tears; do not labor to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people” (Isaiah 22:4 ESV). And as Isaiah prophesizes how the Lord will empty and desolate the whole earth, the prophet again is undone: “I waste away, I
waste away. Woe is me” (Isaiah 24:16 ESV)!
However, by the point you enter chapter 25, there is a reversal in the mood. This isn’t a contradiction to everything he’s written up to that point. Instead, it’s the common theme of the saint that he lives in present pain and distress, and concern for those around him, and yet he knows that a day is coming when God will make everything new. What is the truth that burns inside Isaiah and brings hope to the one who was wasting away? I see the following (certainly not a complete list):
1. The Lord is sovereign and faithful to His promises.
2. The Lord, after a short time of patient endurance, will come and judge the nations.
3. At the same time, God is merciful to many and will bring salvation and everlasting life to all people groups. He does not deal with His saints according to their sins, but according to His steadfast love and abundant mercy. He rescues the poor and needy.
4. Those who parade their defiance to God and unbelief, and crush the helpless in their path, will forever be a pile of rubble. Their accomplishments, possessions, and names will be forgotten forever.
5. God is worthy of all honor, glory, and praise for His great works. Rather than being anxious, we should stand in awe of Him.
Listen to the words of this great prophet and allow the Holy Spirit to give you a proper balance in viewing the path the world is taking and its ultimate end. If there ever was a day in which we needed a proper perspective on how to react to evil in the world, I believe it's today.
O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners' palace is a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
like heat in a dry place.
You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
as heat by the shade of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is put down.
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
(Isaiah 25:1-9 ESV)