Saturday, May 26, 2012

Isaiah 2 – "Let us Walk in the Light of the LORD"

LINK: Isaiah 2 
Parallel Passage: Micah 4:1-3

BACKGROUND

Isaiah was the son of Amoz. He was evidently from a distinguished Jewish family. His education is apparent in his wide vocabulary and elegant writing style.

Although Isaiah 1-39 is concerned with God’s message of judgment for both Israel and Judah, Isaiah 2 starts with an affirmation of restoration. The stinging indictment (in the form of a lawsuit) of Isaiah 1 is followed by Isaiah’s prophecy of a time when Jerusalem will have a primary position in the world. Some commentators believe that Revelation 21 depicts the glorious fulfillment of this prophecy in the new Jerusalem. Many commentators believe it is during the Millennium when Christ will reign on earth for 1,000 years. It will be a time of peace, when we will be taught God’s laws and will obey them. The key phrase in this passage is “Let us walk in the light of the LORD.”

Following this beautiful picture in the future, Isaiah returns to the reality of their present condition (2:6-11) and the consequences for their idolatry and superstitions (2:12-4:1). The people were following the practices of the Assyrian Empire. “Divination like the Philistines” (2:6) referred to claiming to know and control the future by the power of demons or interpreting omens. The Philistines worshiped Dagon, Ashtoreth, and Baal-Zebub right along with Yahweh. All of these practices were forbidden by God according to Leviticus 19:26 and Deuteronomy 18:10, 14.

In our reading in Joel (1:15; 2:1ff), we learned about the “day of the Lord.” Isaiah refers to it here in 2:12. It is a time when God will judge both evil and good and will “rise to shake the earth” (2:19, 21; Revelation 6:15-17.). The arrogant and prideful will be brought to humility and the “LORD alone will be exalted in that day” (2:11, 17).

REFLECTION

God did not abandon His people because He no longer loved them but because they had abandoned Him by their evil practices, pride, and arrogance. This passage accentuates the fact that “the LORD alone will be exalted” (2:11, 17). Therefore, we must trust in Him rather than man who can be fickle, selfish, and unreliable!

APPLICATION

Where do you place your trust these days? Do you place it in your (and/or your spouse’s) employer? Do you place it in your wealth? Do you pay homage to cars, homes, sports stars, celebrities, stock portfolios, etc.?

I originally wrote this in the very uncertain economic times in 2009, but the world economy has really not improved much. In these uncertain times, the only reliable stock we have is in our relationship with God! Make deposits of worship into your spiritual bank account today!

PRAYER

LORD, we exalt You alone. We worship You as the immutable God Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Praise is to You alone. Bring to our heart areas of pride and arrogance. Help us to repent of them. Bring us to trust in You alone and to stop trusting in man and mammon. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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