Learning from Isaiah 13-18
13:1-22 - ‘The Day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty... The Day of the Lord is coming - a cruel Day with wrath and fierce anger...’ (6,9). Christ’s Return will be a Day of salvation - ‘the Day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed’. It will also be a Day of judgment - ‘When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven... He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord...’ (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). Don’t let the Day of the Lord ‘surprise you like a thief’. It can be a Day of ‘salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ’. Trust ‘Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath’ (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4,9; 1:9-10).
14:1-23 - We look beyond ‘the king of Babylon’ (4). We see Satan, full of pride - ‘I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High’ - , fallen - ‘How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer...’ - , and brought to nothing - ‘you will be brought down to the pit of hell...’ (12-15). We look also at ‘the king of Tyre’. Again, we see Satan - ‘you were on the holy mountain of God... you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God... your heart was proud... you have come to a dreadful end...’ (Ezekiel 28:12-19). Satan (the devil) wages war against the Lord and His people. The final outcome of this war is certain - defeat for Satan. Christ has won the victory: By ‘the authority of Christ’, Satan ‘has been thrown down’. In Christ, we have the victory: ‘they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb ...’ (Revelation 12:7-12).
14:24-15:9 - ‘My heart cries out for Moab’ (5). Here, we see the loving heart of God. He takes ‘no pleasure in the death of the wicked’. He does ‘not want anyone to perish’. He longs for ‘everyone to come to repentance’ (Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9). We see the loving heart of God in our Saviour, Jesus Christ: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!’. We see the loving heart of God in Paul. He sees the nation of Israel turning away from Israel. He is filled with compassion: ‘I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart’ (Matthew 23:37; Romans 9:2). May God help us to feel for the lost, to look upon them with His love, to long for them to be saved.
16:1-17:3 - ‘In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a Man will sit on it - One from the house of David...’ (5). This Man is more than ‘a descendant of David’. He is Jesus Christ, ‘the Son of God’ (Romans 1:4). ‘Jesus, the Saviour reigns’. Jesus is ‘the King of Love’. He is ‘our great Redeemer... our God and King’. Let us worship ‘our glorious King’. Let us sing to Him, ‘Alleluia! What a Saviour!’. Let us, with heart and voice, ‘confess Him King of glory now’. He is ‘our King’. Let us ‘bring Him hearts that love Him’. Let us ‘bring Him thankful praise’. He puts His question to us: ‘Who will serve the King?’. Let us give our answer: We will ‘rise up’. We will ‘have done with lesser things’. We will ‘give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings’ (Church Hymnary, 296,388,371,380,300,464,479,477).
17:4-18:7 - ‘You have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge’ (10). How easy it is to forget! The Lord has loved us so much. We should remember to say, ‘Thank You’. Very often, we forget. When Jesus healed ten lepers, only ‘one of them came back’ to say ‘Thank You’. Far too often, we are like ‘the other nine’ (Luke 17:11-19). We forget to thank Him for His love. We take His love for granted. We should be celebrating. We should be letting Him know how much we love Him. Don’t forget ‘your first love’ (Revelation 2:4). Let Jesus be your first love. Let Him be your only love - for the whole of your life. ‘High heaven, that heard the solemn vow, that vow renewed shall daily hear; till in life’s latest hour I bow, and bless in death a bond so dear’ (Mission Praise, 499).