Today’s reading is drawn from Isaiah 27:3-13.
God extends Isaiah’s view from the near future to the distant future — to the end of days as we know days.
People have sinned, violating God’s covenant. Humanity stands guilty. Justice must be met. So God is going to ruin the face of the earth. He has planned a day when he is going to shake the foundations of the world, destroying most of the people and punishing both spiritual forces and earthly powers for their evil. He will obliterate the old order. And as he does, the godly remnant will sing for joy.
Then, a celebration. God will prepare a joyful feast for his people. He will destroy death forever, remove all of his people’s disgrace and tenderly wipe away every tear from their faces. Moab — likely representing all of God’s enemies — will be trampled. The celebrating will be unprecedented.
In that day, Judah will sing God a song of praise. The people have longed for him to bring his judgments to earth and teach its inhabitants righteousness. And he will do so.
In that day, God will tend to his fruitful, overflowing vineyard. Fruit from Israel will fill the world. God will crush all of those who don’t follow him, destroying their dark idols in the process. At the trumpet’s sound he will gather all of his people who have been exiled in Egypt and Assyria. They will join the throngs of people who are worshiping him in Jerusalem.
The King’s Heart
Since the day we were born, we have been living in the shadows. Fallenness covers us like a sheet. But a day is coming when God “will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 25:7 – 8).
God hates the shadow we’ve been under. And there will come a day — a great day — when God will banish everything that has darkened life. Sin. Evil. Demonic forces. Death. Sickness. Pain. Shame.
And the same hand that will wipe away all evil from the earth will gently wipe away the tears that the evil shadow has caused us to cry. The Divine One will be so close that he will personally brush the tears off our faces. And the celebration will never end.
“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here” (Romans 13:12).
Isaiah 26:19 is one of two times in the Old Testament that refers to God’s plan to resurrect our bodies. The other is in Daniel 12:2.