Preservation of the Just

Isaiah 26:20. “Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.”

Related image

This verse refers to the flight of the sun-clothed woman of Rev. 12 (national Israel) from Judah into the wilderness of Edom and Moab for protection from Antichrist until the little moment, or until the indignation (Tribulation) be overpast.

There is a terrible time coming for this whole earth; far more terrible than anything we have seen or experienced before, when Antichrist will have deceived the nations into believing that he is the answer to all the ills of the world. Israel, of course will be the main target of Antichrist’s wrath, and they will suffer.  They will also find refuge, for by this time the other nations will have begun to realize what an awful mistake they’ve made.

Advertisements

Resurrection

Isaiah 26:19. “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.”

Image result for Isaiah 26:19

Is this a fanciful picture? I don’t know.I have no real idea what it will look like when those who have died in the Lord rise up from their graves. I just know it will happen.

Isaiah is saying here that the dead men of Israel, along with with Isaiah himself, will rise from their graves. The word awake refers to the sleep of death. Dew is an emblem of that which revives and refreshes.

There is some discussion about the rest of this verse. Some feel that it means those who persecuted Israel, including the Rephaim (giants) will not be a part of this resurrection. Here is an argument for this position:

(14) They are dead . . .—We get a more vivid rendering by omitting the words in italics, Dead, they live not; shadows (Rephaim, as in Psalm 88:10), they rise not. Those of whom the prophet speaks are the rulers of the great world-empires, who, as in Isaiah 14:9Ezekiel 32:21, have passed into the gloomy world of Hades, out of which there was, for them at least, no escape. Their very names should perish from the memories of men. The LXX., adopting another etymology of the word Rephaim, gives the singular rendering, “Physicians shall not raise them up to life.”

Our verse today says Thy dead men shall live.  That is, in this sense, men of Israel.

I  often wish I were expert in the original biblical languages. I have to depend on the studies and the knowledge of others, and I am thankful for those who understand the original languages. However, sometimes they don’t agree with one another. I have given you in this post the position that makes the most sense to me.

 

Seeking God

Isaiah 26:17-18. “Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in Thy sight, O Lord. We have been with child, we have been in pain! We have as it were brought forth wind: we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth: neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.”

Image result for like a pregnant woman who writhes in pain

Any woman who has ever given birth can identify with this laboring mother. It’s hard work. It’s painful work. But at the end, there’s a beautiful baby that you already love with your whole heart.

Israel was like that laboring woman, crying out in pain, but bringing forth nothing but wind.  Can you imagine?

The meaning here  is that Israel and Judah, while scattered among the nations, would seek God travailing like a woman in labor, but would not have an results. There was no deliverance in the earth, and the oppressors of the Jewish people were not subdued.

But wait. There’s more.

When Do We Pray?

Isaiah 26:16. “Lord, in trouble have they visited Thee, they poured out a prayer when Thy chastening was upon them.”

Image result for photo of planes flying into Twin Towers

Just like Israel, when the trouble came,  we prayed to God.  Just like Israel, we made promises to turn back to Him. And just like Israel, it didn’t last. Three or four weeks after that horrible day, the churches were back to normal-size congregations. No one was singing God Bless America.  The prayer services came slowly to a halt. And things went back to normal.

Sadly, our normal for far too many people in America today rarely considers the presence of God. Rarely pays attention to biblical warnings that we will reap what we sow. We have legalized the murder of millions of babies. We have made wrong into right, and right into wrong.  We cannot escape when God’s patience comes to an end and He decides there is only one thing that will bring us back to Him.

When that day comes, it will be too late to sing God bless America. 

Too late, because we failed to bless God.

Millenial Rejoicing

Isaiah 26:14-15. “They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore has Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. Thou has increased the nation, O Lord, Thou has increased the nation: Thou art glorified; Thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.”

Image result for They are dead, they shall not live

The kings and oppressors of verse 13 are dead. They will never rise again to oppress Israel.  Not only have those who considered themselves the most high died; there is not even the memory of them in the hearts or minds of the people. It is as if they had never lived.

Verse 15 praises God for restoring  and increasing the nation of Israel and Judah, which had been dispersed to “all the ends of the earth” but is now gathered in its homeland.  This prophecy was spoken about  133 years before Judah was scattered by Nebuchadnezzar and 819 years before Rome led the people captive among all nations (Luke 21:20-24). Of course, we know that the dispersal continued for centuries as various other nations persecuted the Jews, sending them to temporary safety until persecution reared its ugly head again.

It will all be over when Jesus, Messiah, reigns in Jerusalem. The Israelites from around the world are presently regathering in Israel, and have been doing so since Israel was proclaimed a nation in 1948.  Things are shaping up. We need to be watching and paying attention.

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee: Busy Weekend

I sure did hit the road running this week!  I went back to work on Tuesday, exactly two weeks since my surgery.  Long, long day.  However, at least one session was a wonderful victory and a great blessing.  God showed up, no doubt about it.  So that set me up for  a good day, and a good week, at work.  I actually felt better on Thursday evening than I thought I would, although I have to admit I was glad to close down the work week!

On Friday morning, I finally got the staples out of my incision. (This is not a picture of me, just a good picture of what a stapled incision looks like.)

 

There were 15 staples–the nurse counted as she removed them 🙂  No pain involved in this procedure, and I was glad to say goodbye to the last of them.

From there, we grabbed a quick lunch and then went down to my church, where I was looking forward to the first session of teaching The Merchant of Venice to a class of high school students  at our homeschool co-op.  What a great bunch of kids!  Not all of them are thrilled to be studying Shakespeare, but they’re philosophical about it.  I hope, by the time we’re finished, that they’ll have a little more optimistic attitude about The Bard. Some of them, to my delight, are quite excited about this unit.

By the time we got home, I’ll have to admit that I was weary.  It’s only 2 1/2 weeks from surgery, and I do need to be careful.  It just feels so good to NOT have any pain that I tend to do more than I should.

Today, Saturday, I got a haircut and ran a couple of errands, came home and baked a blueberry pound cake for a gathering this evening.  What a great time we had. This is a group of senior adults from our church, and they are delightful.  None of them are “old.” We laugh, we enjoy each other’s company. The party is hosted every year by a couple who have a lovely back yard, and who do a lot of work to get things ready for the influx of guests.  It was cool this evening, and I was glad for the afghan I had decided to take at the last minute. By the time we got home, I was more than ready for bed.

I had one more thing to do, though, and this is it.  I started writing these Sunday posts on Saturday evening some time ago, so that I’m not so rushed on Sunday morning.  It’s a bit of a ramble this week, with no particular aim.  Life is good, with its ups and downs.  There are highs and lows. There is pain and relief from pain.  There is joy, there is sorrow; there is fear and doubt, but there is also great peace and confidence in knowing that God has it all in His hand.

With every day that passes—and I have far fewer days left to live than I have already lived—-I am thankful for the presence of God in my life; for His promises, His love, His patience, and His strength.  It is true that “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengtheneth me”  (Phil. 4:13).

Prayer of the Righteous

Isaiah 26: 12-13. “Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us. O Lord our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us: but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name.”

Image result for Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us

It is truly an amazing thought that the reign of Jesus Christ will at least bring peace to the entire world. No more war. No more nation rising up against nation. Sin will be dealt with quickly and without argument.  Jesus will be Lord of all.

This prayer of those who believed in Him and are now enjoying the peace of His government  can say with utmost confidence that He will ordain  (order, establish, create) peace, and it is He Who has enabled that which the people accomplish.

The other lords in verse 13 refers to oppressors of the past who have ruled over them.  Their names will no longer even be mentioned, unless God directs. They are forgotten, dismissed, powerless, and reaping the rewards of their evil.

This prayer continues through verse 18, and is refreshing and encouraging as we walk through it. I’m looking forward to that.