God has promised judgment on Judah and Jerusalem but He also promises there will be a remnant of survivors. The evil are burned off and the righteous remain.
The last time we were together we looked at Isaiah’s prophecy regarding judgment on Judah and Jerusalem. In our time together, I asked why Judah didn’t listen like Nineveh did. Judah continued in her ways and was taken into captivity, later on. She had many faithful years but some even worse unfaithful years. In those years it wasn’t just the kings who were evil but the people right along side of them. And that evil in the people carried over even when the next kings were not evil, or in Manasseh’s case, when the king’s heart changed.
Israel and Judah were both judged for their sins of that time but I have come to think that the judgment described in the last passage is still to come. The reason for this is that the return of God’s glory in the form of a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day is still to come. When the remnant of Judah returned with Zachariah and rebuilt the Temple, God’s glory did not occupy it as it did in the Tabernacle in the wilderness. God’s glory left the Temple Solomon built before it was destroyed and is not reported to have been seen entering anywhere again. God’s glory filled the sky with the angels who heralded Jesus’ birth. The presence of the Holy Spirit was also seen landing on Jesus’ disciples on the day of Pentecost after His ascension to Heaven.
This tells me that God is STILL burning away the dross, not only of Judah and Jerusalem, but of the whole world. The horrible state described in the previous passage has had bits and pieces of it happen in the past but the fullness of it has not yet come to pass. I believe the previous passage will be fully realized during the Tribulation time; most likely towards the end when Satan and his beast have done their worst. There WILL be a remnant that remain faithful to the Lord even in the face of all Satan can throw at them.
THESE are the ones we hear about today in our passage. The “survivors of Israel.” And these survivors will have welcomed their Messiah, Jesus Christ, into their hearts as well. We KNOW this because Jesus tells us that there is no other way to the Father but through Him. And since this day is still to come, those who will inherit His glorious presence must have also welcomed His beloved Son.
When Jesus rules this earth in physical form, He will do so from God’s holy mountain. And the presence of God in the form of the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud will dwell there to bear witness like never before. Not a small puff of smoke but a canopy of God’s glory “over the WHOLE site of Mount Zion” (verse 5b). It will be like NOTHING ever before and will be glorious!
I have heard bits and pieces of prophecies from Isaiah used in sermons and have read through Isaiah at least once before but I never, until today, realized Isaiah was prophesying of times beyond Jesus’ death. Those of you who have actually studied Isaiah are probably saying, “Of course he spoke of even later times.” I’m surprised by it and also comforted in knowing of God’s promises are still in process. I knew this already but seeing this helps me recognize that the Spirit is STILL directing my path as I read God’s word. I certainly didn’t figure this out on my own. My spirit was given a question that I had to follow. THAT search brought me to the place where I was ready to really hear what God was saying through Isaiah.
Father God, thank You for giving me a spirit of curiosity. There have been SO MANY questions in our time together that have led me to what You would have me see because I followed them wherever You directed. I still have MANY questions I hope to ask Jesus one day as we sit by a stream.
Thank You for speaking in my spirit just now about that time together. When Satan tried to convince me that Jesus would be too busy to bother with the likes of me, YOU told me that He is BIG ENOUGH to handle ALL that is set before Him, including spending a little ‘bench time’ with me. Thanks Lord Jesus! It’s a date!
Thank You for letting me know again that You have EVERYTHING well in hand. I KNOW I can trust You with tomorrow because You have proven Yourself faithful all along.