About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

Home Page

Isaiah 26

Previous Section - Chapter  25

Next Section - Chapter  27:1

A Song Of Praise (ch. 26:1 - 21)                                            

Verse 1 begins with "in that day".  The obvious question is, "what day is Isaiah talking about"?  I believe there can only be one of two answers.  "That day" either refers to the day when Jesus returns to earth and rules for a thousand years, or, it refers to the time at the end of the book of Revelation where we see the new heaven and new earth.  If I am going to be consistent with what I've been saying in the last few chapters, I would have to say this concerns the new earth.


"In that day a song will be sung in Judah".  Judah is the Southern Kingdom of Israel.  In prophetic future terms it is Israel. 


If this is the time of the new earth, then the strong city spoken of here would be the New Jerusalem.  If you feel Isaiah is speaking of the thousand year rule of Christ, the city would be present day Jerusalem.


Verse 2 talks about the gates of the city not being shut so righteous nations could enter. If you read Revelation 21:23 to 25 you will see these same words.  Thus, another reason why I believe this passage speaks of the New Jerusalem on the new earth.


Verse 3 is a real Biblical truth.  If we keep our minds on Jesus, He will keep us in perfect inner peace.  We will not always have outer peace as we live in this world, but there is a good measure of inner peace available in Jesus.  Note that the Apostle Paul quotes this verse in Philippians 4:5 and 6.


In verse 4 Isaiah is speaking directly to those this prophecy was meant for.  He tells them, and us, to trust in the Lord because He is an eternal Rock.  This means that God is steadfast, faithful, strong, and will fulfill all that Isaiah is speaking of. 


In light of all these good things to come Isaiah continues his admonition in verse 5 to be humble, for those who aren't humble will be struck down to the ground.  They and the nations they live in will be crushed by the very people who ruthless nations oppress.  So, the oppressive nations we see in the world will have their day of judgment.  You can count on that.


The upright One in verse 7 would have been understood as Yahweh to Isaiah, but today, we can better understand Him to be the Lord Jesus Christ, Yahweh in human glorified flesh. I say "glorified flesh" because Jesus isn't God in "human flesh" as He was when He walked this earth.  He now exists in a glorified resurrected body.


Isaiah says that the Lord makes the "way of the righteous smooth".  When reading about the first century Christians in the New Testament you might wonder what this really means. "Was Paul's life smooth"?  I say it was pretty rough.  That being said, in the end of all things, the upright One will make all things smooth as seen in the new earth, the context these words are written in. 


This passage in Isaiah, like other parts of his prophetic writing, reads very much like the Psalms.  This chapter is one of those chapters that reads like the Psalms and it's seen in the next few verses, as well as the last few verses.  Verses 8 and 9 look very similar to Psalm 63.


Waiting for the Lord and what He has planned with the new heaven and new earth is the desire of Isaiah's heart.  It should be the desire of our hearts.  The problem emerges in our lives when we love the ways of this world more than the ways of God.  When we love this world, we don't have this desire in our hearts as Isaiah has here. 


Verse 9 is almost exactly as David says in Psalm 63:1 and 2.  Isaiah's heart and soul yearns for his Lord.  It's my thinking that which is called church in the western world is so far removed from God and His ways that what we think we have is what God wants for us.  That is far from the truth as can be.  Because we do not yearn for the Lord we can't see that which is called church isn't the church that Jesus wants.  In simple terms, we cannot love the Lord when we're in love with the world.


Some might think the last part of verse 9 speaks of the time when Jesus rules from Jerusalem for a thousand years, and they could be right since what this verse says will take place during those thousand years.  But, as I've been saying, I believe we're talking about the new earth here, and that which Isaiah says here would also apply to the new earth.


We often hear the phrase "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" in the hopes that because of your kindness towards them they will be kind towards you.  This is always the outcome of us being kind to others.  Just because you are nice to others doesn't mean others will be nice to you.  This is what Isaiah is getting at in verse 10.  He says that God shows the wicked grace but they don't learn to be righteous.  They don't regard the Lord.  The greatest demonstration of love seen by humanity is the cross of Christ and it is defamed on a daily basis around the world. 


In verse 11 when Isaiah says that God's hand is lifted high, I understand this to speak of God's judgment.  His hand his lifted high and ready to strike the wicked, but then Isaiah says that the wicked don't see it.  How true.  I believe God's hand is lifted high today but few actually see it.  Obviously the secular, even pagan, world around us doesn't see it.


You can see Isaiah's zeal in the last half of verse 11.  He really wants God's zeal concerning judgment to be seen by the world and he desperately wants the wicked to burn on fire, a mentality that is quite unacceptable in today's so-called tolerant world.


 In verse 12 Isaiah acknowledges that fact that true peace is only found in the Lord God of the Bible.  Peace is available to us, but not apart from the Lord.


It might be hard to say who the pronoun "us" refers to in verse 13.  It could well refer to Israel, but in context, it might refer to all the just people living in the world.  Isaiah's sentiment as seen in this verse should be ours.  Even though evil rules over us, we proclaim the only true ruler of the universe, and that is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  If we have this understanding, all will be in proper perspective for us as godly people living in an ungodly culture.


Verse 14 is often quoted in support of the annihilation of humanity, which means the wicked only are in the Lake of Fire for a while and then they totally disappear, never to exist again in any form.  They're just annihilated.  I don't believe this is what Isaiah means here.  He's speaking of rulers who have died, and as I see it, will never rise back to life to rule.  They will however, rise to eternal damnation.  Humans are eternal spirits.  We all will rise in the next life, either to eternal bliss or eternal judgment. 


Depending on how you view this chapter will determine what nation is being talked about here.  It's either the nation of Israel , or, the nation of God's people.  If indeed Isaiah is still talking about the end of the thousand year rule of Christ and the onslaught of the new heaven and earth, this nation might well be the nation of the redeemed; that is to say, all Christians.   On the other hand, we do know that the Covenant spoken to Abraham, and subsequently Israel , is an eternal covenant.  We will see Israel on the new earth as represented in the New Jerusalem.  This nation here might well be that eternal Israel .


Throughout the Bible giving birth is used idiomatically concerning end time events.  In Matthew 24 Jesus speaks of "birth pangs" as this present age comes to an end.  It's used in this context in verses 17 and 18. 


Again, I'm not sure who the pronoun "we" refers to in verse 18.  Is it Israel or is it the people of God in general in this present age?  Whatever the case, it appears that God's people have failed to give birth to the community of God as was expected.  This was clearly true of Israel , and I believe it will be true of the church at the end of this age.  I believe this is what Paul meant in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 when he speaks of the great falling away.


Verse 19 clearly speaks of the resurrection of the righteous when it says the "your dead"; that's God's dead, will rise.


Many prophetic futurists see a pre-trib rapture in verse 20.  God tells His people to "go, and enter your room and shut the doors behind you".  Some translations don't use the word "go" but "come", as in "come up here in the room I've provided for you".  The room spoken of here would be the room Jesus spoke of in John 14:1.  In that verse Jesus speaks of preparing a place for His people in heaven and at some future place He would return to bring them to the place He has prepared.  Many prophetic futurists see John 14:1 speaking of a pre-trib rapture as well. 


I can see how people can see this as a pre-trib rapture.  Once the people of God are in their rooms, with their doors shut up tight, God says to stay there for a little while until His wrath passes.  The wrath spoken of here would be the wrath of God on an ungodly world as seen in the Great Tribulation that ends this age. 


Verse 21 goes right along with this when Isaiah says, "see, the Lord is coming out of His dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins".  This time of punishment is commonly called the Great Tribulation.


I believe the last two phrases that ends this chapter speak to the people of the earth no longer hiding their evil deeds.  All will be exposed and judged.



Next Section  -  Chapter 27:1

Previous Section  - Chapter 25 

 Home Page