May 21st 2017: Mike Viccary

 Isaiah 25 – 26.6

Mike raised three points:
            saved at Calvary
            saved on the day
            saved when He returns

Isaiah is one of the books of the Bible which is just amazing. It is packed with references to the Lord Jesus Christ, packed with gospel references. Isaiah is a prophet who had a ministry. From chapters 13-23 he is giving messages to all the nations roundabout. In chapter 24 he has this word to whole world, a message for today. The earth is doomed for destruction. Peter picks this up in 2 Peter 3.

In Isaiah 25:1-5 Isaiah is praising God for what the Lord has done, ‘O LORD, you are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.’ (Isaiah 25:1)

In verse 7 Isaiah looks forward to what the Lord will do, ‘And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people. And the veil that is spread over all nations.’ Our salvation is in Christ on the cross. The Lord has come for salvation. He also came to divide those who would follow Him from those who won’t. The second coming is for final judgement. It will declare judgement for all. He is also coming for salvation.

‘And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9). This is a pivotal verse on which Isaiah 25:6-12 is balanced. We can say when the Lord returns, “Behold, this is our God.”

The phrase ‘This mountain’ is used three times. What does this mean? Turn back to Isaiah 2:2, ‘Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.’ The mountain is the Lord’s house.

‘You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the Mighty One of Israel.’ (Isaiah 30:29). The mountain of the Lord is where the Lord dwells. Isaiah also uses the phrase ‘My holy mountain / hill.’ It’s also in the Psalms, ‘Yet I have set My King on my holy hill of Zion.’ (Psalm 2:6). ‘I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.’ (Psalm 3:4). The mountain is where God is.

Another theme in Isaiah is the banner. This is also in John 3:14, ‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.’ This refers to Jesus’ death on the cross. In Numbers we read the story of the Israelites being bitten by snakes. In order to be saved they had to look at pole / banner / standard. (Numbers 21:4-9). The pole is fixed firmly into the ground. It reminds us of the crucifixion. ‘And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.’ (Isaiah 11:10). This is a reference to where the Lord will be found.

On that mountain the Lord will do three wonderful things:

There will be a feast, ‘And in this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees.’ (Isaiah 25:6). What Christ did on the cross is our meat and drink. Our very life depends on us feeding on what Christ has done for us. In this mountain the Lord will make a feast for all people – it’s open to everyone, no-one is excluded. When you read this verse in Hebrew it is very lyrical, it bounces. The food described is the best – abundant and full. It is 100% distilled wine served with choice pieces. When we think of the death of the Saviour at Calvary, this is our feast.

Even more remarkable is the death of death. Death is not what we were made for. Christ’s death brought life. Death is separation. God is all about community. ‘He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken.’ (Isaiah 25:7-8). Here we see the consequences of death. Death is sorrowful, horrible. We die because of sin. We die because we rebel. Death is a rebuke to us. God will destroy death. God is rich in mercy. IN verse 8 there are four really impressive statements of what God had done:

  • He will swallow up death forever. On the cross Jesus swallowed up death. The veil in the temple is torn from top to bottom;
  • He will wipe away tears from all faces. God is right in the midst of our tears. When you are suffering, He is right with you;
  • He will take away rebuke
  • He will bring restoration, He will bring life.

For the Lord has spoken. This gives us certainty. From Isaiah’s point of view, this is what will happen because God has spoken.

Isaiah 25:101-12. God will deal with the problem of sin. Moab will be trampled. Moab was the son of Lot. Lot’s name means ‘covering.’ Moab is Isaiah is castigated for pride. Here we have a picture of pride. Moab is the offspring – just like his father Lot chose the wrong way. Moab chose to follow Lot. In verse 10 we read of the ‘hand of the Lord.’ This is Christ. He will do everything that needs to be done, ‘For on this mountain the hand of the LORD will rest, And Moab shall be trampled down under Him, as straw is trampled down for the refuse heap.’ (Isaiah 25:10). Verse 11 speaks of the Lord, ‘And He will spread out His hands in their midst as a swimmer reaches out to swim, And He will bring down their pride together with the trickery of their hands.’ (Isaiah 25:11). A swimmer pushes everything behind him. Pride will be swept aside. Pride is the beginning of sin. Pride turns to lies. The Lord spreads out His hands, just as Christ did on the cross, when all pride was dealt with. In the death of Christ He can deal with all of the things we wrestle with. ‘The fortress of the high fort of your walls He will bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, down to the dust.’ (Isaiah 25:12). God will trample on sin. There is such richness in the book of Isaiah.

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