Follow the Lord’s Will
Explore the Bible Series
March 22, 2009
Background Passage: Isaiah 24:-35:10
Lesson Passage: Isaiah 29:13-16; 30:1-3, 15-18
Some Bible scholars have called this section of Isaiah (Chapters 24-27) the “Little Apocalypse”, and have questioned the connection between these chapters and the previous passages. However, John Oswalt (NIC Commentary on Isaiah) seems correct when he points out that this passage does not fit the apocalyptic model because it does not deal with event that occur at the end of the world, outside the parameters of time; rather, it deals with predictions that came to fulfillment some years after the life of Isaiah.
This passage also fits well with the preceding
chapters. Last week’s background passage
addressed God’s displeasure and impending judgment on the nations surrounding
One other issue merits a few introductory comments. Some might criticize Isaiah for his seeming
constant barrage of threatening judgments.
The sensitive reader may recoil from the straightforward negative
assessment of the spiritual condition of
Personal word: As before, this week’s lesson is quite long, Eleven chapters. The sheer volume of chapters forbids much more than a very general overview of the lesson.
I. God’s Judgment over the Whole World (24:1-23): Chapters Thirteen through Twenty-Three deal with the particular offences of Middle Eastern nations (Babylon, Assyria, Moab, Syria, Cush, Egypt, Judah, and the Phoenicians), and Chapter Twenty-Five expands the application of God’s righteousness to all the nations of the earth. Isaiah compared God’s judgment to a terrible drought and resulting famine, a famine that would bring utter disaster. Moreover, the prophet identified three reasons for this tragic circumstance (See v. 5).
A. “they have transgressed the laws”: God gave the Jews a special revelation of his laws, but the Apostle Paul claimed that all men have the law God written on their hearts (See Romans 2: 12-16). It is this law that the nations had flaunted.
B. “violated the statutes”: This claim is more specific. All people understand some aspects of the principles of God, and the nations of the earth had, according to Isaiah, sinned against the light they possessed.
C. “broken the everlasting covenant”: Oswalt thinks this phrase has reference to the Noahic covenant concerning the sacredness of life; thus, the violent, bloodthirsty, war-like nations had broken God’s covenant.
II. A Response to the Dreaded Judgments of God (25:1-12)
A. A brief hymn of praise (vv. 1-5): This hymn praised God for his steadfast love and defense of the poor and distressed.
B. The analogy of a feast (vv. 6-8): Like a great banquet, the Lord will bless his people with abundance and joy.
ultimate victory for his people (vv. 9-12): As typified in
III. The Meaning of God’s Victory over his Enemies (26:1-27:13)
A. A song of thanksgiving (26:1-15): This hymn centers on the peace God promised for his people. If they would simply trust the Lord, he pledged to make their paths level before them.
helplessness and vulnerability of
redemption of God’s People (27:1-13): Leviathan (the serpent) denotes the
autocratic despots that threatened
The Foolishness of Trusting in Earthly Alliances
(28:1-33:24): These chapters sound a similar theme to Isaiah 7:1-9 concerning
Ahaz’s foolish alliance with
foolishness of earthly leaders (28:1-29:24):
The True Hope of
rise of a righteous king (32:1-20): To some degree this prophecy may have been
fulfilled in the reign of good King Hezekiah, but ultimately this passage
foreshadows the coming of the Lord Jesus.
plea for grace (33:1-24): Isaiah injects a request for mercy, and, in doing so,
he spoke for the nation. The bad, unrighteous
decisions of the monarchs had brought ruin on
interlude of admonition (34:1-17): for a moment, Isaiah returned to the theme
of God’s impending judgment on the nations.
The day of vengeance had already begun on those who oppressed
for the Lord’s people (35:1-10): What a wonderful chapter! Though