EXALT GOD for HIS wonderful WORKS & COUNSEL
July 24 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 25-27
"O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth." (Isaiah 25:1)
In the book of Isaiah, chapters 25–27 have been called “the Book of Songs”. These are the songs of praise, which will be sung by the righteous and faithful people of God throughout history from times past to eternity. When the prophet Isaiah is addressing God directly and mentions the word “I”, this does not limit to Isaiah alone, but includes all the people of God who are redeemed, especially those from the final apocalyptic scenes described earlier in this book.
In these passages, the restored Jewish remnant praises God for their deliverance through the Great Tribulation. These survivors of the Great Tribulation entering into the blessings of the millennial kingdom lift their voices in praise to God for His protection. A great celebration takes place on Mount Zion when Israel responds in praise to God for judging her oppressors. God will destroy the “foreigners’ stronghold” so that it “will never be rebuilt.” In judging the enemies of Israel, God will be a “refuge” for the people in distress. Like a tree or cloud that blocks the harsh rays of the sun, God will intervene to protect His own people from harm!
We should also note that many cities belonging to the enemy have been pulverized, and have fallen into ruin, and the nations of earth have been humbled before the mighty Jehovah God who alone has been a refuge from the storm. This has led many Gentiles to humble themselves and acknowledge Jehovah’s power as well. Thus, both Jews and Gentiles are praising God for who He is, and what He has done in their lives!
This knowledge of God’s truth has both humbled and moved the people of God to worship Him through songs. These worship songs celebrate God’s destruction of this sinful earth, and can be divided into three parts: (1) a hymn of praise (vv. 1–5); (2) God’s feast on Mount Zion that celebrates His destruction of death once and for all (vv. 6–8); and (3) a hymn of praise by the entire congregation (vv. 9–12). These songs are personal affirmations of confidence in God (7:13; 49:4, 5). In contrast to the destroyed city of confusion (24:10; 25:2), the people in Mount Zion will have joy, feasting and singing because they have submitted to His rule and authority!
The prophet Isaiah looks to the distant future as he speaks of the time of unparalleled peace that shall occur during the millennial kingdom as a result of the intervention of God Himself. Thus, all the people can rejoice in the fact that even though they have waited through all these years of human devastation, it has been worth the wait!
Let us remember that a day is coming when God will swallow up death in victory (1 Cor. 15:54) and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Rev. 7:17). This act of His grace will then usher in the millennial kingdom. Let us exalt God for His wonderful works and counsel that He is doing today and will do in the future!