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The Remnant Exalts the LORD
It is no wonder that after the revelation of the glory of the Lord Jesus in His reign in the last verse of the previous chapter there is now a hymn of praise. This chapter and most of the following consist of a song of thanksgiving. The song of thanks in this chapter comes from the mouth of Isaiah as the voice of everyone who belongs to the God-fearing remnant after the great tribulation (cf. Isaiah 12:1-Joshua :). It is more the testimony of personal faith in this chapter. In the next chapter the hymn of praise is no longer individual, but we hear the whole remnant singing, with Isaiah as the choir director, as it were.
The vast majority of the people of Israel, the unbelieving masses, have already been judged by the Assyrians. The antichrist has been dethroned. Then comes the harvest of the prophetic earth (Isaiah 24:1-Numbers :; Revelation 14:14-Proverbs :). What remains in Israel has been purified. This remnant forms the core of the new Israel. It is the one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed. For them “the time has arrived for singing” (Song of Solomon 2:12).
First there is the grateful acknowledgment that the LORD is their God (Isaiah 25:1; Hosea 2:22; Zechariah 13:9). It is the expression of the believer who rejoices in his personal relationship with Him. At the same time, it is the spirit of thankfulness that characterizes the whole remnant. They praise God’s faithfulness to His covenant with His earthly people. To give thanks to His Name is to praise Him for the revelation of His Being.
That revelation can be seen in the wonder of judging His enemies. He overthrew the hostile city, the capital of the world empire, Babylon, or the restored Roman Empire (Isaiah 25:2). “The fortified city” is symbolic of all that man has built up in his pride on earth. God will judge that whole system. The consequence of His judgments, “therefore”, is that “a strong people … cities of ruthless nations” – Babylon or the restored Roman Empire – will revere what the LORD has done and will forcibly glorify Him (Isaiah 25:3). All proud organizations of people will have perished. And once again the assurance sounds that Babylon will never be rebuilt.
The redeemed remnant gratefully remembers how the LORD was a strength and shelter in the time of the great tribulation and reign of the antichrist (Isaiah 25:4; Isaiah 32:2; Psalms 61:4). This verse has been and still is a comfort for many believers in trials. When we have gone through a time of great trial, we can also give thanks for His preservation. There is no bitterness in the remnant for what has been done to them. Nor should it be so with us.
The LORD has subdued the uproar of the enemy, he has silenced their chant of victory (Isaiah 25:5). He has stopped them in His time. Therefore, not all the people perished and some were spared (Matthew 24:22).
All Peoples Share in the Salvation
The remaining heathen peoples will come to Mount Zion and may share in the feast that the LORD has prepared for Israel (Isaiah 25:6). The mountain has become a huge court, where a large crowd can gather. That great platform may have been created by the great landslides that struck the earth during the judgments (Revelation 6:14; Zechariah 14:4).
Isaiah 25:6 connects to the last verse of Isaiah 24 (Isaiah 24:23). This banquet is reminiscent of the peace offering, especially in connection with the banquets held on the occasion of the appointment of a king (1 Samuel 11:15; 2 Samuel 6:18-Psalms :). The wine is a picture of joy (Psalms 104:15). There is food and joy of the best kind and in abundance.
We can make a spiritual application here. The “choice pieces with marrow” speak of the rich blessings we have received in Christ, the “unfathomable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). We may thus be spiritually nourished by the Holy Spirit who makes this riches a reality for our hearts. If we nourish ourselves with Christ in this way, we can only rejoice, which the “refined, aged wine” speak of.
Not only does God give, but He also takes away. The veil of unbelief which Satan has cast upon the nations and upon Israel which blinded them (2 Corinthians 4:3-Numbers :; 2 Corinthians 3:13-Nehemiah :) will be swallowed up (Isaiah 25:7). The counsel of God, which has been hidden from the people for many centuries, is now unveiled, revealed forever. This counsel implies that God in Christ fulfills His intention to bless the nations through Israel (Colossians 1:20; Romans 11:11-Ezra :). Blinded by Satan, the nations still believe all sorts of nonsense, for example, the foolishness of the theory of evolution. The nations still walk “in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding” (Ephesians 4:17-Job :).
Death will also have to return his prey. All those who perished after the church’s rapture and during the great tribulation will come to life (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 20:4). Isaiah 25:8 is one of the few references in the Old Testament to the resurrection. Modern theologians regard this as a later addition in order to defend their thesis that the idea of resurrection only evolved and came about later in the history of Israel.
Paul does not care. He refers to this verse to show that once death will be abolished completely and not only as here for the believers from Israel and the nations (1 Corinthians 15:54). There will be no more other consequences of sin like tears and defamation for God’s people (Revelation 21:4). Prophetically, this is a reference to the national and spiritual restoration of Israel (Romans 11:15; Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1-2 Chronicles :; Daniel 12:2-Leviticus :; Hosea 6:2).
The foregoing is reason for a new hymn of praise. They honor the LORD on Whom they have not hoped in vain. They will come to the acknowledgment that the Lord Jesus is God, that He is the Immanuel, the ‘God with us’. There is every reason to rejoice about the redemption He has given (Isaiah 25:9). Don’t we have at least as much reason to rejoice about our redemption from the power of sin? Where is our jubilation of deliverance?
Moab Cast to the Dust
The hand of the LORD rests protecting on “this mountain”, which is Mount Zion (Isaiah 25:10). This is not the case with Moab, which represents the whole proud and God-hostile world here (Isaiah 16:6). Moab has always been like a thorn in Israel’s flesh. But Moab is now perishing in God’s judgment and will no longer pose any threat to God’s people (Isaiah 25:10-2 Kings :). The LORD Himself will remove everything that could spoil the joy of that day of blessing.
Any attempt to evade that judgment will result in a deeper humiliation, until finally there is nothing left of Moab but dust. For us, this judgment on pride is a warning not to become arrogant.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Isaiah 25". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany