THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
VII. God's Messianic Blessings When Israel Trusts In God Versus Man
A. Isaiah 2:22-4:1 had critiqued Judah's sins of trusting in her own social order versus trusting in the Lord (Isaiah 2:22-3:11), in Jerusalem's male leaders trusting in themselves versus the Lord so as to take abusive advantage of the vulnerable widows, orphans and poor in their midst (Isaiah 3:12-15; 1:17-23) and in Jerusalem's women proudly trusting in themselves versus the Lord, leading to an immoral, corrupted society (Isaiah 3:16-4:1).
B. However, the day would come when, in the Messianic Kingdom, all Israel would trust in God, having been refined by the fiery trials of the Great Tribulation, and Isaiah 4:2-6 presents that state with applications for us:
II. God's Messianic Blessings When Israel Trusts In God Versus Man, Isaiah 4:2-6.
A. First, God will have purged Israel from her sins that obstructed His provision of blessings, Isaiah 4:2-4:
1. Opposite Israel's current trust in her social order, following the fiery trials of the Great Tribulation when Christ sets up His Messianic Kingdom, He Himself as the Branch growing out of the cut off stump of the Davidic line (cf. Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 3:8) would be the Source of Israel's beauty and glory, Isaiah 4:2a. "Just as people delight in fruit from their land so the survivors of the Great Tribulation trials will delight in the Messiah, the Fruit of the land," Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1041. The Davidic kings had failed to stay true to God and so lead Judah in righteousness for blessing, so they had been cut off in divine judgment as a tree is cut off, leaving a stump. However, once God had purged the nation from such sin, the Messiah, the righteous Branch growing up out of that Davidic stump, would again restore the Davidic reign, but this time in great righteousness and resulting blessing.
2. In contrast to the men in Jerusalem in Isaiah's era who focused in sinful pride and materialism on "wealth or prestige," those in the city after the Great Tribulation will be called holy, everyone who "has been recorded for life in Jerusalem," who was saved alive by God's angels to ender the Messianic Kingdom instead of being removed from the earth in judgment, Isaiah 4:2b ESV; Ibid.; Matthew 24:40-41; 13:41-43.
3. In contrast to the Jerusalem of Isaiah's day, God will have "washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem," cleansing the false pride of the women (Isa. 3:16) and the male leaders' abuses (Isa. 3:12-15) by a spirit of judgment and of burning, Isaiah 4:4 ESV. John the Baptizer said Jesus would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11), referring to spiritual purification.
B. Second, God will usher in great blessing for the purified subjects of His Kingdom, Isaiah 4:5-6:
1. Once this purification had occurred in the subjects of the Kingdom, God would then create over the entire site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies of people a cloud by day and smoke and shining of a flaming fire by night akin to the Lord's ministry to Israel in her wilderness journeys, Isa. 4:5a,b ESV; Ex. 13:21-22.
2. This cloud and fire would serve as a canopy, a protection as in ancient Israel's journeys, figuratively seen as "a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain," Isaiah 4:5c-6 ESV. In contrast to widows, orphans and the poor living in defenseless oppression before abusive rulers (Isaiah 3:14-15; 1:17-23), God would act as their Guardian, giving them "safety and peace," Ibid.
3. Remarkably, the cloud by day and fire by night canopy of the Messianic Kingdom initially recall God's use of "a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch" passing between the pieces of the sacrificed animal bodies when He gave His unconditional promise to father Abraham to give his seed the land from the river of Egypt, the Nile, to the Euphrates back in Genesis 15:17-21 ESV. Thus, God will provide Judah all that land with full safety and blessing for her true believers once He has purified the nation of sin in His grace!
Lesson: When Jerusalem's people are purged of their sin of self-sufficiency and resulting false pride and cleave in faith to the Lord in righteous submission to Him, God will provide great protection and peace to all in the city.
Application: (1) May we NOT look to our sinful social order, to sinful human rulers or our own sinful selves for blessing, but to the Lord alone as the only true Source of all blessing. (2) When trials arise, may we view them as opportunities for purification from sin as will occur in the Great Tribulation for Israel, trials to enhance our faith in Christ for His great blessing, James 1:1-4. (3) If we face humanly powerful, abusive parties like the poor, the orphaned and the widowed in Isaiah's day, may we rely on God for justice and blessing versus fretting over what losses we incur under abuse, for God is always our only real hope for deliverance, Deuteronomy 10:17-18.