Dr. S. Lewis Johnson completes his exposition of Isaiah's "Book of Woes."
[End of Prayer] Thee for Thy blessing upon us now in the study of the Scriptures. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
[Message] Tonight is the last in the series on the Book of Woes and the subject is “The Treacherous Assyrian and the Glorious Lord.” This 33rd chapter of the Prophecy of Isaiah, as so many of Isaiah’s chapters, is one which has an unusual number of great texts. Now for example, let’s read four of them:
Verse 14 “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? That’s one of the famous texts of the Book of Isaiah. And then the 17th verse, which is perhaps more familiar to us “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” And the 21st verse “But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.” And verse 22 “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.”
The background of the 33rd chapter is the background of the preceding chapters and let’s for a moment just review the situation. Isaiah is now writing during the reign of King Hezekiah, Judah’s greatest king, after the dissolution of the kingdoms. It is about the time of 701 B.C. Judah or Jerusalem is besieged by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, and this chapter therefore is a message from God to a people who were as we might say in extremis, that is they were in a difficult situation. The Assyrians were without and the mighty Assyrians they were too, and the result was that they were shut up to the Lord. Now there are three movements in this chapter which end in the climactic clause “The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” And I have put those three movements in the outline on the board. There is the movement of severity or judgment upon Assyria, there is the movement of serenity or the peace of Israel, and the final one, which is something of a summary, the all sufficient Jehovah; and we are going to look at these three movements in our study tonight.
Now let me remind you that these events that we are describing and reading about in the Prophecy of Isaiah at this point are typical events. That is, Jerusalem is besieged by the Assyrians and this of course is typical of the ultimate deliverance which Israel shall experience in the last days when she shall be besieged by the King of the North of prophecy, under the direction of course of the King of the North, who is the antichrist, so that these events of the Old Testament while they refer to specific historical situations as their background, they go far beyond those historical situations on into the future and speak of the ultimate siege of the city of Jerusalem prior to the kingdom of our Lord Jesus.
Now let’s look at the first movement and you will notice that we have our final woe here “Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled.” Now this is the sixth of the woes. We had five woes on Israel or Judah and Jerusalem I should say, and now we have the sixth which is directed towards Judah and Jerusalem’s enemy, the Assyrian, and in this first verse, we have the doom declared. “Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end of dealing treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.” In other words, Isaiah prophesied that Assyria, which has been besieging Judah and Jerusalem, is one day going to be destroyed herself.
The great nation, which has afflicted Israel, is going to be afflicted, and I am reminded of a text in the 6th chapter of the Book of Galatians in which the Apostle Paul states in the 7th verse of that 6th chapter “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” I think that’s one of the most interesting texts in all of the Bible. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap.”
We often think that somehow or other that text would read for us whatsoever a man soweth what he thinks he should reap, he will reap, but the text says whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap. Not what he hoped, not what he wished, but what he sowed, that and nothing else shall he reap. It is the principle of God of course to reward righteously and justice, and Assyria, which has afflicted Judah and Jerusalem, is going to be judged. Now the prophet at this point, capital B, expresses confidence in the Lord by way of prayer and then that prayer merges into assurance of victory which climaxes in a statement of the exaltation of Jehovah.
Let’s read these verses. Verse 2, “O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble. At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.” You will notice that in Isaiah’s language, he is going beyond the local situation, Assyria outside Jerusalem, and he is looking on into the distance future to the time when the city of Jerusalem shall be besieged by the armies of the antichrist and the armies of the nations in the great final confederacy and how God is to deliver Israel at that time.
Now in Sennacherib’s day remember God delivered Israel or I should say Judah and Jerusalem in a remarkable way. Remember one night suddenly God’s supernatural deliverance came, one hundred and eight-five thousand of the Assyrians were lost and they fled home, and the city was delivered. Now that is a type, that is an illustration of the great deliverance of the future. So Isaiah’s language goes beyond that local situation. Verse 4 “And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them. The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with justice and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure (or the treasure of Judah).” What he means by that of course is that the hope of Judah is in the fear of Jehovah. That is of course Judah’s hope at all times and it is by the way our hope too in the affairs of our life for no deliverance ever comes that is not ultimately grounded in the God who is the God of Jehovah.
Now the doom is described in verses 7 through 13. I want to hasten down to verse 14 and stop there for a moment and so I hope you won’t mind if we hurry. The doom described, verses 7 to 13. First of all he speaks of the disappointment of the Israeli ambassadors in Sennacherib. He says verse 7 “Behold, their valiant ones shall cry outside, the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly” because Sennacherib turned on them and this is followed by a reference to the perfidy of Sennacherib. “The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.” This is the Assyrian. And then he describes the discouragement of the land at the shock “The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a plane; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.”
Now he leads up to the rise of Jehovah in judgment. Verse 10, “Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself. Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, like fire, shall devour you. And the people shall be like the burnings of lime: like thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire. Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.” Jehovah has remarkably delivered Israel, I keep saying Israel, I mean Judah. If I say Israel, I mean Judah. Remember Israel is the, this is the time of the divided kingdom and Israel is the kingdom of the north, and Judah and Jerusalem are under siege. So he has in mind Judah and Jerusalem.
Let’s move on to the second movement, serenity, the peace of Israel. Verse 14 through verse 20. Now he describes what happens as a result of the deliverance of Judah and Jerusalem from Sennacherib. He says in verse14 “The sinners in Zion are afraid.” Now isn’t this an amazing thing? Isaiah has been preaching in Judah and Jerusalem for 40 years. He has been being telling them about Emmanuel, the Lord with us. He has been giving them these remarkable prophecies of all that God is going to do through this great king who is to come. He has been exhorting them to put trust in Jehovah and they have been paying him no attention whatsoever. If ever a prophet had to speak to people who were unresponsive, Isaiah is one of those men because for 40 years he has been telling them to trust in Jehovah and they haven’t paid him any mind at all, but now suddenly after 40 years of preaching and I would presume he must be a man of 60 or 70 years of age; suddenly now those in Judah and Jerusalem are finally becoming awakened. “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.” They have seen the rout of the Assyrians in this supernatural fashion. They looked out one day and saw the thousands of Assyrians outside the camp, they heard the taunts of Rabshakeh, and now the next morning they awaken, everybody has vanished, and now having seen the hand of God, they are disturbed and notice what they say. “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
Now I want to stop here for just a moment and say a few words about Isaiah’s God for it seems to me that one of the things that we must understand if we are to understand Isaiah is to understand Isaiah’s idea of God. Now I want you to turn with me before we try to answer the problem that is found in this verse to a passage in the New Testament. So turn to the fourth chapter of 1 John. First John chapter 4 verse 16. John writes, remember he is the apostle of love, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.” Now notice this statement “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” In other words, God’s nature is love. While we are here, notice the 19th verse and I am going to refer to that in a little while. We love; your text has him, some of the Greek manuscripts leave out that him, “We love because He first loved us.”
Now the thing I want you to notice is this. John says that God is love and the one who dwells in love dwells in God. God is love. If we are to have fellowship with God, we must dwell in love. Love is an element of the being of God. If we are to fellowship with God, we must dwell in the element of His being which is love.
But now come back to Isaiah chapter 33 and verse 14. The sinners in Zion who are awakened by this great deliverance and who have now seen some evidence of the nature of God say some thing quite different it appears at first glance from that which John says about God. They say, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” Now what does he mean when he says devouring fire and everlasting burnings? Well he means God. That’s what God is. He is the everlasting fire. He is the devouring flame. As a matter of fact, Isaiah has said this more than once. He said the name of Jehovah is like a devouring flame. He is called the light of Israel, a flame.
Now what does Isaiah mean by this? Well he means of course that the very nature of God is fire. John says the nature of God is love. Are they in contradiction? No they are not in contradiction because God is both fire and love and if we are to dwell with God, we must have the kind of existence that can stand the eternal flame, the devouring flame or fire, and the everlasting burnings.
Now this brings up the question. How can I who am a sinner dwell in the midst of the devouring fire? How am I who am evil, how can I dwell with everlasting burnings? Is it right for God to be a flame? Is it right for God to be a fire? Well now we know of course the New Testament says that God not only is love, but He is light. We know too that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of God as a consuming fire. Did you know that the God whom you fellowship is a flame and a fire? Are you sorry? I am very glad. Do you know why? Because my God hates sin and if He were not a God who hated sin — now I am not talking about the passion of hate; I am not talking about the fact that God has some desire to harm the one who is a sinner — but I am talking about a God who in His nature is a Holy God and he cannot stand sin. He cannot abide the presence of sin because you see if God were not a Holy God, if He were not really a devouring fire and everlasting burnings, then I would think that God is a God of moral apathy, that He does not really care, but I am thankful that He is a fire. I am thankful that He is light. I am thankful that He is everlasting burning, that He is a consuming fire because He hates sin, and sin is harmful to me and it’s harmful to man.
Now this question is something that arose out of the character of God as they saw Him. You see Isaiah’s concept of God is a very important concept for us as Christians to grasp. Isaiah for 40 years had looked at Judah and Jerusalem, and he had seen some things that had troubled him greatly. He had seen the nation which was the nation called of God into existence to manifest the name of Jehovah. He has seen them divided. He has seen them beaten down. He has seen them now finally besieged by the Assyrians and all the time he has seen the collapse of leadership, he has seen the collapse of morals, he has seen heresy come in, he has seen the nation become idolatrous, they have run after the false gods. It’s as if the whole that God has done is now falling in ruins.
But Isaiah has seen something else. He has seen this as the result of the devouring flame of the holiness of God. Perhaps I can illustrate. George Adam Smith says in his commentary that it’s just as if you were to look at a building on fire through colored glasses. Now if you looked at this building on fire through colored glasses which were tinted red, you wouldn’t see the flames. The only thing you would see would be the building and you would see finally as the building is consumed by the flames, you would see it falling to pieces. You would see the wreck and the consequent destruction, but you would not see the flames. But say now of course if you were to take the glasses away, you could see the flames, the cause of the destruction and decay and corruption and destruction of that building.
Now Isaiah had been looking at the corruption of Israel and Judah for 40 years, and he had not been looking through glasses that were colored. He knew what was causing it. He knew it was the holiness of God that was searching out the wickedness of Judah and Israel and Jerusalem, and he knew it was the everlasting burnings, it was the devouring flame of Jehovah that was consuming the wickedness and bringing corruption and destruction in the nation called of God, but the people they had looked at this as if they were looking through glasses that were tinted. They didn’t know why. But now suddenly there has come upon them the conviction that the holiness of God is responsible for the judgment of Sennacherib and also that is now responsible for the condition in which they find themselves and they discover that they have a problem, how am I going to abide in the midst of the devouring flame.
Now Isaiah gives an answer that’s at first glance not startling at all. Notice the 15th verse “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions.” In other words the person who is not going to take advantage of his neighbor that “restraineth his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood,” does not participate in violence and oppression “and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil.”
By the way, you will notice there is no mention of religion. He doesn’t say the man who is going to abide the holy presence of God is the man who has gotten religion. Why doesn’t he? Because religion is one of Satan’s counterfeits. No it’s much more simple than that. Who is going to abide the devouring flame? Who is going to abide the everlasting burnings? The righteous man, the man who does all of these little practical things like walking righteously, speaking uprightly, despising oppression, restraineth his hand from bribes and such things. It’s all relatively simple, isn’t it?
You know this is not the only time in the Bible that we have this. We have it in the 15th Psalm and the 24th Psalm. Who will be able to enter into the gates of Jehovah? Well it’s the man who walks uprightly. It also seems as if Isaiah has not learned the truth of the New Testament, doesn’t it, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
If I were to stop at this point and say to you the only person who will be able to abide the presence of the everlasting flame is the man who does right, you might justly say I wonder if Dr. Johnson is still preaching the grace of God. But you see the answer is correct. The answer is still correct. Is this me? Let me ask you a question. Let’s just say we put ourselves in Isaiah’s place. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? The man who walks righteously and speaks uprightly. Will you abide? Will you abide? Come on now, will you? No, you won’t. I tell you the truth when I look at this, I want to say God be merciful to me, a sinner. I’ll not be able to abide the devouring fire and the everlasting burnings.
What about John? He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God for God is love. Does he say something different? No he really says the same thing. He just looks at it from a different standpoint, but John gives us a clue. He says we love because He first loved us. In other words, John tells us not only what we must have in order to fellowship with God, but he tells us how we may have that. He says God is love, he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, but then he goes on to say we love because He first loved us. It’s true. Only the man who dwells in love will dwell in God. Only the man who walks uprightly shall dwell in the midst of the everlasting burnings, but the texts of the word of God go on to say that it is by the look at the cross of Jesus Christ where we see that our sins have been taken by the Lamb of God.
And as we look at that cross, there is created within us the love for God in which we may dwell and in that dwell with God. And there is also created within us the motivation to walk uprightly and to speak uprightly, and it is in that practical righteous which is the product of true faith and true love that God may have fellowship with us. And all throughout the remainder of our lives the everlasting burning is at work. God is light and in Him, there is no darkness at all and you know I m so thankful that God is like that. He is so anxious for my personal well-being that He judges all of that which is contrary to His will and ultimately, He shall destroy it, and I shall ultimately come into the presence of God with a nature completely able to love Him and to serve Him righteously. It’s a great text. Who among us? None of us. Not a one. How may we then? Only by the grace of God through the cross.
Now Isaiah doesn’t tell us all of that because he is an Old Testament prophet. He doesn’t give us all of these details. We learn this as we read the whole of the word of God. I like that text. I’ll tell you I could never dwell in the midst of the devouring fire were it not for the cross which has consumed all of my evil and which has created within me the love of God.
And furthermore notice the blessings of verse 16. “He shall dwell on high” security, elevation “his place of defence shall be the strongholds of rocks “that’s real security there” and furthermore he says, “bread shall be given him and his waters shall be sure.” To be in His will is to be in His love and to be in His love is to have His protection and care. Now then in verse 17 through verse 20, he goes on to say the pure shall see the king. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” You see these truths which are expressed so beautifully by our Lord and the beatitudes are truths that are found through all of the Bible, and so we read “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” Who is referred to in thine eyes? Well I think it’s the believers of the future, primarily. Then eyes shall see the king in his beauty. Professor Delitzch says “the church of the future.” Well I wouldn’t like to say the church of the future, but at least the believers of the future, there I shall see the king in his beauty. Who is the king? Well the king of course is king Messiah. What do you think Isaiah’s listeners first thought when they saw the king thine I shall see the king in his beauty? Well, I think they thought first of all what king. Who was King Hezekiah? Why do you think Isaiah might have been led by the Holy Spirit to say thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty. Well I haven’t really talked about this because we when we get to Isaiah 36, 37, 38, 39, we are going to have the story of Hezekiah. We are going to spend one night on it. But if you remember the story of this king and it’s very important because I think it’s about the only story of any great king in the Old Testament of this period of time at least which is recorded in three places in Chronicles, in Kings and also in the Prophet Isaiah.
But you remember that Hezekiah was deeply disturbed by the fact that the Assyrians came to the very walls of Jerusalem and then taunted the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He was so disturbed that he went into the presence God and rent his clothes and got down upon his face before God. If you had been living in those days, the text would have read thine eyes shall see the king in his desolation, in his humiliation, and so Isaiah’s words first of all are a prophecy of the ultimate deliverance of Hezekiah in the eyes of the people. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty. You are going to see Hezekiah exalted through the deliverance that I am going to accomplish, but there is more to it than that.
I think we could also say that this text typically applies to our Lord and his first coming because you see at the first coming of the Lord Jesus, when the king came then he came and every step of his coming was in humiliation. Mr. Spurgeon says somewhere that he came from heavens glory undressing all the way, and what he meant of course was that as he went toward that cross, he took off the garment of this glory, he took off the garment of that glory, he took off the jewel of this glory, he took off the jewel of another glory until finally he hung as a criminal on a Roman gibbet, but then on the third day, he arose from the dead; he put on the garment of glory. He ascended to the right hand of the Father, he put on the jewel of exaltation, he sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high, and began his work of intersession and advocacy, and the jewels and the garments of glory and beauty had become his now. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty and by faith as we look off to the right hand of the Father, that’s what we see now, but the greatest glory and the greatest beauty of our Lord shall be seen in his second advent and then this text I think reaches its fulfillment.
I wish we had time to turn to Psalm 45. Remember the psalmist speaks about the fact that he has a song he would like to sing about the king. That term is anarthrous in the Hebrew text and right here it’s the same thing. If you were to look at the Hebrew text, the very first word in this verse is king. The king thine eyes shall see. Such a person as a king and you are going to see him in his beauty. You know this is something I think that we need to be constantly reminded of. Jesus Christ is a king and because he is a king, he is authoritative and because he is authoritative, he is to be obeyed.
You know it’s startling, but I think there are some people that seem to want to obey Calvin more than they do the king or Augustine or some other great religious leader or even some friend. It’s sad to say I need to put this on tape in one sense but you know I have a very close friend in this city. This person is so under the influence of some friends; she is a Christian, so under the influence of some friends that it appears I hope it’s not true, but it appears that the influence of the friends have more influence over her than Jesus Christ himself, but our Lord is a king. Oh listen, do not obey men, do not pay attention to what men say if men’s words in any way impinge upon the authority of the king. Obeying Jesus Christ is far more important than obeying me or the elders or your good friend who is spiritual. He is a king and he is to obeyed.
Now Isaiah continues “Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? Where is the receiver? Where is he that counted the towers?” And you can picture Sennacherib as he passed around the city counting the towers of the city of Jerusalem which he was going to take. “Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand. Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of its stakes shall ever be removed, neither shall any of its cords be broken. But the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.”
Let’s stop at that verse the 21st verse. This is the beginning of the final movement, summation, the all sufficient Jehovah. Now look at that verse for a moment. “There the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.” Now here is a comprehensive unveiling of the truths the prophet has been declaring. But you know you will never understand these verses unless you understand Jerusalem. Let me ask you a question or two. Perhaps you remember something of the geography of Jerusalem. How many rivers did Jerusalem have flowing through it? Now while you are thinking about that, let me ask you this. How many rivers did Babylon have flowing through it? Well it had the great river Euphrates, didn’t it? That was the envy of Jerusalem. Every time a Jerusalemite thought about Babylon, he envied Babylon. Water power and water was of tremendous significance at this time, and Babylon had the great Euphrates.
How many rivers did Nineveh have, the Capital of Assyria? Well it had the great river Tigris. What about Thebes in Egypt? Well the great river Nile. What about the city of Rome? Well it had the Tiber. How many rivers did Jerusalem have? None. They had no rivers. How many streams did Jerusalem have? Well they had a little tricking stream called the waters of Salomae that moved softly and slowly, that’s all they had. It was nothing, it was nothing. That by the way is why Jerusalem will never be a great large city. There is no water. But look. “There the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams.” In other words, the Jehovah of the future is going to be the refreshment, the source of strength, the source of power that the rivers are naturally; that kind of person is the King Messiah of the future to Jerusalem.
Do we have anything in the word of God that further elucidates this? Well take your Bibles and turn with me to the Book of Zachariah. Let’s read of this final siege of the city of Jerusalem when the armies of the antichrist are about the city and are about ready to take it. Zachariah chapter 14 and we read verse 1. “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” It’s almost as if you were to say as when he fought in the day of Sennacherib.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Great geographical changes at the second coming of Jesus Christ. “And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” He is going to come and he is going to come with the angelic hosts and with the church of Jesus Christ.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. There the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.” In other words, the great deliverance that the second advent of Jesus Christ is going to bring is likened by Isaiah to the possession of the water supply which Israel always longed for, for it meant refreshment and sustenance and it meant also power.
And furthermore, he says wherein shall go no galley with oars. What does he mean by that? Neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. Do you remember those fairy stories you used to read when you were young? And do you remember how the castle was always surrounded by a mote? Why a mote for protection? The great river Euphrates was one of the protections of the city of Babylon, and so the glorious Lord is going to be like streams and rivers of water, not only supply but also protection, and the 22nd verse explains it. “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; and he will save us.” All the functions of government as Mr. Scofield says in his note judicial, legislative and executive shall be carried out by King Messiah, and Israel shall be supplied and protected. At the present, she is like a ship its rigging hanging in destruction.
Verse 23 “Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey. And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” He who feels the joy of pardon forgets the pain and griefs of sin for when sin is pardoned, the consequences of sin are also removed and then the inhabitants shall sing as we often sing at the Lord’s table. “Bearing shame and scoffing rude. In my place condemned He stood, sealed my pardon with His blood; Hallelujah, what a Savior!” If you think the saints of God sing the praises of the lamb now, just wait until the kingdom when Israel knows its Messiah and Lord and sees the king in his beauty and discovers that he the glorious Lord is a place of broad rivers and streams for them.
Next time we are going to take a look at Isaiah’s picture of the Battle of Armageddon as it is set forth in the 34th and 35th chapters, and I will try to draw some of the picture of the events that are going to surround that day. It’s one minute to nine. I want to let you out a little early tonight. Aren’t you happy? Let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father we thank Thee for Thy word and we ask Thy blessing upon it. May it bring forth fruit in our lives. Help us Lord to remember that we do dwell in the midst of the devouring fire and the everlasting flame, and may we remember that holiness becometh those who name Thine name.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.