A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
We’re beginning this installment in Isaiah 2:6 and will continue through chapter 4. Having given us a brief overview of Israel’s Kingdom Age, Isaiah will now back up to provide more detail concerning the time just preceding the 2nd Coming.
The Day of the Lord
You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans. Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. (Isaiah 2:6-8)
Here’s another hint that in the End Times Israel will accumulate great wealth. Ezekiel also made reference to Israel’s wealth in the time leading up to the battle of Ezekiel 38-39. To explain Gog’s motive in forming a coalition to attack Israel, God had Ezekiel reveal his thoughts. “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:11-12)
A group of nations standing on the sidelines will confirm this, asking, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
Today no such plunder exists. Therefore there’s no motive for Russia (Magog) to lead the attack. All the talk about destroying Israel is based on religious issues, something that doesn’t interest Russia. So there really isn’t any incentive of the kind Ezekiel mentioned to goad Russia into action. However, if Israel was to discover massive oil reserves, as some believe will happen soon, that would be a different story. Russia has a strategic interest in the world’s oil. A large discovery in Israel could serve as a tempting pay-off for Russia, sufficient to justify leading the Moslem coalition in its religious quest to destroy the Jewish nation.
A number of insiders say it’s only a matter of time before this happens, putting Israel awash in petro-dollars with the promise of billions more to come. They say Moses prophesied this in Deut. 33:19 & 24. Knowledgeable men are drilling in Israel today on the strength of these prophecies and early results are promising.
So man will be brought low and mankind humbled—do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. (Isaiah 2:7-11)
Notice that the Lord isn’t just talking about Israel here, but all of mankind. By the time He’s finished there will be no doubt as to Who is exalted and who is not. Zechariah spoke of the day of the Lord’s return this way. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zechariah 14:9)
Later Paul would write: Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 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. (Phil 2:9-11) By the way, acknowledging Him as Lord is a good thing to do, but it won’t solve the unbelieving world’s problem. After He comes back it’ll be too late for them to accept Him as their Savior and escape the judgment. They’ll be led off agreeing that He really is Lord and admitting that they refused His offer of pardon.
The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel.
The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear. Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth.
In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship. They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:12-22)
Three things mentioned repeatedly here give us a vivid scene of the End Times. Arrogant men, having engaged in idolatry in defiance of the Lord, hiding in rocks from the wrath of the Almighty. Please remember, idols aren’t necessarily little statues. Idols are anything that man holds to be of greater importance in his life than the Lord. Zechariah 13:2 says, “On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the LORD Almighty.
And in Rev. 6:15-17 John wrote: Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
With the opening of the seven seals, the Wrath of God will have come and mankind will begin experiencing the consequences of their disobedience. Like their first father Adam, they were only given one rule, to believe in the one He has sent (John 6:29), but they refused.
Isaiah 3 … Judgment On Jerusalem And Judah
Now Isaiah’s focus will narrow to deal specifically with the Jewish people
See now, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water, the hero and warrior, the judge and prophet, the soothsayer and elder, the captain of fifty and man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them. People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the base against the honorable. A man will seize one of his brothers at his father’s home, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!”
But in that day he will cry out, “I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people.”
Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence. The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. (Isaiah 3:1-10)
Israel will experience a vacuum of leadership. There will be no common purpose among the people. Their only thought will be for survival. They will search in vain for someone to help them solve their problems, but no one will be found. Having enjoyed great wealth, they will now have so little that a man with a coat will be thought to have leadership potential.
Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.
The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. (Isaiah 3:10-15)
As Peter wrote, The Lord knows how to rescue Godly men from trials, while holding the unrighteous for judgment. (2 Peter 2:9) One way the Lord judges rebellious people is to give them unworthy leaders who take them farther from God’s truth into the deception of mankind.
If you’re reading this carefully, you can see the parallels to our current situation in the US. We’ve enjoyed such wealth, and now that it’s being taken away, we don’t know what to do. We look around for someone, anyone, who says he can fix the problem regardless of his experience, or lack thereof. We have an irrational hope that all our problems will be solved within the next several months and when it doesn’t happen we’ll all be upset. We don’t realize that as rebellious people we have no right to expect that God will give us leaders who can solve our problems. More likely we’ll be taken further off the path.
The LORD says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald.” In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground. (Isaiah 3:16-26)
In ancient times captured women were branded, their heads were shaved and rings were put through their noses, by which they were led off in rags to servitude. Pictures from the holocaust reflect a more modern adaptation. In the End times the people of Earth will see this yet again.
Isaiah 4 … The Branch Of The Lord
In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, “We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!” (Isaiah 4:1)
Beginning in Isaiah 3:16 the Lord had Isaiah speak against the vanity of Israel’s women. Their wealth and their pride will be taken away to the point where multiple women will be willing to join together and agree to pay their own expenses to come under the legal protection of one man through marriage.
In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. (Isaiah 4:2-6)
When the Messiah comes He’ll bring a Spirit of judgment and a Spirit of fire to cleanse the world. Living believers will be welcomed into the Kingdom (Matt. 25:34) while unbelievers will be taken away to eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46).
Concerning the women of Zion, there’s a beautiful picture here of the Messiah washing away all their impurities. In verse 5 the word translated defense (KJV) or canopy (NIV) is chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy, symbolizing that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 4:1 and “marry” all of them by bringing them under His protection, to be called by His name. And in verse 6 the word translated tabernacle (KJV) or shelter (NIV) is sukkah. It’s the name of the shelter that Jews build on the Feast of Tabernacles, to symbolize the Lord dwelling with them. The pillar of fire by night and cloud by day complete the memorial of His time with them in the wilderness, (Exodus 13:21) and announce that once again God will dwell with His people in a time of complete protection and provision. Get ready, Planet Earth, you can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah. 01-10-09