PRAISING GOD in the MIDST of JUDGMENT
July 23 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 22-24
"When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, it shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; for the majesty of the Lord they shall cry aloud from the sea. Therefore glorify the Lord in the dawning light, the name of the Lord God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: "Glory to the righteous!" (Isaiah 24:13-16)
The four chapters from Isaiah 24 to 27 form one continuous poetical prophecy. In particular, Isaiah 24 is descriptive of the dispersion and successive calamities of the Jews (vv. 1-12); the preaching of the Gospel by the first Hebrew converts throughout the world (vv. 13-16); the judgments on the adversaries of the Church, and the final triumph of the Church (vv. 16-23).
What we can understand from Isaiah 24:13-16 is that God’s intervention and judgment will not be dreaded by everyone. The prophecy of gloom and doom is interrupted by the sound of a distant song of praise by a redeemed remnant as they sing the praises of Jehovah for His saving grace. From the east to the west (and everywhere in between) a believing remnant will glorify God for His righteous actions. Those who had been persecuted and oppressed by the world will rejoice to see God’s punishment of the wicked.
This passage in Isaiah is thus a prophetical reference to the fact there will be a righteous remnant that will remain in this earth who will suffer through the Great Tribulation. This remnant that remains shall lift up their voice and shall sing in recognition of God’s divine deliverance of them from the Great Tribulation. The new song that they sing is in response to God’s act of salvation (see Isaiah 12; 35:6; 42:10–13; 44:23; 49:13; 52:8, 9; 65:14). The reference to the “ends of the earth” (v. 16) emphasizes the universal nature of the prophecy in this passage. The phrase “glory to the righteous” (v. 16) refers to the righteous people of God who have lived to please God.
The lesson for us from this passage is that we should love God and be willing to suffer for the sake of righteousness to escape the coming judgment of God against the wicked!