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Judgment and Glory

Isaiah   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:49
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These last two chapters mark an end to the prophetic section that started in chapter 7 of Isaiah. Over and over for chapter after chapter, isaiah has repeatedly reminded Judah to trust in the Lord, not in the Nations.
Chapters 34 and 35 are the climax of those chapters, and they follow a familiar pattern: God is going to judge the Nations (34) and Bless Judah (35)
There is no doubt in my mind that Isaiah’s prophecies had some close by fulfillment, but these passages point toward the last days of the Earth… a future time when God is going to judge His enemies and bless His people.

The Judgment to Come

An Announcement to the Nations

Isaiah 34:1–4 HCSB
You nations, come here and listen; you peoples, pay attention! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it, the world and all that comes from it. The Lord is angry with all the nations— furious with all their armies. He will set them apart for destruction, giving them over to slaughter. Their slain will be thrown out, and the stench of their corpses will rise; the mountains will flow with their blood. All the heavenly bodies will dissolve. The skies will roll up like a scroll, and their stars will all wither as leaves wither on the vine, and foliage on the fig tree.
God is seen as angry (verse 2)
God has set them apart (dedicated them) for destruction) 2-3
This is a specific kind of destruction..It’s not just that the nations will come to an end, but they have been dedicated for this destruction because of their offenses against Holy God.
It is the same kind of destruction mentioned a few times in the OT when God tells Israel to wipe out man woman boy and girl and cattle. This offends our modern sensibilities and and invented view of God that makes Him sweet, passive, and grandfatherly, while excluding His “harsher” and holier traits.
The bottom line is this: Those who live as if there is no God will one day die keenly aware that they were completely wrong.
God’s judgment will have cosmic consequences. Again reminiscent of the Tribulation judgment in Revelation, Isaiah says that God will one day judge the nations in a way that will effect all of creation!
Can I just say, don’t play games with God. Don’t put of giving your life to Jesus. Don’t keep living like God won’t have the final say. Turn to Him today. The sad truth if you don’t is that there will be Hell to pay.

An Example of a Nation

Isaiah 34:5 HCSB
When My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens, it will then come down on Edom and on the people I have set apart for destruction.
Isaiah focuses now on ONE particular nation as a representative of all the nations.
Judah and Edom had been at odds since the days of Jacob and Esau.
Then when Israel left Egypt in the Exodus, Edom refused to let them travel through their land. In the future Edom would even aid the Babylonians in the destruction of Jerusalem. In other words, Edom was the perpetual enemy of God’s people, so they make a good representative of what God intends to do with all the enemies of God’s people.
The rest of the chapter tells two things
God will destroy the Nation of Edom.
God will turn the place into a desert, inhabited by wild animals instead of people.
We can draw two conclusions.
Don’t trust the Edoms of the world.
Don’t be a part of what God intends to judge.

The Glory To Come

Isaiah 35:1–10 HCSB
The wilderness and the dry land will be glad; the desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose. It will blossom abundantly and will also rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, steady the shaking knees! Say to the cowardly: “Be strong; do not fear! Here is your God; vengeance is coming. God’s retribution is coming; He will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy, for water will gush in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the parched ground will become a pool of water, and the thirsty land springs of water. In the haunt of jackals, in their lairs, there will be grass, reeds, and papyrus. A road will be there and a way; it will be called the Holy Way. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for the one who walks the path. Even the fool will not go astray. There will be no lion there, and no vicious beast will go up on it; they will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk on it, and the redeemed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.
One writer calls chapter 35 the mirror of 34 (34 deals with the destiny of the Nations who rebel against God, and 35 deals with the destiny of those who trust the Lord)
34 talks about Edom becoming a desert, 35 talks about Zion’s desert blooming
And God will show His glory in what He does in the land!
Isaiah takes that thought of a glorious future in verses 1-2 and uses it to encourage Judah while they are in the midst of heartache. Verses 3-4
Results of God’s revealed glory follow.
Blind we see. Deaf will hear. Lame will leap and mute will sing for joy! 5-6
Why? Provision!
Water in the wilderness!
Streams in the desert!
Purging of wild, undesirable animals, and replaced by useful vegetation.
Clear paths with no hazards, whether beast or person.
Only redeemed there
Marked by singing, joy, and gladness.
This is all obviously something God has planned for the future.
And it is something I believe humanity longs for; a time and a world marked by peace, tranquility, fertility, and prosperity.
The Beatles sang about it, but their Utopia was imagined by the removal of all religion.
Elvis sang about it, in Peace in the Valley (even though the song misquoted Isaiah, the thought behind it is true Lion laying down with the lamb etc) There there will one day be a time of great Peace, etc. when King Jesus sets up his Kingdom on Earth.
There are some people who believe the worlds is going to get better and better and then Jesus will come. But the destruction seen in chapter 34 proceeds the peace that comes in chapter 35. The Bible consistently teaches that the Nations of the World will get worse and worse, and then the kingdom will come.
There are others who think the promises made to Israel in passages like this are symbolic and are blessings for the church, and that God is done with ISrael, but I hold to the view that God has some wonderful blessings in store for and through Israel, and that they will one day turn to the Lord in great scale.
And we, who are grafted in, will reap the benefits of this. And this will lead in to the new heavens and new earth, and heaven as our home where God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.
The truth is Jesus could come to take his Church today, and the beginning of God pouring out His Wrath as in 34 would commence. Give your life to Jesus today.
The truth is that will be followed by God making all things right (cling to this hope today)
Reminder: KEEP TRUSTING!
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