The Prophecy of Isaiah continues as the people move past the judgment of God against all the sin that was taking place to what the world will be like when Jesus comes to earth to reign. The prophecy goes from Judgment to rejoicing. The song “Joy to the World” is a song sung at Christmas time, but it was not a song about Jesus first coming but about when He returns. When Jesus returns there will be a time of rejoicing and the book of Isaiah will give us several reasons why we will rejoice.
Isaiah 25:1-5 O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. 2 For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the foreigners’ palace is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. 3 Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. 4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat, for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, like heat in a dry place. You subdue the noise of the foreigners; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is put down.
1) Rejoice because He is their God
“You are my God” This is personal loyalty and affection for those who acknowledge they are in a covenant relationship with God. A covenant relationship with God is a binding agreement that is promised by God Himself who cannot lie.
Psalm 118:28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
The relationship with God has always been personal going back to the Garden of Eden with Adam and Even until today. It is the relationship that Jesus Christ died for so that we can have a personal relationship with God which was broken by our sin. Most people do not see their relationship with God as personal and intimate but more like a boss or CEO who is just overlooking our lives instead of being intimately involved in our lives. One of the reasons we receive the Holy Spirit or God the Spirit is because it shows the intimate nature of God into our lives. (John 16:13)
Do you have a personal relationship with God or do you see Him as a distant task master checking in on your life from time to time? We can rejoice that because of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross we can have a personal relationship with God.
2) Rejoice because of what He has done
“A wonderful thing” To be a wonderful thing is had to be out of the ordinary or going above and beyond what human power could do. This was usually reserved for miracles or divine acts of salvation. A wonderful thing is something that was unthinkable and something you cannot believe happened. It was what God did for the people when they left Egypt that not only were they set free but the Egyptians gave them money and possessions to help them go. (Exodus 12:35-36)
Exodus 15:11 Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
The people are thanking God for his salvation after He brought them through the terrible times on earth just like the people in the book of Exodus rejoiced for God bringing them out of Egypt. When is the last time you thanked God for the wondrous things He has done? Christianity is difficult to accept for some people because it is too wondrous to imagine that it could be true. Some people have a difficult time believing that Jesus took all their sins away but that is what He did for us. When we see God, we will understand fully what Jesus did for us and how big of sinners we really were and we will rejoice over His grace, His mercy and His salvation that we could not earn on our own. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
3) Rejoice because He is Sovereign
“Plans from Long ago”
We may not understand God’s ways, but we can rest in the fact that nothing catches Him off guard. God saw every day before the first day was made and although we do not like all that takes place God has seen it and has allowed it for reasons that go beyond our understanding. I have plans but many times my plans get interrupted or canceled but with God He knows all and therefore He is never learning and never in a panic about what is taking place because He already knew it would happen. God carries out these plans with faithfulness and reliability and we know that God can and will accomplish His will and because of that we can be assured that no matter what we are going through that He is in control.
“We can trust God. He does sovereignly intervene in the hearts of people so that they make decisions and carry out actions that accomplish His purpose for our lives. Yet God does this in such a way that these people make their decisions and carry out their plans by their own free and voluntary choices. “ (Trusting God, Jerry Bridges, Pg 47-48)
“You have been a stronghold for the helpless” One day we will look back and see that everything that God did was out of love and we will see fully what God was up to and we will not have any questions for Him. We will see the times He helped us and protected us even when we did not know it. When this day comes, we will not ask why certain things took place, but we will fully understand all the reasons why God allowed them.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
“The song of the ruthless will be brought low” Though the enemy tried to destroy us God was there protecting us. Those who tried to harm us were not able to because God is the one who is in control and those who tried it was like rain against the wall that just rolled off. God will handle those in our lives and He will hold them accountable for their actions but until then know that even when it does not seem so that He is protecting us.
Isaiah 25:6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
4) Rejoice because of the Heavenly Banquet
This is a celebration that will make all other celebrations pale in comparison. This is not only a feast it is a personal banquet put on by God Himself. You are not asked to bring anything because everything will be provided and people from all nations and tribes will be present A rich food is the terminology that was used for what they were the best parts of the sacrifice (Leviticus 3:3; 4:8-9) that were to be offered to God and now God permits His people to eat them. The best of wine will be provided and great care will go into the preparation to make sure everything is at its best. (Strained clear shows the care gone into the banquet)
Revelation 19:7-9 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. 9 And the angel said[a] to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
25:7-9 And he will swallow up on
this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, 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, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken. 9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
5) Rejoice because Death is Defeated
“He shall swallow up death forever” Death is the covering that covers all people because we are all affected by death. No matter how long one lives they know that eventually they must face the reality of death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Death entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned, and we all have dealt with the sadness and grief that goes with it. Covering was a mourning garment worn to show people that you were experiencing grief and in despair. This is the passage that the Apostle Paul quoted in 1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 15:54-55 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
It is interesting that the term “swallow up” is used and not just removed. To remove means that it can be replaced but to swallow up means that it will exist no more and never replaced. If death is removed then sin is removed as well and neither death or sin will be present in the New World when Christ takes His throne forever.
“Wipe away tears from all faces” Isaiah again points to the compassion of God and like a loving father who wipes away the tears of his child so will God wipe away our tears and heal our hearts. God knows all your grief and heartache that sin has brought upon the earth and He will not allow it to endure any longer. Psalm 56:8 says that God keeps track of all your tossing’s and keeps your tears in a bottle which means God sees all that you are going through. Our tears are not futile but are seen and acknowledged by God
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
“This is our God and we have waited for Him” Some versions say trusted instead of waited but they both are the same thing that they people who are saved are those who put their trust in Him. It’s a hopeful act of waiting despite however long it takes that God is the one who saves. Yes, for now, we wait for God to do what He promised but we rejoice knowing that everything we experience that brings pain and heartache will be gone in the new world
Isaiah 25:10-12 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain, and Moab shall be trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill.[a] 11 And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim, but the Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill[b] of his hands. 12 And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.
6) Rejoice because we will be at rest
“The hand of the Lord will rest” Rest is associated with a safe and peaceful lifestyle (2 Samuel 7:1) This rest is not for everyone but only those who have responded to the truth that Jesus died for their sins.
“he will bring low their arrogance “
Matthew 22:2-10 The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants[a] to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
The people were too preoccupied with their own lives to care about the things of the King and with the Skill of their hands they thought they were good enough on their own and did not need Him for salvation. When we pray your Kingdom Come from Matthew 6 we have to realize when Jesus Kingdom does come not all will be able to attend. Therefore, it says in Psalm 95:7-8 that if today you hear His voice do not harden your hearts because tomorrow is not promised. But for us to who have denied ourselves (Luke 9:23) and surrendered our lives to Him and believe that He died on our behalf so that we can be in a right relationship with God we will forever rejoice because we will be in the presence of our creator.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Can you say “My God” because you have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ? Can you rejoice that He has saved you by His works and not your own? Can you praise Him that no matter what you are going through He is still sovereign?
One day we will join God around the Heavenly Banquet which is the ultimate wedding reception One day death will be completely wiped out and one day we will be at rest with our Creator.