Learning from Isaiah 25-31
25:1-26:9 - ‘O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name... You have done marvellous things’ (25:1). We remember what God has done for us. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour. We rejoice in Jesus Christ who died for us. We rejoice in Jesus Christ who rose again for us. We look forward to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We look forward to the Day when ‘He will swallow up death for ever’. On that Day, ‘the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces’. On that Day, we will look back and say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us’. On that Day, we will ‘rejoice and be glad in His salvation’ (25:8-9). Here and now, let us learn to ‘trust in the Lord’. We can trust in Him ‘for ever’. He is ‘the everlasting Rock’ - ‘the Rock of our salvation’ (4; Psalm 95:1).
26:10-27:13 - Jesus is our Saviour - ‘Lord, You establish peace for us’; ‘We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’. We cannot save ourselves. We can only look away from ourselves to Jesus - and be saved by Him: ‘all that we have accomplished You have done for us’; ‘By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God’ (26:12; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8). Jesus is our Lord - ‘Lord, our God... You alone are our Lord’. How are we to live once we have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? - ‘Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him’. We are not to ‘keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness’. We are to live a life of ‘good works’ (26:13; Colossians 2:6; Romans 6:1; Ephesians 2:10).
28:1-22 - Jesus Christ is ‘the precious Cornerstone’. He is ‘the sure Foundation’ (16). Jesus is the Name of our salvation - ‘Salvation is found in no-one else... there is no other name... by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:10-12). There is only one ‘Foundation’ for our faith - ‘Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is the ‘chosen and precious Cornerstone’ - ‘to you who believe, this Stone is precious’ (1 Peter 2:6-7). Build your life on Christ, ‘the solid Rock’ - ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; no merit of my own I claim, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name. When weary in this earthly race, I rest on His unchanging grace... When earthly hopes are swept away, He will uphold me on that Day. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand’ (Matthew 7:24-27; Mission Praise, 473).
28:23-29:16 - ‘The wisdom of the wise will perish’ (29:14). There is another ‘wisdom’, a ‘wisdom’ which shall not perish, a ‘wisdom’ which is ‘wiser than man’s wisdom’. Christ is ‘the Wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24-25). With Christ as our Saviour, we ‘shall not perish’. Through faith in Him, we receive the ‘wisdom’ which brings ‘salvation’ (John 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:15). Jesus Christ is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John14:6). He is the Way to true wisdom. He is the Truth upon which true wisdom is based. He is the Life which is based on true wisdom. He is true Wisdom. We must not seek wisdom apart from faith in Jesus Christ - ‘the world did not know God through wisdom’. There is one true wisdom which does ‘not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God’ - faith in ‘Christ crucified’ (1 Corinthians 1:21-23; 2:1-5).
29:17-30:17 - ‘In returning and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, “No!”’ (15-16). God wants to bless us. He wants to be our ‘salvation’. He wants to be our ‘strength’. How does God bless us? How does He become our ‘salvation’? How does He become our ‘strength’? We must want His blessing. We must want His ‘salvation’. We must want His ‘strength’. We must return to Him and rest in Him. We must quietly listen to His Word, putting our trust in Him. There is no ‘salvation’ without ‘returning and rest’. There is no ‘strength’ without ‘quietness and trust’. God does not force Himself upon us. We can say, ‘No! I will have none of it’. God wants to bless you. Will you say, ‘Yes, Lord! I want You to be my “salvation”. I want You to be my “strength”’?
30:18-31:19 - ‘Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!’ (1). It is so easy to forget the Lord. We try to go it alone, and we forget to look to Him for help. Even when we forget Him, He does not forget us. When we turn our backs on Him, He calls us to ‘return to Him’ (6). He reminds us that our true help is found in Him: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth’ (Psalm 124:8). We need not look around here, there and everywhere for an answer to the question, ‘Where does my help come from?’. There is only one true answer to this question: ‘My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth’ (Psalm 121:1-2).