoned for.  This does mean that right now at this time, the people of Jerusalem face judgement, invasion, death and exile (27:7-11). However, the day is coming when God will bring back the exiles (27:12-13).


Meditate on these words:

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you (26:3).

Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. (26:4)

  1. How do you find peace?
  2. How has your trust in God grown recently?

Thank you Lord that we do not need to fear the coming judgement day because the punishment was laid on Christ for our transgressions.  Help us to find shelter in Christ, the rock of our salvation.

[1] Watts, Isaiah 1-33, 410.

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