Israel’s Kingdom Song
Verse 1 – In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks.
Verse 2 – Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.
They will sing about their strong city because God is its protector. They have been restored to their own land and their strength lies in Yahweh’s salvation.
Verse 3 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
This is one of my favorite verses because it simply states what we must do when our world is full of chaos. I’ve resorted to this verse more times than I can count. When my focus starts to center on my situation and my problems, I go into a panic, because I don’t see a way out. But when I start to meditate on His Word and what He says about me of who I am in Him, I begin to see a calmness come on the scene. We worry and fret over things because we’re not sure if He will help us “this time.” Jesus said He’d never leave us, so we learn to stay focused on Him and rest assured “He’s got this!” (I’m still learning.)
Verse 4 – Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lard, is everlasting strength.
Verse 5 – For He brings down those who dwell on high, the lofty city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He brings it down to the dust.
Verse 6 – The foot shall tread it down – the feet of the poor and the steps of the needy.”
Thanks to God’s intervention, the humble and the poor will trample on the arrogant.
Verse 7 – The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just.
Verse 8 – Yes, in the way of Your judgments O Lord, we have waited for You the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You.
Isaiah spoke on behalf of himself and the righteous. In his passion for judgment on the wicked, he didn’t demand God’s actions, but expressed confidence (We wait upon the Lord.)
Verse 9 – With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Verse 10 – Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.
People, the just and the unjust, receive the benefits and goodness of God. However, that doesn’t always teach the wicked to do what is right. Then there are those that learn of righteousness through God’s judgment. That’s why we have laws to put criminals behind bars, hoping they will change. God’s laws and principles though, never change – right is right, and wrong is still wrong.
Verse 11 – Lord, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see. But they will see and be ashamed for their envy of people; Yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.
Verse 12 – Lord, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us.
As a believer, God does a mighty work within us, a transformation takes place, and then that work starts to overflow into other people’s lives. He gets the credit, He gets the honor and glory, because without Him you stay in your same sinful nature.
Verse 13 – O Lord our God, other masters besides You have had dominion over us; but by You only we make mention of Your name,
Verse 14 – they are dead, they will not live; they are deceased, they will not rise. Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.
The Assyrians and then the Babylonians had ruled over God’s people in judgment, but now God had rescued them and they knew where the credit belonged. For the faithful there is only One True Ruler.
Verse 15 – You have increased the nation, O Lord, You have increased the nation; You are glorified; You have expanded all the borders of the land.
The nation was not only increased by population, but many converts attended them on their return from Babylon, and probably many from surrounding nations on the rebuilding of the capital.
Verse 16 – Lord, in trouble they have visited You, they poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them.
Even while they were in captivity and Judah was being destroyed, they cried out for help. Even when our darkest days come, God hears our cries for help. He’s got it all worked out, we only have to trust and wait. He knows the end from the beginning and He promises to deliver us out of all our trouble.
Verse 17 – As a woman with child is in pain and cries out in her pangs, when she draws near the time of her delivery, so have we been in Your sight, O Lord.
Verse 18 – We have been with child, we have been in pain; we have, as it were, brought forth wind; we have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
Turning from the future back to the present God’s people had experienced suffering similar to the pain of a woman in labor. However, God’s people went through the pain and simply “passed gas” (gave birth to wind). In other words: If we go through suffering and pain and still refuse to learn from it, we have accomplished nothing.
Verse 19 – Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
This language is derived from the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. This verse shows that this doctrine was even understood by the Hebrews in the time of Isaiah. The sense is, that as the earth shall cast forth the dead in the resurrection, so the people of God in Babylon should be restored to life, and to their own land.
Verse 20 – Come, My people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past.
Verse 21 – For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.
In verse 20 , where God calls His people to hide, it’s reminiscent of the Passover. So, when God All Mighty comes to judge the earth, the guilty will have no place to hide. Jesus said that the hidden will be made known because of His truth, like a light shinning in a dark corner, will reveal it (Matthew 10:26). Aren’t we glad that some of the things we did before becoming a believer in Christ are hidden, but after knowing the truth, we stopped doing them.
Paul dealt with this in the Corinthian church because the believers were hard on the ones who had come out of sin. After Paul lists all the things people do that will hot inherit the kingdom of God, he reminds them of this in 1 Corinthians 6:11 – And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
So when trying to help someone come to the knowledge of truth, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!” Be gentle.