Eightfold Restoration

Isaiah 32:16-20. “Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest, and the city shall be low in a low place. Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.”

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Then:  When the Spirit is poured out upon Israel from on high, and the land is fully restored to fruitfulness.

There are eight specific blessings mentioned:

  1. Judgment will dwell in the wilderness
  2. Righteousness will remain in the fruitful firld
  3.  The work of righteousness will be peace
  4. The effect of righteousness will be quietness and assurance forever
  5.  My people will dwell in a peaceable habitation
  6.  In sure dwellings
  7.  In quiet resting places
  8. My people will be blessed with security and prosperity

The last two verses in this passage speak of the defeat and overthrow of enemies when Jerusalem is brought low at Armageddon (v. 19; Zech. 14);  the Jews will be delivered and made secure after this (v. 20).

 

 

A Word to the Women

Isaiah 32:9-15. “Rise up, ye women that are at ease: hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. Tremble, ye women that are at ease: be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird  sackcloth upon your loins. They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitudes of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.”

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God’s warnings to Judah were not just for the men. He gave Isaiah a special warning to the women, as well, who were comfortable and unconcerned in their lack of obedience to God. Isaiah warned them that their days of living in luxury and comfort were coming to an end, and that they should be prepared for what was coming. There would be a time of barrenness and suffering, when the grapes would not be harvested and the fields were return to a wild state, a place  where wild animals would roam. Their luxurious houses would be reduced to rubble, and their expensive clothing would be exchanged for burlap.

These conditions would continue until God’s Holy Spirit returned to Israel, and, because of their repentance, comfort would be restored.

Just a note here:  God is not picking on women; He is not punishing the women only. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem will suffer for their disobedience to God. This passage is a special warning to the women that they had better prepare themselves for hard times ahead.

The Churl

Isaiah 32:7-8. “The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.”

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A churl is an unprincipled person whose main goal is to get gain for himself. His behavior toward those he considers his inferiors–and that would include just about everyone–is always deceitful and dishonest. This is a person who has no conscience, and whose goal is always to come out on top. It doesn’t matter to him how much his victims may suffer in his self-centered climb up his own ladder of “success.”

When a poor man’s cause was just,  the unprincipled men in power deprived him of his rights and plotted against him to enrich themselves.

In verse 8, the liberal is not a reference to today’s left-wing politicians. It’s so tempting to go off on that rabbit trail, because the meaning of this good word has, over time, taken on a completely different connotation and now denotes those who believe that the bigger the government, the better; and that we ordinary folks are unable  to make any decisions without their guidance.

Instead, this term is used to describe the honorable, generous, noble, benevolent public-spirited men who devote themselves to the welfare of the country and fellow men.  When they rule, the noble things they stand for will be established.

Again, we have to keep in mind that this chapter is a Millennium prophecy, describing the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth after the Battle of Armageddon and the binding of Satan. It is NOT about present times.  We will not see peace on earth until Jesus Christ, Messiah, is ruling from Jerusalem.

The Vile Person

Isaiah 32:6. “For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.”

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Other synonyms for “the vile person” include niggardly (cheapmeanmiserlyparsimoniousclose-fistedpenny-pinchingcheeseparinggraspingungenerousilliberal).  He will put on a front of godliness, but he will be guilty of hypocrisy.  He will even go so far as to criticize Jesus Christ. He will have no compassion, because his soul is shriveled up and dried out with his own selfishness.

 

No More Deceit!

Isaiah 32:3-5. “And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.  The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.”

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The sense here is that in the Millennium, truth will be clear to everyone.

That’s something to look forward to, isn’t it?  In this day, when truth is obfuscated by the political agendas of those who want nothing more than to stay in power,  one hardly knows what to believe. Accusations and counter-accusations fly through cyberspace; the news media are so clearly doing their best to support their own idea of truth, regardless of who is a proven liar, or what incredible amounts of money are being spent to destroy someone else’s good name.  The defense of monsters like Harvey Weinstein boggles the mind.  One would think that everyone surrounding him would see him clearly.

When Jesus rules the world, all that will change. Truth will be clear to anyone who has eyes and ears that are in working order.  Even the foolish and impulsive will have common sense; truth will be spoken even by those whose tongues didn’t work so well before.

I especially like verse 5.  Fools and scoundrels will be seen for exactly who and what they are.  They will no longer be held up as models of virtue; they will no longer garner the respect of anyone at all.

The light of truth will uncover all attempts at deceit.  There will indeed be those, in the Millennium, who try to rebel against Jesus Christ. Their efforts will be exposed and disposed of  in a heartbeat.

What a day that will be!

 

Sunday Morning Coffee: ‘Twas the Week. . . .

. . . .before Christmas, just eight days to go;

The weather was good;  there was already snow!

But with so little time

And so much left to finish,

Poor Mommy knew she

Would need to eat spinach

To keep up her strength and

To tie every bow;  to sign all the cards,

And to say Ho! HO! HOOO!

Well, enough of that silliness. I’ve never been much of a poet, and I really don’t know why all that popped into my head.

Except, of course, that it’s a busy season.  Not as busy for me as when all the kids were home.  Back then, I started baking in November, and there were dozens of different kinds of cookies.  I wrote stacks of cards.  These days, I can’t have the sugar and I just don’t feel the need to do all those cards any more.

I don’t think I’m losing my Christmas spirit. I do know I don’t have the pep in my step that used to carry me through the holidays. I still enjoy the day itself, and when we can get there I love a good Christmas Eve service full of all the beautiful, sacred music of Christmas.

You know, the Bible never really says that the angels sang on the night the Savior was born. It says that they spoke to the shepherds, telling them that Messiah was born.  Of course they COULD have sung!  Certainly they must have been bursting with joy at the Good News that had come to earth.

And besides, it would sound pretty funny to sing “Hark! the herald angels said. . . .”

Whether or not they actually sang isn’t the important thing. The important thing is that finally, in the fulness of time, Jesus came just as the prophets had said he would:  Born to a virgin,  conceived by the Holy Spirit of God; born to die for the sins of all mankind, and to rise triumphant over sin and death so that we, too, could have eternal life with God in heaven.

As I continue to blog through the book of Isaiah, I am more excited all the time to see prophecies that have already been fulfilled;  prophecies yet to be fulfilled; and to watch world affairs as things seem to be  trending toward a human effort to have peace on earth enforced by  human military efforts under the auspices of human authority.

Of course, we know there will not truly be peace on earth until Jesus reigns from Jerusalem, and then we can sing “Joy to the world! The Lord is come!  Let earth receive her King!”  with a whole new understanding.

 

 

 

The Lord is our Rock

Isaiah 32: 2. ” And a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

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In  the Millennium, Messiah will be like a hiding place in a windstorm; He will be a place of refuge, and a shelter from floods and storms. He will be like gushing rivers of water in a vast desert.  He will be a Rock of protection  and a shelter from the hot sun in a dry and weary land.