In the beginning God planted a garden, but Cain built a city. Cain a fugitive and wanderer built a city to satisfy his need for belonging and significance. Cities aren’t just collections of buildings, they are mechanisms for living independently of God, a way of human self-salvation, a denial of human mortality and a man establishing his own greatness. What does God do? He takes the very symbol of our rejection of him and transforms it into heaven – the holy city, the new Jerusalem.
|Man’s Cities||The Holy City|
In chapter 24 we see how God will end the world – Isaiah sees it can happen anytime “the Lord is going to lay waste to the earth” and so lives in the good of that.
Hebrews speaks of the fleeting pleasures of sin (Heb 11:25) as opposed to the “Pleasures evermore at God’s right hand (Psalm 16:11).Which will you choose?
God is no respecter of persons – everyone will be affected at the end v2. Everyone has broken the common law of creation of ruling and stewarding the earth v5 (environmentalists find your Biblical warrant, but not to worship the created, just look after it!)
Isaiah heaps up imagery
Vineyard dried up v7-9
Joyless ruined city v10-12
Stripped olive grove v13
In the midst of terror and judgement, the redeemed are okay! v14-16 – in the end it will all glorify God v23
Chapter 25 describes the eternal banquet of salvation. Come on!
God will serve nothing but the best! Rich food! Best of Meats! Aged Wine (breathes sigh of relief that we won’t have to be vegetarian in the new heaven on earth) v6
All the guests are happy – tears have been wiped away 25v8
Life in heaven is not dreary! Jesus is looking forward to this banquet too – Matthew 26:9 he told us he wouldn’t drink wine until I “drink it with you in my Father’s Kingdom”
Chapter 26 it is God alone who saves us
v1 God makes salvation the wall of the new city of God.
He gives perfect peace v3, he is the one to trust forever v4, he is our eternal rock
He makes smooth the way of the righteous v7
He is the One our souls yearn for in the night and in the morning v9
He is the One who shows grace to the wicked v10
He establishes peace for us v12 He accomplishes it all v12
He enlarges the nation v15 – saving many to add into the Kingdom of God.
Chapter 27 tells us God alone is the One we worship
v1 In that day God will punish Leviathan.
Isaiah pictures evil as a coiling wriggling serpentine monster, not because he is a simple ancient, but because evil is like that.
God will totally annihilate evil at the end of time. God’s threefold hand – hard and great and strong sword will hack Leviathan to pieces with no compromise or mercy. Good totally triumphs over evil.
At the cross, Jesus triumphed over the demonic powers Col 2:15
The devil has no power to hold us in fear (Heb 2:14,15) Perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:7). We are no longer the devil’s victims!
At the end of time, Jesus will obliterate his enemies.
At the end a trumpet will sound v13 and we will be gathered up to worship and celebrate!
What do we do?
1) Come to Jesus – his death on the cross will mean you get to be part of this. Turn from doing life your way to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive you for being self-oriented and ask Him to be your Lord (boss). That way you get to be part of the redeemed and enjoy the good things of these chapters.
2) Trust God in every circumstance, come to Him in your distress (Isaiah 26:16)
3) Worship Him, yearn for Him in the night and morning (Isaiah 26:9)