Tuesday in the Second Week of Advent

Isaiah 25:1-12

And the Lord God Will Wipe Away Tears from All Faces

Here is a chapter expressing more praise to God over the “fallen city.”  The “city” that is judged is simply the worldly city that man tries to build on the ruinous foundation of his corrupt imagination.  Call it Babylon, call it Rome, call it Washington, D.C. – it’s all the same.  Isaiah calls this final judgment of God a “wonderful thing,” and extols God for fulfilling “plans formed of old, faithful and sure.”  “Where is the promise of His coming,” the scoffer asks.  “All things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”  Indeed, it is the Lord’s patience that makes us think that He is so slow. But we are told that “the Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3: 4, 9).  Isaiah would have us know that the Lord has a plan, a very definite plan, and He is working His plan.  But there comes a day when His patience runs out, He judges the world, and the righteous are redeemed.

So let’s move forward with this message of redemption.  Two lines are here in Isaiah that you probably associate with Revelation: “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces” (25:8).  Compare this with Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more.”  As we have seen in other places, it is Revelation, written seven centuries later by the apostle John, that is echoing Isaiah.  Isn’t it wonderful how the word of God is ever old and ever new, timeless and timely, ever drawing us forward with the promise that “this is the Lord; we have waited for him.”  The New Testament fills this promise out in Philippians 2:10: “So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

But let us view those whom Isaiah especially notices in this prophecy: “For you have been a stronghold to the poor, and a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm, and a shade from the heat.”  And, “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.”  Isaiah notes God’s special care for the poor and needy and promises them a rich banquet to enjoy.  Our Lord said, “But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Matthew 19:30).  What a beautiful scene, Lazarus the beggar sitting down by Abraham, Rahab by Mary, the first Adam by the Second.  We wait for Him, indeed.

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