Thursday 12 December 2019

Bible Book:

On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah. (v. 1a)

Isaiah 26:1-9 Thursday 12 December 2019

Psalm: Psalm 145


This passage contains a hymn of triumph and rejoicing to be sung by the loyal Jews at the time when God's final victory has been granted them, and they will be able to return to their homeland – Judah – from their current exile in Babylon.

The "gates" in verse 2 point to a processional entry in Jerusalem, but whether this is a victory march of soldiers or pilgrims during a religious festival cannot be determined.

The beautifully expressed words of assurance – "those of steadfast mind you keep in peace" – give confidence that God will guard those who remain loyal so that they may be assured of a place in the final triumph. The verses referring to overthrowing a lofty city are associated with the city of chaos in Isaiah 24:10. This symbolises the organised power of human evil, as well as goodness.

The strong city mentioned in verse 1 can also be identified with Jerusalem, which becomes the fortress and centre of all loyal and godly Jews. This restoration of Jerusalem ultimately led to the development of end-time (eschatological) imagery in the belief in a new 'heavenly' Jerusalem (eg Revelation 21:2).

Even though the overthrowing of the lofty city is spoken of as a past event, this must be taken as a future, visionary, expectation of the ultimate destruction of evil and oppression.


To Ponder:

    • In what ways might the present Jerusalem be described as a "new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21:2)?
    • And in what ways could the present Jerusalem be described as a lofty city, or a city of chaos?
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