Comfort: Enemies Judged

Isaiah 51: 21-23.

21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:

22 Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:

23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

Image result for Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:

Jesus came to release all prisoners and set them free of the bondage of sin. We need to understand, through this and the next several chapters, that deliverance is often two things:  Deliverance from Babylon and then deliverance from sin through His death and resurrection.

Verse 21 speaks to those who are drunken, but not with wine. Judah and Jerusalem are pictured here as staggering, reeling, and falling down like a drunkard, but not with wine. They had drunk the cup of the Lord’s wrath and the dregs of the cup of trembling. This wrath had brought desolation, destruction, famine, and sword  upon the whole nation.

Then in verse 22 we see an unusual construct:  Thus saith thy Lord the Lord.  God is emphasizing that He is the Lord of Israel, and He is the Lord of all other nations as well.  God now assured this afflicted and prostrate nation that He, Himself would plead the cause of the people and take out of their hand the cup of trembling, and the dregs of His fury.  They would not drink it any more; and He would put the cup into the hands of their enemies, for them to drink.

In verse 23, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over  refers to the practice of Eastern conquerors of stepping on the necks of the conquered people and grinding them into the dust. Some would even use them as stepping stones to victory ceremonies,  step on them as a stool to mount their chariots or horses, and even ride over them while they were prostrate on the ground. 

All of that will be over, never to happen again, when Jesus comes to set up His kingdom.

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