Singing Praise (continued)- Isaiah- Week 5- Day 3

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. (5) Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.

Isaiah 25:4-5

Explanation:
Another reason for his praise can be found here in verses 4 and 5. He praises God for his works toward the poor, and to the needy in distress. God offers protection to these people. You see this protection described through three words:
Strength. God is a “strength” to the poor and needy in distress. God is a strength to the poor and needy as they deal with their distress and poverty.
Refuge. The word describes a shelter and a safety in the midst of difficulty. In this context the refuge is for the storm. Have you ever been out in the elements during the pounding rain, howling wind, and dangerous lightning? Your fears were calmed and your circumstance changed when you were able to get inside. This is the picture of God for those in the storm.
Shadow. For the person in the middle of the desert wilderness, the sun is an extreme and dangerous problem. God is described here as a shadow of relief and comfort from the heat of the enemies of God’s people.
There is an eschatological (end times) element in this context. God has protected His people through end-times difficulty and gotten them to the other side. God has been faithful and gracious to His people. They see it. They recognize it. It causes them to worship and praise God for his gracious protection to them.

Application:
This certainly has a Jewish context, but those who know Christ as Savior can know the gracious protection of the God of the universe. Though we have enemies because of our allegiance to God, God is a God who provides and protects His own. No matter how difficult things get on this earth, God will be a refuge in the storm, a shadow in the heat, and our strength in poverty and distress of all kinds.

Consider the words of the hymn, O God, Our Help in Ages Past

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home:


Beneath the shadow of thy throne,
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.


Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God,
To endless years the same.


A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.


Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.


O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guide while troubles last,
And our eternal home!

Response:

  • Where do you find your strength and refuge? Is it in God or something else?
  • Have you praised God for his protection?

Singing Praise (continued)- Isaiah- Week 5- Day 2

Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.

Isaiah 25:3

Explanation:
Because of God’s wonders (v1), plans (v1), and power against the evils of the city (v2), there will be two responses.
“Strong people” in this context are those who have been strengthened by God because they have believed on Him. These are the redeemed. Their response to God’s wonders, plans, and power is that of worship. They glorify God because of who He is and what He has done.
The response of “the city of terrible nations” who are now in a heap (v1) is that of terror. They now fear God because they understand the choice that they have made to go against the holy, righteous, and powerful Creator and Sustainer of the universe. There is fear, but at this point their fear is felt too late.

Application:
God deserves our worship while we deserve His wrath. This is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. He wants us to choose Him. We should glorify God for His wonders, plans, and power now.

Response:
Pick one of God’s wonders, plans, or an aspect of His power that you can worship Him for today.

Singing Praise- Isaiah- Week 5- Day 1

O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.

Isaiah 25:1-2

Explanation:
Isaiah 13-23 is a description of the oracles of God for the nations that surrounded Judea and Jerusalem. Much of it was telling the future judgement of these nations. When Isaiah writes 24 it describes the future judgement of the whole earth during the time known as the “day of the Lord.” It describes God’s future judgement of mankind in the end times. At the end of chapter 24 you find this description:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

Isaiah 24:21-23

This corresponds with what God describes at the end of the tribulation entering into the millennium, the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth from Jerusalem. The end of this millennial reign will usher in a new heaven and new earth where God will reign forever.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

Revelation 11:15-17

This is what was foretold about Christ at his first coming.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Luke 1:31-33

So when we get to chapter 25, we see a foretold song of praise to God for his victory over those who have rebelled him, and for the salvation of the remnant of those who have believed. This is a song that will be sung by those who have been saved at the end of “the day of the Lord.”

Notice in verse 1 that he says he will praise the Lord! Why?
He states one reason for his praise is “thou hast done wonderful things.” The word here translated “wonderful” could also be called “wonders.” It speaks of supernatural acts. God is not limited to only doing the normal or natural thing. He can do the supernatural. He is being praised here because He has done the supernatural.

Another reason for the praise is that God has planned out the salvation of his people. He says “thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” God has brought along all of human history to this point. He had this in his plan along.

The last reason stated in today’s text for the praise of God is found in verse 2. He is praised for his destruction of the city. What city is he talking about? Some commentators think that it is a generic term for all cities that have made a stand against God through their evil and prideful ways. Some consider this city to be Babylon in the context of the chapters around it. In the context of Revelation and what we know about the end times, both seem to fit. The Lord of hosts has defeated those who have done evil and oppressed. He has conquered in such a way that those who do evil will not be able to do it again. This kind of city will never be built again.

History is coming to an end point where God will bring judgement to the earth, and will rule and reign. He will be praised by the people He has saved because they put their trust in Him.

Application:
Our view of God is often far too small. History is not just arbitrarily moving forward with no rhyme or reason. God’s counsels are from old. He has a plan and a purpose. He will not let sin go. He will rule and reign! This should create a heart of praise for those of us who know Him as Savior. Our future is secure because the God of the universe will bring His plans to completion.

For those who do not know Christ as Savior, please know that you want to be on His side. Your life is a vapor that appears for just a little while. Life is an opportunity to repent and trust in Christ. Tomorrow may be too late.

Response:
Take some time today to praise God in prayer and maybe even in song for His wonderful works and His wonderful plan!

God is Honored- Isaiah- Week 4- Day 5

And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

Isaiah 23:17-18

Explanation:
Isaiah continues the prostitute metaphor in these verses. At the end of this time of desolation Tyre will be recognized again by the nations. She will begin again to make a profit, and do business with “all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.” God is going to use her newly accumulated wealth for His honor and for His purposes. Instead of being used to oppress God’s people, it will be used to supply God’s people.

This serves as a reminder to the people of Judah that they need not prostitute themselves with the practices of the pagan nations around them. Jehovah God will provide for them. He will take care of them. They need to not envy the nations of the world that obtain wealth in ways that dishonors God. God is honored by obedience, and He honors those who are obedient to him.

Application:
These principles apply to us. We can begin to think that there is some disadvantage to living righteously when we see evil people prospering. We must remember that God will ultimately honor Christ’s obedience who offered His life for us. When we trust in Christ alone for salvation, God justifies us. There are blessings that come with obedience. We must trust God by being obedient even when it costs us in the short term. There will be blessings in eternity for those who put their trust in the omnipotent, sovereign God of the universe.

Response:
• Is there a pattern in your life of living like those who do not trust God?
• In what ways does your life show that you trust God and want to honor Him?