This is Episode #214 and today we’ll read Isaiah 23-27 together. Sin has turned the earth upside down.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #214 and today we’ll read Isaiah 23-27 together. Sin has turned the earth upside down.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Isaiah Chapter 23
A Pronouncement against Tyre
A pronouncement concerning Tyre:
Wail, ships of Tarshish,
for your haven has been destroyed.
Word has reached them from the land of Cyprus.
Mourn, inhabitants of the coastland,
you merchants of Sidon;
your agents have crossed the sea
over deep water.
Tyre’s revenue was the grain from Shihor —
the harvest of the Nile.
She was the merchant among the nations.
Be ashamed, Sidon, the stronghold of the sea,
for the sea has spoken:
“I have not been in labor or given birth.
I have not raised young men
or brought up young women.”
When the news reaches Egypt,
they will be in anguish over the news about Tyre.
Cross over to Tarshish;
wail, inhabitants of the coastland!
Is this your jubilant city,
whose origin was in ancient times,
whose feet have taken her
to reside far away?
Who planned this against Tyre,
the bestower of crowns,
whose traders are princes,
whose merchants are the honored ones of the earth?
Forgotten For Seventy Years
The Lord of Armies planned it,
to desecrate all its glorious beauty,
to disgrace all the honored ones of the earth.
Overflow your land like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish;
there is no longer anything to restrain you.
He stretched out his hand over the sea;
he made kingdoms tremble.
The Lord has commanded
that the Canaanite fortresses be destroyed.
“You will not celebrate anymore,
ravished young woman, daughter of Sidon.
Get up and cross over to Cyprus —
even there you will have no rest!”
Look at the land of the Chaldeans —
a people who no longer exist.
Assyria destined it for desert creatures.
They set up their siege towers
and stripped its palaces.
They made it a ruin.
Wail, ships of Tarshish,
because your fortress is destroyed!
On that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years — the life span of one king. At the end of seventy years, what the song says about the prostitute will happen to Tyre:
Pick up your lyre,
stroll through the city,
you forgotten prostitute.
sing many a song
so that you will be remembered.
And at the end of the seventy years, the Lord will restore Tyre and she will go back into business, prostituting herself with all the kingdoms of the world throughout the earth. But her profits and wages will be dedicated to the Lord. They will not be stored or saved, for her profit will go to those who live in the Lord’s presence, to provide them with ample food and sacred clothing.
Isaiah Chapter 24
The Earth Judged
Look, the Lord is stripping the earth bare
and making it desolate.
He will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants:
people and priest alike,
servant and master,
female servant and mistress,
buyer and seller,
lender and borrower,
creditor and debtor.
The earth will be stripped completely bare
and will be totally plundered,
for the Lord has spoken this message.
The earth mourns and withers;
the world wastes away and withers;
the exalted people of the earth waste away.
The earth is polluted by its inhabitants,
for they have transgressed teachings,
and broken the permanent covenant.
Therefore a curse has consumed the earth,
and its inhabitants have become guilty;
the earth’s inhabitants have been burned,
and only a few survive.
The new wine mourns;
the vine withers.
All the carousers now groan.
The joyful tambourines have ceased.
The noise of the jubilant has stopped.
The joyful lyre has ceased.
They no longer sing and drink wine;
beer is bitter to those who drink it.
The city of chaos is shattered;
every house is closed to entry.
In the streets they cry for wine.
All joy grows dark;
earth’s rejoicing goes into exile.
Only desolation remains in the city;
its gate has collapsed in ruins.
For this is how it will be on earth
among the nations:
like a harvested olive tree,
like a gleaning after a grape harvest.
They raise their voices, they sing out;
they proclaim in the west
the majesty of the Lord.
Therefore, in the east honor the Lord!
In the coasts and islands of the west
honor the name of the Lord,
the God of Israel.
From the ends of the earth we hear songs:
The Splendor of the Righteous One.
But I said, “I waste away! I waste away!
Woe is me.”
The Earth Staggers
The treacherous act treacherously;
the treacherous deal very treacherously.
Panic, pit, and trap await you
who dwell on the earth.
Whoever flees at the sound of panic
will fall into a pit,
and whoever escapes from the pit
will be caught in a trap.
For the floodgates on high are opened,
and the foundations of the earth are shaken.
The earth is completely devastated;
the earth is split open;
the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunkard
and sways like a hut.
Earth’s rebellion weighs it down,
and it falls, never to rise again.
On that day the Lord will punish
the army of the heights in the heights
and the kings of the ground on the ground.
They will be gathered together
like prisoners in a pit.
They will be confined to a dungeon;
after many days they will be punished.
The moon will be put to shame
and the sun disgraced,
because the Lord of Armies will reign as king
on Mount Zion in Jerusalem,
and he will display his glory
in the presence of his elders.
Isaiah Chapter 25
Salvation and Judgment on That Day
Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you. I will praise your name,
for you have accomplished wonders,
plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
For you have turned the city into a pile of rocks,
a fortified city, into ruins;
the fortress of barbarians is no longer a city;
it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore, a strong people will honor you.
The cities of violent nations will fear you.
For you have been a stronghold for the poor person,
a stronghold for the needy in his distress,
a refuge from storms and a shade from heat.
When the breath of the violent
is like a storm against a wall,
like heat in a dry land,
you will subdue the uproar of barbarians.
As the shade of a cloud cools the heat of the day,
so he will silence the song of the violent.
On this mountain,
the Lord of Armies will prepare for all the peoples a feast of choice meat,
a feast with aged wine, prime cuts of choice meat, fine vintage wine.
On this mountain
he will swallow up the burial shroud,
the shroud over all the peoples,
the sheet covering all the nations.
When he has swallowed up death once and for all,
the Lord God will wipe away the tears
from every face
and remove his people’s disgrace
from the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
This is God
On that day it will be said,
“Look, this is our God;
we have waited for him, and he has saved us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him.
Let’s rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
For the Lord’s power will rest on this mountain.
But Moab will be trampled in his place
as straw is trampled in a dung pile.
He will spread out his arms in the middle of it,
as a swimmer spreads out his arms to swim.
His pride will be brought low,
along with the trickery of his hands.
The high-walled fortress will be brought down,
thrown to the ground, to the dust.
Isaiah Chapter 26
The Song of Judah
On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city.
Salvation is established as walls and ramparts.
Open the gates
so a righteous nation can come in —
one that remains faithful.
You will keep the mind that is dependent on you
in perfect peace,
for it is trusting in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
because in the Lord, the Lord himself, is an everlasting rock!
For he has humbled those who live in lofty places —
an inaccessible city.
He brings it down; he brings it down to the ground;
he throws it to the dust.
Feet trample it,
the feet of the humble,
the steps of the poor.
God’s People Vindicated
The path of the righteous is level;
you clear a straight path for the righteous.
Yes, Lord, we wait for you
in the path of your judgments.
Our desire is for your name and renown.
I long for you in the night;
yes, my spirit within me diligently seeks you,
for when your judgments are in the land,
the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
But if the wicked man is shown favor,
he does not learn righteousness.
In a righteous land he acts unjustly
and does not see the majesty of the Lord.
Lord, your hand is lifted up to take action,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people
and be put to shame.
Let fire consume your adversaries.
Lord, you will establish peace for us,
for you have also done all our work for us.
Lord our God, lords other than you have owned us,
but we remember your name alone.
The dead do not live;
departed spirits do not rise up.
Indeed, you have punished and destroyed them;
you have wiped out all memory of them.
You have added to the nation, Lord.
You have added to the nation; you are honored.
You have expanded all the borders of the land.
Lord, they went to you in their distress;
they poured out whispered prayers
because your discipline fell on them.
Hide For a Little While
As a pregnant woman about to give birth
writhes and cries out in her pains,
so we were before you, Lord.
We became pregnant, we writhed in pain;
we gave birth to wind.
We have won no victories on earth,
and the earth’s inhabitants have not fallen.
Your dead will live; their bodies will rise.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust!
For you will be covered with the morning dew,
and the earth will bring out the departed spirits.
Go, my people, enter your rooms
and close your doors behind you.
Hide for a little while until the wrath has passed.
For look, the Lord is coming from his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.
The earth will reveal the blood shed on it
and will no longer conceal her slain.
Isaiah Chapter 27
On that day the Lord with his relentless, large, strong sword will bring judgment on Leviathan, the fleeing serpent — Leviathan, the twisting serpent. He will slay the monster that is in the sea.
The Lord’s Vineyard
On that day
sing about a desirable vineyard:
I am the Lord, who watches over it
to water it regularly.
So that no one disturbs it,
I watch over it night and day.
I am not angry.
If only there were thorns and briers for me to battle,
I would trample them
and burn them to the ground.
Or let it take hold of my strength;
let it make peace with me —
make peace with me.
In days to come, Jacob will take root.
Israel will blossom and bloom
and fill the whole world with fruit.
Did the Lord strike Israel
as he struck the one who struck Israel?
Was Israel killed like those killed by the Lord?
You disputed with Israel
by banishing and driving her away.
He removed her with his severe storm
on the day of the east wind.
On That Day
Therefore Jacob’s iniquity will be atoned for in this way,
and the result of the removal of his sin will be this:
when he makes all the altar stones
like crushed bits of chalk,
no Asherah poles or incense altars will remain standing.
For the fortified city will be desolate,
pastures deserted and abandoned like a wilderness.
Calves will graze there,
and there they will spread out and strip its branches.
When its branches dry out, they will be broken off.
Women will come and make fires with them,
for they are not a people with understanding.
Therefore their Maker will not have compassion on them,
and their Creator will not be gracious to them.
On that day
the Lord will thresh grain from the Euphrates River
as far as the Wadi of Egypt,
and you Israelites will be gathered one by one.
On that day
a great ram’s horn will be blown,
and those lost in the land of Assyria will come,
as well as those dispersed in the land of Egypt;
and they will worship the Lord
at Jerusalem on the holy mountain.
In chapters 24-27, Isaiah – or God thru Isaiah – expands his prophetical statements from specific lands such as Tyre and Assyria and Babylon to ‘the entire earth’. As you might suspect, there is disagreement between scholars whether earth should be interpreted simply as ‘land’ and whether ‘making it desolate’ is rhetorical. But between you and I, I think the text is pretty clear.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary offers a reason for God’s pending judgement:
He says, in part, Sin has turned the earth upside down; the earth is become quite different to man, from what it was when God first made it to be his habitation. It is, at the best, like a flower, which withers in the hands of those that please themselves with it, and lay it in their bosoms. The world we live in is a world of disappointment, a vale of tears; the children of men in it are but of few days, and full of trouble, See the power of God’s curse, how it makes all empty, and lays waste all ranks and conditions. Sin brings these calamities upon the earth; it is polluted by the sins of men, therefore it is made desolate by God’s judgments. Carnal joy will soon be at end, and the end of it is heaviness.
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See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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