Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 25

The true measure of faith is praising God even in the face of adversity. We discussed this in my Bible Study small group last night. It is easy for one to praise God when things are going great but it takes great faith to praise God when we are facing trouble. We see this exhibited in chapter 25 of Isaiah, as we are still dealing with God judging the entire earth, but we see Isaiah praising God for this judgment. This was seen a little near the end of yesterday's reading of Isaiah 24 in verses 14 and 15, but today's chapter is entirely about praise in the face of the end of the world.

1 O LORD, you are my God;
       I will exalt you and praise your name,
       for in perfect faithfulness
       you have done marvelous things,
       things planned long ago. – Isaiah 25:1

I think the key phrase here that Isaiah mentions is that this judgment comes in perfect faithfulness. When I picture God, I picture perfect faithfulness, because whatever He promises comes to pass. Even his judgment here was promised, and because it will be
delivered, it is another example of perfect faithfulness. Isaiah praises God for this because even though it is a terrible judgment, it is God delivering on a promise and exhibiting His awesome power. We also learned yesterday that if we are the Lord's, we have nothing to fear when this judgment occurs. Remember: Isaiah was not just predicting this. Many scholars believe it was revealed to him in a vision that offered more clarity than any flat-screen TV today. We see this throughout the Bible with other prophets as well.

6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare
       a feast of rich food for all peoples,
       a banquet of aged wine—
       the best of meats and the finest of wines.

 7 On this mountain he will destroy
       the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
       the sheet that covers all nations;

 8 he will swallow up death forever.
       The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
       from all faces;
       he will remove the disgrace of his people
       from all the earth.
       The LORD has spoken.

 9 In that day they will say,
       "Surely this is our God;
       we trusted in him, and he saved us.
       This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
       let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation." – Isaiah 25:6-9

Once again, we are presented with a promise from God. We see that if we are His, we will join Him in the celebration of this ultimate victory. Now what is this ultimate victory? Verse 8 promises that God will swallow up death and it will no longer have any power over this. We know that Jesus promised the same thing, and through His death on the cross he took the keys for the gates of Hades and won victory over death. It is through Jesus that this promise is delivered, but I find it even more amazing that God laid this entire plan out more than 800 years before Christ's sacrifice. He delivered on this promise exactly through Christ.


  1. How hard is it to praise God in the face of trouble?

  2. Could God have accomplished victory over death in any other way?

  3. How important is it that we praise God in all things?

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