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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 27

Verses 1-13

  1. Intro:
    1. Prayer – “God doesn't care so much about being analyzed. Mainly, hewants to be loved.”
    2. Last week(ch.26) was a song Israel will sing to the Lord(vs.1). This week(ch.27) it is a song the Lord sings to Israel(vs.2).
      1. Remember ch.5? - God sang to Israel,…but it was in regards to their failure.
      2. Here is a striking contrast in this song during the millennium, the theme is fruitfulness of the nation, & God’s care over it.
      3. We’ll see the enemy defeated(1); the gathering of His people back to the land(12,13); & the blessing to the whole world(6).
  2. THE FRUIT-FULL VINEYARD! (1-12)
    1. LEVIATHAN! (1)
    2. Leviathan – A symbolic serpent-like monster which represents wicked nations in revolt against God & the Devil himself.
      1. Holman Bible Dict. - Leviathan was seen in ancient legend as a sea monster engaged in primordial warfare with the gods.
      2. Remember symbols are used in scripture because they help the writer: emphasize a point; move one to action; help the memory; are effective in illustrating; & are useful in making the unfamiliar, familiar.
      3. Some see the “fleeing serpent” as the swift running Tigris & the “twisted serpent” as the winding Euphrates. (see vs.12)
      4. It also speaks of the Devil’s activity from the beginning of Scripture.
      5. “That is in the sea” - From being the “menace from the sea” he becomes “the chicken of the sea!”
        1. Note also Rev.13:1.
      6. The sword sure gives away the timing & the event.
      7. Q: Where else do you read of the Lord with a sword?
        1. Rev.19:15 “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
      8. If someone asks you “why doesn’t God destroy the Devil?”… answer with the only great answer…“ He will!”
        1. Spurgeon said, “The preaching of Christ is the whip that flogs the devil. The preaching of Christ is the thunderbolt, the sound of which makes all hell shake.”
      9. In the meanwhile, until he’s locked up or defeated we find: “Selfishness and immorality are far more consistent with Satan's strategies than drinking blood or drawing pentagrams.” [Al Menconi]
      10. Vance Havner, “The Devil will let a preacher prepare a sermon if it will keep him from preparing himself.”
    3. GOD’S GARDENING! (2-6)
    4. Red wine – not Red, Red, Wine! (i.e. not the Neil Diamond hit in 1968; followed by the reggae version UB40 in 1984)
      1. Instead: “A choice vineyard” or “a fruitful vineyard!”
    5. God’s vineyard is Israel – Is.5:7 “For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,”.
      1. Jesus uses the same picture for His Church in John 15.
      2. Thus, God’s original plan for Israel & the Church is: His care & providential provision so that there would be good fruit.
    6. [1] Watered by Him –
    7. [2] Kept/protected by Him – Ps.34:7 “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.”
    8. Story: The British express train raced through the night, its powerful headlamp spearing the black darkness ahead. The train was carrying Queen Victoria. Suddenly the engineer saw a startling sight. Revealed in the beam of the engine's headlights was a weird figure in a black cloak, standing in the middle of the tracks and waving its arms. The engineer grabbed for the brakes and brought the train to a grinding halt. He and his fellow trainsmen climbed out to see what had stopped them. They could find no trace of the strange figure. On a hunch, the engineer walked a few yards farther up the tracks. Suddenly he stopped and stared into the fog in horror. A bridge had been washed out and had fallen into a swollen stream. If he had not heeded the ghostly figure, the train would have plunged into the stream. While the bridge and tracks were being repaired, the crew made a more intensive search for the strange flagman. But not until they got to London did they solve the mystery. At the base of the engine's headlamp was a huge moth. The engineer looked at it for a moment, then on impulse wet its wings and pasted it to the glass of the lamp. Climbing back into his cab, he switched on the lamp and saw the"phantom flagman" in the beam. He knew what had happened: the moth had flown into the beam, seconds before the train reached the washed-out bridge. In the fog, it appeared to be a phantom figure waving its arms. When Queen Victoria was told of the strange happening she said, "I'm sure it was no accident. It was God's way of protecting us."
    9. [3] Round the clock surveillance by Him –
      1. He will care for the root & the shoot,…the bud & blossom.
      2. From the root, to the shoot, to the fruit!
    10. Notice root & fruit go together!
      1. There can be no life of holiness(fruit) w/o a deep foundation(root) in the Lord.
      2. If a tree lacks fruit it could be because of the lack of good root!
      3. Q: How is your foundation in Christ? Your understanding of the word of God, & its truths.
        1. Christian morals are dependant upon right Christian doctrine!
      4. So, we must have the true root (i.e. Jesus Christ; Is.11:1,10)
      5. A deep root - Ps.80:8,9 “You have brought a vine out of Egypt; You have cast out the nations, and planted it. You prepared room for it, And caused it to take deep root, And it filled the land.”
      6. Root down/fruit up! - Is.37:31 “And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah Shall again take root downward, And bear fruit upward.”
      7. Also, if we are bearing the wrong kind of fruitage it might be because of the Devil at work in our lives or maybe we have been negligent.
        1. Q: So how can we be diligent to bear the right kind of fruit?
        2. It is walking & living in the Spirit!
        3. The Spirit is the actual presence of God in our lives, through which fellowship w/God is made possible, & power is given for winning the warfare against sin in the soul. (James Montgomery Boice; quoted from Swindoll, Galatians pg.118)
        4. Our flesh on the other hand is, is our fallen selves, “whose desires even at best originate from sin & are stained by it.”
        5. The “fruit of the Spirit” suggest that which is a natural product of the Spirit rather than of man, made possible by the living relationship between the Christian & God.
        6. This spiritual life will not be maintained without a struggle …Disobedience & rebellion against the Spirit of God pervade the whole nature of man. If we would obey the Spirit, we must labor, & fight, & apply our utmost energy; & we must begin w/self-denial. (Quoted from Swindoll, Galatians pg.119; John Calvin.)
        7. The fruit of the Spirit grows only in the garden of obedience.
      8. Beautiful fruit is the sign of a healthy tree.
        1. Fruit is wasted if it stays on the limb or vine. - It is meant to be touched, picked, displayed, smelled, tasted, eaten.
        2. Literal fruit only pleases the palate & nourishes the body if it goes beyond the tree.
        3. Spiritual fruit nourishes the body of Christ as we display it in our own lives.
      9. Lastly on fruit:
        1. Ps.2:3 says, “He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season,”
          1. For instance, a forgiving spirit is golden if it displaysitself in the moment when an injury is received.
          2. It is but silver if it shows itself on speedy reflection.
          3. And it is merely lead if it be manifested only after along time of cooling. (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990))
        2. Q: Ok, so you have fruit…is it in season?
    11. (6) Finally, Israel is a blessing to the world (Gen.12:3 fulfilled “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”).
      1. Isaiah is never far away from “world mission”!
    12. GOD’S GATHERING! (7-13)
    13. Find here the difference between the chastening of His own, & the punishment of His enemies.
    14. (9) Note especially the dramatic destruction of the dumb idols!
    15. (10,11) Note the contrast of a fruitful well-tended vineyard to a desolate & forsaken wilderness people.
    16. Pruning Process! (7-11)
      1. There can be no fruit w/o first the attention of the gardener’s knife.
    17. In order for Israel to bear fruit, God must: prune, clip, trim, snip, cut back, reduce, shorten!
      1. In order for you to bear fruit unto God, you must be: pruned, clipped, trimmed, snipped, cut back, reduced, & shortened!
      2. The idea of pain in discipline in order to bring forth the good fruit of character, is a clear biblical theme.
    18. (12,13) The judging of the nations that oppressed Israel.
    19. Read - Mt.24:29-31 (note: timing, appearance, trumpet, gathering)
    20. The broken & scattered people are brought back at the sound of the trumpet.
      1. They finally realize their highest vocation is worshiping Jehovah in their holy mountain at Jerusalem.
      2. Worship brings all kinds of responses. An elderly woman was standing with eyes closed and hands raised in prayer and praise. A young child standing in the pew in front of her turned around and gave her a high-five!
      3. When we submit to Jesus' lordship, we'll give him our worship!
      4. God is looking for worshipers. And if the religious elite are too proud or too busy to learn to worship him, he seeks the worship of those whose lives are trapped in moral ruin. (Erwin W. Lutzer)
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 27". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/isaiah-27.html. 2017.