Is. 25:1 O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Boy do I identify with Isaiah here. His heart gets so full at thinking of the Lord on His throne in Jerusalem that he bursts into praise for his God. The Hebrew for praise indicates an attitude of reverence and worship with extended hands.
“name” = shem, an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character….
God’s name deserves praise because of Who it represents. God is unique; He is like no one else. His name speaks of His honor, authority and character. He has proven Himself by the wonderful things He has done—especially His miracles and things beyond our human understanding. His resolve and purpose of old are faithfulness and truth. (I think in Isaiah’s mind this refers to His dealings with Israel from the time it had been singled out by God for special relationship.) God has never changed, He has been dependable and caring and nourishing and true to His word in all His dealings with Israel, in spite of their disobedience and rebellion to Him.
As I was doing this update the words of a song by Casting Crowns popped into my mind: Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of Who You Are!
Is. 25:2 For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.
Is. 25:3 Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.
There have been several cities/nations to whom the Lord has announced burdens through Isaiah. This seems to be speaking of a specific city—one that will never be rebuilt. This would seem to be a direct reference to Babylon.
Isaiah 13:19-20 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
I think Isaiah is saying that because of God’s judgment on Babylon, the powerful nations of the Gentiles will acknowledge His power in fear.
Is. 25:4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
In addition to His judgment on Babylon, the nations will recognize that God has been a strength and refuge to His people of the nation of Israel.
“strength to the poor” = a defense and protection to the poor/weak (in relation to the Gentile nations)
“strength to the needy in distress” = a defense and protection to those who are in want/need, who feel hemmed in by trouble all around
“a refuge from the storm” = a place of protection, a shelter, a focus of their hope as they experience the storm of tribulation
“a shadow from the heat” = a shade, a source of relief from the drought and desolation they are experiencing from the attack of the enemy, which is compared to the impact of a flood of water against the wall they thought of as their protection.
I think these truths are applicable to all people who look to God in faith as Lord.
Is. 25:5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.
Just as the heat in the desert is lessened by the presence of cloud cover, the Lord will prune (from the Hebrew for branch) the enemy, cut it away, to a point that it can no longer threaten His people.
As I have been working on these last two verses, I can’t help but think of some upcoming verses in Isaiah.
Isaiah 43:1-3 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour….
I am so grateful for the time I spent memorizing verses and training for Sword drills in my youth. It has not been so easy to memorize verses as I have gotten older. The wonderful thing is that the Lord doesn’t let any time we spend in His word go to waste. Another wonderful thing is that the repetition of the Word and the meditation on His word as I study results in the Word being hidden in my heart. It just takes longer than it used to. I love to be in church and have the pastor say turn to and know the passage. The new translations have put a damper on that joy because they don’t quote the Word that is part of me and close to my heart. I’ll always be a King James girl since those are the words that are in my heart. Sorry for the rabbit trail….
Is. 25:6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
“in this mountain” – This has to be Mount Zion. Isaiah is picking up from his message in the last verse of chapter 24.
Zion will be a place of bountiful provision of the best things for all people.
Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
Psalm 36:7-8 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
Is. 25:7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
When the Lord Jesus assumes His throne in Jerusalem on Mount Zion, there will no longer be a lack of understanding about Who He is.
Is. 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
My mind immediately went to these verses in 1Corinthians:
1Corinthians 15:54-57 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
It would seem that Paul was thinking about this verse in Isaiah in verse 54. Jesus effectively provided escape from the sting of death at the cross. When He assumes His throne on planet earth, Satan will no longer be able to exert His powerful deception on people.
In the presence of God there is no reason for His people to experience tears of sorrow. When the Lord assumes His throne, “His people,” the Jews will experience a position of respect and honor. They will no longer suffer contempt and mistreatment at the hands of the Gentile nations.
Death will be swallowed up in victory for the Jews at the beginning of the millennium since, due to the New Covenant the Lord will establish with them at that time; ALL Israel will be saved.
Ezekiel 36:22–27 “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD….A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.”
For the nations, however, that doesn’t happen until the end of the millennium when all people of faith have been identified and the Great White Throne judgment has been completed. After that, sin and death will no longer be a factor in the new heavens and earth.
Is. 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
This verse seems to echo the thoughts of the Psalmist:
Psalm 53:6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
Is. 25:10 For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.
Is. 25:11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.
Is. 25:12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.
In comparison to the resting hand of the Lord in Mount Zion, Moab will experience His hand of destruction. “Spreading forth his hands to swim” is a reference to the breaststroke movement that depicts a motion of wiping out what is in its path. Moab seems to be singled out as representative of Israel’s/God’s enemies because of her pride.
Isaiah 16:6 We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud….
I personally believe that pride is the root of all sin. Pride is esteeming self in place of God. I had some thoughts when going through Exodus that seem to apply here:
Exodus 20:2-3 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
The first command is the foundation of all the other commands. If the people do not accept God as their LORD and deliverer, there is really no motivation for obeying the rest of His words. He is the one and only GOD. They are to have no other gods before Him. That implies that He is to have the most important position, be the highest priority, and be the point of reference upon which every area of life is focused and guided. If we truly recognize God as LORD—the one and only—the other commands will become a piece of cake. The problem is that we all have a problem with giving anyone the position of Lord in our lives over self. I've often heard reference made to other things we make gods in our lives, but I think the key truth is that we constantly struggle with dethroning self. Your LORD determines your actions. More often than not, even the "best" Christians struggle with taking self off the throne.
Summary after verse Exodus 20:17: I think it all boils down to the fact that there is one root sin—rejecting God as LORD with all authority and sovereignty in our lives. If we are living in obedience and trusting in Him, we will be happier and healthier. His guidelines are for our benefit and protection.