Friday in the Second Week of Advent

Isaiah 27:1-13

The Redemption of God’s People

Having gathered God’s people together to protect them from the coming storm of God’s judgment (yesterday’s passage), Isaiah now pictures God’s triumph over the forces of evil personified as “Leviathan,” a twisting serpent.  The image is supplied from ancient mythology but serves the function here of representing everything that opposes God’s purposes and God’s people.  We may sum up these enemies as the world, the flesh (that is, our sinful nature), and the devil.  The Book of Revelation personifies Satan as a dragon throughout.  The point is that in the end, God will thwart evil and we shall live in a blessed Kingdom where nothing shall hurt us ever again.

Then comes a beautiful passage describing God’s renewed, redeemed vineyard.  You will recall in chapter five, Isaiah sang a song about another vineyard that God planted, a vineyard that proved faithless, even after all the work that God had done for it.  Well here is a different vineyard altogether, made up of God’s faithful people.  These do not leave Him; these do not forsake Him, for the Lord Himself is its keeper.  And every moment He waters it.  We are immediately reminded that the Holy Spirit is referred to in just this way – as living water welling up in the hearts of believers, a water sent to us from the Father through faith in Jesus Christ (John 7:37-39).  Isaiah goes on to say that God will keep this vineyard “night and day,” a wonderful promise of His ever faithful protection.

In verse four, God says something truly comforting which again foreshadows our Lord Jesus Christ and his work on the cross.  He says, “I have no wrath.”  We are reminded of the awful truth of Romans 1:18: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men….”  Indeed, it is.  Man is born under the just condemnation of Almighty God for his sin – both his sinful nature in which he is born, and the actual sins he commits.  This is because sin is never a matter of indifference to God, but is revolt against God – the holy God, the God who created man in his own image, who then rebelled against his Maker.  But God the Father provided the remedy through His Son who took our wrath upon himself, taking our place on the cross.  This, and only this, takes the Father’s wrath away.  This is the age Isaiah prophesies: a day when the redeemed of the Lord, rescued from the just wrath of God, spread out and blossom over the whole earth; that is, the Church of Jesus Christ.  The rest of the chapter speaks of God’s judgment of the wicked and refining of His people.  Let us bless God that He has delivered His people from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

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