Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Today’s study covers 4 Chapters. (27-30). Chapter 27, the 4th chapter of "Isaiah’s Apocalypse"
concludes the previous three chapters of Isaiah (24, 25 & 26) as it continues to focus on the End Time and on Christ’s divine battle. Chapter 24 showed us a picture of the devastation on the earth that will take place during the upcoming Tribulation period, Chapter 25 showed us what heaven will be like, Chapter 26 showed us how the nation of Israel would come through the Tribulation. Today, in the first part of the study, we will continue to look at the full restoration of the nation of Israel as it comes through the Tribulation in chapter 27, and then come back to more current times of Isaiah’s day in the second part, Chapters. (28-30).
PART 1: CHAPTER 27
Chapter 27, Verse 1: Satan Will Lose The Battle
In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong, Will punish Leviathan the fleeing
serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea. See Rev 12:7- 13
Isaiah 27:1 and Rev 13, have many similarities. Here the prophet Isaiah speaks about the end time. The leviathan has similarities with the dragon in Rev 12:17 and the sea beast in Rev 13:14. The use of two symbols, the woman in labour (chapter 26:17–18) and leviathan (chapter 27) describes the pain and defeat of the Israelites by their enemies, on one hand and on the other hand, the leviathan’s destruction provides hope to the Israelites and focuses on God’s power to deliver His people.
Chapter 27, Verses 2-6 Restoration of Israel
These verses paint a picture of restoration; a vineyard of red wine is one that bears fruit unlike (Isa.5), God Himself is the one who keeps it. He will guard, watch over and water it every moment. (Hosea 14:5). He will do this, night and day. The One who keeps us does not slumber (Psa. 121:3- 4)
Verse 4 tells us that God is no longer angry at His vineyard. “My anger against Israel is gone. If I find thorns and briars bothering her, I will burn them up, unless these enemies of mine surrender and beg for peace and my protection. 6 The time will come when Israel will take root and bud and blossom and fill the whole earth with her fruit!”
Instead of being plucked up and carried off by every army that comes their way, Israel will be
settled permanently in the land. And as a vine that gets rooted firmly, there will be fruit. In the last fifty years, we see the nation of Israel has been re-established in the land, and there’s even been a physical fulfillment in that they are now one of the world’s largest exporters of fruit.
Chapter 27, Verses 7-13 Tables Turned
These verses tell us what was before, and how God turned the tables to the favour of His children. God doesn’t treat His people the same way as He treats those who are His enemies. Difficult times come to all kinds of people. For those who are God’s enemies, they could end up being destroyed. But for those that God loves, they are allowed to happen only to help us grow. God carefully measures how He disciplines His people. It’s all according to what we can handle. Heb. 12:6-11 tells us that to be chastened by God is a sign that we belong to Him and that He loves us! And that the result is a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
By this chastening of the Lord, the iniquity of Jacob is purged and all altars of stones dedicated to worshipping idols will be ground into fine dust as chalkstones.(Vs. 9). Finally, the cities that the enemies of God resided in, like Babylon, and all of their defences, (Rev. 17-18, Is. 25:2) will be brought to nothing. God will pull out His own His enemies, like a farmer separates the grain from the chaff in the wheat, and then picks up His own, one by one when the great trumpet is blown.
PART 2: CHAPTERS 28-30
In these chapters, Isaiah deals with more current times to his day; the coming destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel as well as the problems facing Isaiah’s own country, the nation of Judah
Chapter 28, Verses 1-4 Judgment for the Northern Kingdom
Ephraim is a name used to describe the very fertile Northern Kingdom of Israel; Isaiah, however, lives in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. God will send the nation of Assyria, to throw those of Ephraim to the ground. Because they are too proud to listen to the Lord, to have God tell them what to do. The Northern Kingdom of Israel, in particular the city of Samaria, would be destroyed by Assyria in 2 Kings 17:6.
Chapter 28, Verses 5-6 Promise for the Remnant
The promise to the remnant, the humble is that God Himself will be their "crown of glory" and He will grant the spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who battle at the gate. God wants us to get our sense of "importance" from the fact that we know Him. Our sense of "beauty" should come from our relationship with Him. 1 Pet 3:3-4 tells us that it’s not about how we appear in the exterior but the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Chapter 28, Verses 7-13 Problems With the "Remnant"
Though God has great things for those who will humble themselves, some of these people would miss out on what God had for them because of their own drunkenness. They will make bad decisions because of their drunkenness. A Japanese proverb says: "First the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, and then the drink takes the man."
These rebellious, drunken leaders didn’t like Isaiah’s ministry. Verse 9-10 says: “Who does Isaiah think he is,” the people say, “to speak to us like this! Are we little children, barely old enough to talk? 10 He tells us everything over and over again, a line at a time and in such simple words!”
God’s reply is, "If you’re having trouble understanding baby talk, then I’ll just speak to you through foreign oppressors (the Assyrians) who speak an unknown language when you are invaded.”
Chapter 28, Verses 14-22 Warning for Jerusalem’s Rulers
The warning shifts from Ephraim to Jerusalem and the leaders of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Because they have made a lie their refuge and falsehood their hiding place. They thought that by making a covenant with death, and an agreement with Sheol, that when the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to them. But God says that people who are trusting in falsehood and lies will find their stories swept away. (Vs. 17) and that He is cancelling their contract with the devil. The devil doesn’t have any authority to make a lasting deal with anyone. The only outcome will be death and hell, along with the devil. (Vs. 18-19)
These people by their actions were waging a war against God in futility. Akin to trying to sleep on a bed that is too short and with covers that aren’t big enough for a covering; exposing them to the anger of God. (Vs.20-22) The Lord will come suddenly and in anger, as at Mount Perazim and Gibeon, to do a strange, unusual thing—to destroy his own people! (Vs.21)
Chapter 28, Verses 23-29 Listen to the Teaching of God
The Lord of hosts, is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. So listen to His Words. Psalm 19:7–8 (NLT) says: 7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.
Chapter 29, Verses 1-4 Coming Siege of Jerusalem
These verses tell us that it is not about sacrifices but obedience.We cannot buy a right standing with God by our many offerings (Vs.1) See 1 Sam 15:22-23, Psalms 51:16-17. God isn’t interested in you thinking that you have to do something to "butter Him up". He just wants you to get serious about following Him. Israel’s life of disobedience set God against them. (Vs. 2-4). The result was, heavy judgment, weeping and sorrow, God becoming their enemy, laying siege against them (Sennacherib laid siege to Jerusalem in 2 Kings 18:13–15; Isa. 36:1) and forts to destroy it.
Chapter 29, Verses 5-8 Deliverance for Jerusalem
Suddenly, by the Lord’s prerogative, the Nations fighting Jerusalem would vanish like a dream. (Is. 37:33-37). A picture of what would happen when Jesus comes back and He will fight to rescue Jerusalem. (Zech. 14:2-3). It will be so prompt, it will feel like they are just about to get their goal in conquering Jerusalem when they suddenly "wake up" and their victory has vanished.
Chapter 29, Verses 9-12 Ignorance as a Result of Hardened Hearts
Even with the disappearance of their enemies, they remain hard-hearted and so God gives them up to their own hardness of heart. "You want a hard heart? You’ve got a hard heart!" (Rom. 11:8)
Chapter 29, Verses 13-16 Rebellious Hearts
Just like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, they only drew near to God with their mouths and honoured Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him. (Matt. 15:1-11). They try to twist things like clay telling the potter “You know nothing” by their actions. God is not interested in "religion", but a "relationship" with you and I.
Chapter 29, Verses 17-24 Change is Coming
Verses 17-24 tell us of a change that is coming. One that brings fruitfulness and fertility (Vs. 17), spiritual restoration of hearing and sight (vs 18) “the deaf will hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the blind will see my plans.” The meek joyful, the poor exulting God, bullies vanishing and scoffers disappearing as well as those who plot evil. And those living in error will believe the truth, and complainers will be willing to be taught!
Chapter 30, Verses 1 -7 Following Bad Counsel
The backdrop to this chapter is that nation of Judah was facing the threat of the invading Assyrian army. They knew it was coming. God had encouraged the people to trust in Him, but there were some people who had a problem with that. So they went seeking help from Egypt. The first 7 verses of this chapter tell us how it grieves God when we choose to do things the world’s way instead of God’s way. When we seek counsel from the ungodly (Psa.1:1). The result according to verses 3-7 is disappointment, humiliation and disgrace. Because as a matter of fact, no help can come from the ungodly.
Chapter 30, Verses 8-17 Spiritual Stubbornness Brings Judgment
Verse 11 tells us that the people did not want to hear the truth. Instead they wanted to hear nice things. Just as in 2 Tim 4:3-4 KJV “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
The consequences of their perverse ways of life, we see in verses 13-14;
This perverse way of life will be like a towering, badly built wall that slowly, slowly tilts and shifts, and then one day, without warning, collapses— Smashed to bits like a piece of pottery, smashed beyond recognition or repair, Useless, a pile of debris to be swept up and thrown in the trash.”
Even when God tells them the secret of their salvation and strength, “Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength;” they refused to accept but chose to get help from the “world” Egypt.
Chapter 30, Verses 18-26 God’s Unfailing Love, Grace and Mercy Displayed
Verses 18-19 says: “Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love; he will conquer you to bless you, just as he said. For the Lord is faithful to his promises. Blessed are all those who wait for him to help them. 19 O my people in Jerusalem, you shall weep no more, for he will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. He will answer you."
Chapter 30, Verses 27-33 Destruction of the Enemy
Isaiah prophecies the destruction of the Assyrian army in Hezekiah’s day. Verse 31 says: “For through the voice of the Lord Assyria will be beaten down, As He strikes with the rod.”
The Assyrians suffered a great defeat in Isaiah 37:1-38 where God sent one Angel in verse 35 to destroy the entire army of the Assyrians made up of 185,000 soldiers.
Despite the pain and difficulties we face as believers, the leviathan’s destruction provides hope, and focuses on God’s power to deliver His children. God carefully measures how He disciplines His people. It’s all according to what we can handle. Heb. 12:6-11 tells us that to be chastened by God is a sign that we belong to Him and He loves us! And that the result is a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. And therefore restoration awaits us; here on earth and ultimately in heaven as long as we listen to the Lord’s wonderful counsel and excellent in guidance.
God’s blessings come to those who wait. Even when we don’t wait for Him, He waits for us. Verse 18 says: “Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love.” God is patient towards us and is waiting to give us a chance to repent. (2 Pet 3:9 KJV) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But it is in returning and rest will we be saved; and our strength is in quietness and confidence.
Parts of this study was culled from https://www.calvaryfullerton.org/