Journey Through The Scriptures
Lesson 1: Israel in the Kingdom
(Scripture to Read: Isaiah 26:1–27:13)
These chapters present several important contrasts to earlier judgments announced by Isaiah. The prophet looked ahead to the Messianic age and saw Jerusalem as a city made strong and secured by God. This is the opposite of the fate that befalls the city mentioned in 25:2. The people of the latter city opposed God and the city was destroyed—probably a reference to Babylon as symbolic of God’s prideful enemies. In contrast, the people of Judah will sing of God’s protection and redemption “in that day,” a reference to Messiah’s righteous rule.
The phrase “in that day” serves to outline the prophet’s message in chapter 27. God will judge the wicked, symbolized by the mythical sea serpent Leviathan. Then, the nation of Israel will be able to sing about their land as a “fruitful vineyard” (v. 2), in strong contrast to the song of the vineyard in Isaiah 5:1–7 which emphasized destruction. The land will flourish and blossom, and “in that day” the Jewish remnants will return. The Fellowship is participating in the fulfillment of this exciting prophecy even today as we help Jewish exiles come home to Israel via our On Wings of Eagles program!
- Isaiah 26:1 can be translated, “Salvation will [God] appoint in place of walls and moat.” Why will Jerusalem not need these defenses in Messiah’s day?
- What promise does God make to the remnant of Israel in Isaiah 26:21?
- Why does the Lord urge Israel to “make peace” with Him (27:5)?
- According to Isaiah 27:12, how complete will Israel’s ingathering be after her exile?
Something to Think About
The reference to “the path of the righteous” being made “level” or smooth (26:7) reminds us there are blessings to be enjoyed when we live in accord with God’s standards. This does not mean being free of all problems or cares, but of reaping good consequences for our actions.