HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Book of Isaiah
This chapter, like the one before it, is a song of praise, in which thanksgivings for temporal and spiritual (eternal) mercies are beautifully mingled, although the spiritual mercies prevail. Even the inspiring and evangelical doctrine of the resurrection seems here to be hinted at, and made to symbolize the deliverance of the people of God from a state of the lowest misery; the captivity, the general dispersion, or both. This song too, like Chapter 25, is beautifully varied by the frequent changes. It opens with a chorus of the Church, celebrating the protection given by God to His people; and the happiness of the righteous, whom He carefully guards, contrasted with the misery of the wicked, whom He punishes (vs.1-7). To this is added their own devout determination to obey, trust and delight in God (vs.8). It is here that Isaiah breaks in, eagerly catching the last words of the chorus, which were in perfect unison with the feelings of his own soul. He makes a wonderful, suitable response to what had been said on the judgments of God, and observes their different effects on the good and the bad; improving the one, and hardening the other (vs.9-11). After this, a chorus of Jews express their gratitude to God for their past deliverances and confess their sins, and plead for His power, which they had been long expecting (vs.12-18). To this God makes a gracious reply, promising deliverance that should be as life from the dead (vs.19). The prophet Isaiah, (seemingly referring to the command of Moses to the Israelites, when the destroying angel was to go through the land of Egypt), concludes with encouraging his people to patience and resignation, until God sends the deliverance that He has promised (vs.20-21).
THEME: A song of praise and confidence in God, for the blessings of righteousness, judgments on their enemies, and favor to His people: their chastisement, repentance, and hope.
The Kingdom (26:1-19)
Isaiah 26:1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. (KJV)
In that day . . . when God shall do such glorious works for the comfort and peace of His people, and for the ruin of His and their enemies, as was described in the previous chapter.
Shall this song be sung in the land of Judah . . . in the church of God’s people, which in the Bible is often indicated by the titles of Judah, Jerusalem, Holy City, Zion, City of God, City of my God, etc.
A strong city . . . Jerusalem, or the church, which is oft called or compared to a city (Ps.87:3; Rev.3:12; 11:2; 21:2).
Salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks . . . God's loving Presence shall be the instant and saving protection to His church instead of walls and fences. He will be her walls and fortifications! Salvation to the church and people of God is their safety and security because of Christ! It flows from the love of God the Father, which is unchangeable (Mic.3:6); it is by an appointment of His, which He will never alter, and is secured by the election of grace (Eph.1:4-6; 2 Thes.2:13; 1 Pet.2:9), which does not stand on the works of men, but the will and grace of Almighty God (Eph.2:8-9); and by the covenant of grace (Jn.3:15-18,36; 8:24; Rom.5:1-2), and by His power alone are the saints are kept unto their salvation.
Isaiah 26:2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. (KJV)
Open ye the gates . . . of Jerusalem (vs.1).
That the righteous nation . . . either, #1. The righteous Jews who are returning from Babylon; or #2. The whole body of righteous and holy men, whether Jews or Gentiles. For the prophet seems to speak here, as he apparently did in the previous chapter, of the times of the Gospel.
Which keepeth the truth . . . those who are sincere and steadfast in the profession and practice of keeping their faith in Jesus.
Some say “Open ye the gates” . . . does not refer to the city of Jerusalem, but instead of the New Jerusalem (Heaven), whose gates are described (Rev. 21:12-13).
*****Dear one, consider that the Gate or the Door is JESUS (Jn.10:1)! Christ Jesus is the ONLY Gate, the ONLY Door, and faith in Him, and a profession of it is the ONLY way you shall be admitted!
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (KJV)
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace . . . perfect peace can be obtained only through God in Christ . . . through His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19). It is obtained only by believing in faith (Rom.5:1-2; 1 Jn.5:10-13), and as the fruit and effect of His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30), being received by our faith. The foundation of peace is perfect, besides being real, true and solid. The world can never really know this kind of peace, because they reject Christ (Jn.14:27; 16:33).
Whose mind is stayed on thee . . . secured on the love of God, rooted and grounded in it, and firmly convinced of it, that nothing can separate us from that love (Rom. 8:35-38). The Covenant and Promises of God are firm and sure; and the faithfulness and power of God makes them good. Our mind should always be on Christ Jesus the Son of God, the only Saviour of mankind. Upon Him alone as a Saviour, laying the whole worry of our salvation on Him; upon His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30), for their justification (Isa.53:11; Rom.3:24; 5:1-2, 9) upon His Blood and Sacrifice (1 Pet.1:18-19), for atonement, pardon and cleansing; on His fullness, for the supply of their needs (Phil.4:19); and on His power for their protection and preservation (Isa.10:20).
Because he trusteth in thee . . . not in the creature, nor any creature enjoyment, nor in their riches, nor in their righteousness, nor in their own hearts, nor in any carnal freedoms . . . but only in the Lord, as urged in the next verse.
Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: (KJV)
Trust ye in the Lord for ever . . . in the Lord and His Word for ever, at all times, in every situation, in times of affliction, temptation and darkness; for He will support you, and in His own perfect time deliver out of every trouble, and cause all things to work together for good (Rom.8:28). We must trust Him always, for everything, for all temporal blessings, and for all spiritual ones, and for eternal life and happiness; for he has them and has promised them, and He will give them.
For in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength . . . Christ IS the Lord JEHOVAH, which is, and was, and is to come (Rev.1:4, 8; 4:8), self-existent, eternal and immutable (Heb.6:18); and in Him is strength (Job.9:4), as well as righteousness for His people (1 Cor.1:30). His strength is there for everything that is needed in our mortal lives here on Earth, allowing us to be able to bear up under any temptation or affliction, to withstand every spiritual enemy (Eph.6:12). His strength is everlasting; it always continues in Him, and is always available from Him. He is the eternal God (Deut.33:27; 1 Tim.1:17), who is the Refuge for His people (Ps. 9:9; 14:6; 46:1; 59:16; 62:7; 71:7; 91:2; Isa.4:6; 25:4). ALL who trust in the Lord has a Refuge in this world, and in the world to come.
Isaiah 26:5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. (KJV)
He bringeth down . . . he hath brought down (Lam.2:2). In the future, He will bring down! He can be trusted . . . for He can and does raise some, and throw down others, according to His will and His own good pleasure, and always just and right.
Them that dwell on high; the lofty city . . . the prophet speaks not so much of height of place, but that of dignity and power, in which sense also he mentions, in the next verse. The lofty city may be understood either of proud Babylon; or jointly, of all the strong and stately cities of God's enemies. The Jews understand by the lofty city to be the city of Rome (mystical Babylon); and this seems to be the true sense; a city built upon seven hills or mountains (Rev.17:9); a city that has ruled over the kings of the earth, and whose present inhabitants are proud and arrogant.
He layeth it low: he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust . . . all these expressions mean the utter destruction of it (Isa.25:12).
Isaiah 26:6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. (KJV)
The foot shall tread it down . . . tramp on it when brought down, laid low, and level with the ground, as mire is trodden in the streets, and straw for the dunghill; as grapes in the winepress, or grass by the feet of cattle.
Even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy . . . some say that these are not the Israelites in a literal sense, but the spiritual Israel of God (Gal.3:28-29); the righteous, the saints of the most High, to whom the Kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven will now be given, and who will have just come out of Great Tribulation . . . for the words suggest, that the people of God will be a poor and afflicted people, and very feeble, and sore distressed, a little before the destruction of the Antichrist; but as God has been always used to do His work by the poor and weak things of this world, by mean and feeble instruments, so He will now raise his poor and needy ones to a very high and exalted estate; all their enemies shall be subdued and crushed under their feet (Mic.7:10; Zec.10:5; Mal.4:3). God will bring the lofty city down, under the feet of His poor, weak and despised people.
Isaiah 26:7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. (KJV)
The way of the just is uprightness . . . the way for the just is most upright and worthy; the way which is appointed for him, and which he is directed to walk in, is a way of righteousness and holiness, and in which he does walk. God’s TRUE people walk uprightly, according to the rules of the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The just ones are obedient and worthy of His calling. http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
Thou most upright . . . these words are addressed to Almighty God, who is upright, just and true, and loves upright and righteous persons.
Dost weigh the path of the just . . . the Lord observes, considers, and approves the path of the just ones, as being according to His rule, and agreeable to His mind and His will (Ps.1:6; 37:18-24; 2 Tim.2:19). He removes all impediments and obstructions out of their path, He directs their
way, orders their steps, and cause them to walk on the right road, where they shall not stumble (Jer.31:9).
Isaiah 26:8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. (KJV)
Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee . . . judgments either the ministration of the word and ordinances, called statutes and judgments (Ps.147:19), an attendance on which is the right way of waiting upon God, and where it may be expected that He will be found and manifest (reveal) Himself, and favor with His gracious Presence . . . OR else the corrections and chastisements, which are done in wisdom and with judgment, in measure and in mercy, and in a fatherly way, and for good. It seems that the sense here is that they had not only followed the Lord on a plain and even way, but even in the more rugged paths of affliction, nor did these things not move them from their duty to Him, and worship of Him.
The desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee . . . to God Himself, and to remembering His nature, His perfections and His works . . . to Christ, whose Name is as ointment poured forth on a wound, and whose person is desirable, because of His glory, His beauty and His fullness, because of His offices (Prophet, Deut.18:15; Priest, Heb.2:17; 3:1; and King, Rev.19:16), and the awesome blessings of His grace (2 Cor.12:9); and to His Gospel which proclaims Him, His grace and His salvation; and to His laws (Mat.22:36-40), which refresh the memory of His people concerning Him, and His love to them shown in what He has done and suffered for them (Jn.15:13; 1 Jn.3:16).
There are many times that the path of the just ones doesn't seem at all smooth, and it is not easy to do God's will . . . but we are never alone when we face tough times (Rom.8:9). God’s awesome Presence is there to help us, to comfort us and to lead us. We must keep our mind centered on Christ (vs.3), for He shall provide as we travel. He will always give us wisdom to make decisions and faith to trust Him. Do not get discouraged! Stay on God's path.
What establishes uprightness?
- Walking in the way of God's judgments (Isa.26:8).
- Waiting for the Lord to lead (Ps.27:14).
- Desiring the Name of the Lord alone (Ps.73:25; 145:19).
- Remembering the Lord (Ps.63:6; 77:11; 103:18; Isa.38:3; 43:25; 46:9).
- Desiring God with the whole soul (Ps.23:3; 25:1, 20; 35:9; 42:2,4; 49:15; 57:1; Isa.26:9).
- Seeking God early with the spirit (Ps.53:2; 63:1; 69:32; Isa.58:2; Jer.50:4).
- Learning righteousness by chastening (Isa.26:9; Heb.12:5-13).
Isaiah 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (KJV)
With my soul have I desired thee in the night . . . symbolically, the captivity was like unto the night; or in the time of Jewish and Gentile darkness, preceding the Coming of Christ. In the last days, there shall be great darkness, when the church shall persistently pray for the rising of the Sun of righteousness (Mal.4:2), the spiritual reign of Christ, the spread of His Gospel, and the setting up of His Kingdom in the world.
Yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early . . . he decides to continue seeking the Lord night and day, with great passion of spirit and eagerness of soul, until he obtained and enjoyed what he sought for; that being the Presence of Christ, communion with Him, His love and greater measures of His grace and His light.
For when thy judgments are in the earth . . . such as pestilence, famine, sword and especially the judgments of God on the Antichrist and the anti-Christian states, which will be totally just and righteous (Rev.9:2).
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness . . . not the wicked inhabitants, but the righteous and just ones, because the two following verses, speaks of the wicked, whom he seems to oppose to these inhabitants of the world, because these learn righteousness, while those wicked men remain hardened and hopeless both under mercies and judgments (vs.10-11).
Isaiah 26:10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. (KJV)
Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness . . . rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous (Mat.5:45). God’s favor is shown to all people . . . as it often is in a providential way. The wicked have the good things of this life, and sometimes more than their heart could wish for. They have many mercies, and many deliverances; they have their portion in life and are often filled with hidden treasure, and are often spared when others are cut off; and even with the Lord’s sparing mercy and providential goodness, they will not learn righteousness. They keep on keeping on in their wickedness. This is always the course of wicked men . . . they directly oppose God and all righteousness.
In the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly . . . in God's church, and among His people, righteousness is declared and taught, and by many practiced . . . and where unrighteousness is condemned, criticized and punished. The wicked just keep adding on to the worsening of their sin.
And will not behold the majesty of the Lord . . . even though God gives such clear revelations of His majesty and glory, not only in His Word, but also in His works, especially in His patience and mercy to wicked men, yet they willfully shut their eyes to it, and will not acknowledge it.
The wicked will not see and accept the majesty of the Lord; visible in protecting and defending of His own people, and in punishing the wicked. The wicked will not see and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, nor the possession of the Spirit (Is.44:3; Jn.3:5; 1 Cor.12:13; Rom.8:9; Tit. 3:5); nor in the setting up of the Kingdom of Christ in greater glory in the last days.
Dear one, even wicked people receive many of God's benefits and blessings, but they simply refuse to do what is right. Many times God's judgments teach much more than God's good gifts.
Isaiah 26:11 LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them. (KJV)
When thy hand is lifted up, they will not see . . . the wicked are guilty of the same obstinate blindness when He smites and punishes them, which is commonly signified by lifting up the hand (Eze.44:12; Mic.5:9; 2 Sam.20:21; 1 Ki.11:26). Others interpret it, when thine hand is high or exalted, when His works are most evident and most glorious, when He appears most gloriously for the defense of His people, and to punish His and their enemies.
But they shall see and be ashamed for their envy at the people . . . it is repeated in another sense. They shall feel and know by their sad and costly experience, which they would not learn by other and easier ways. See is often used for feeling in which sense men are said to see affliction (Lam.3:1), and to see death (Ps.89:48). At the people or towards Thy people, the pronoun thy being repeated out of the following clause, as it is in many other places of Scripture, as hath been before noted. Their envy and hatred against God's people blinded their minds, that they neither could nor would see that God was on their side, although the tokens of it were most clear and undeniable; which was the case of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who were not sensible that the Lord fought for Israel against the Egyptians (Ex.14:25), until it was too late.
Yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them . . . such fire (God’s wrath) was used to pour out upon His merciless enemies. As my wrong (Gen.16:5), is not the wrong done by me, but to me; and my violence (Jer.2:35), is the violence done to me, not by me. The wicked were envious at the happiness and prosperity of the Lord's people; their hatred towards them, and persecution of them. The fire shall devour their enemies . . . the wrath of God is likened unto fire (Isa.9:19; 13:9, 13; 28:21; 47:6; 51:20, 57:17; 63:6; 64:5; Jn.3:36; Rom.1:18; 2:8; Eph.5:6; 1 Thes.2:14-16; Rev.14:9-10).
Isaiah 26:12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. (KJV)
LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us . . . the LORD will give us peace, inward and outward, spiritual and eternal . . . this mainly concerns the peace and prosperity the church will have in the last days, which the zeal of the Lord of hosts, before mentioned, will perform for her (Ps.72:8), and which she expresses her faith in.
For thou also hast wrought all our works in us . . . or to us, or for us . . . all that had been done for them before was done by the Lord, came from His Hands, and was because of His goodness, His grace and His power and could not to be ascribed to themselves. All their mercies and deliverances, all that had been done for them in nature, providence and grace; all that had been done for the church and people of God in all ages and periods of time, the glory of all was due to Christ Jesus the LORD! And since He had done so many and such great things for them, they had good reason to believe that He would grant them that peace and prosperity promised and expected in the last days. The work of grace upon the heart is the amazing work which God works in His people (Eph.2:8-9; Tit.2:11). This is God's work, not man's; it is an internal one, something brought about in the heart, and which, when begun, will be performed. All our works iseither the good works done by us through His grace, or the good and great works which have been done for us.
Isaiah 26:13 O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. (KJV)
O LORD our God, other lords beside thee . . . others besides Him, who is our only Judge, and King, and Lawgiver (Isa.33:22), and the governors who have been set up by Him, and have ruled us for Him, and in subordination to Him, even foreign and heathenish lords, such as the Philistines and the Assyrians.
Have had dominion over us . . . have exercised an oppressive power over us.
But by thee only . . . by His favor and help, by which alone (and not by our strength or merits) we have been rescued from their tyranny.
Will we make mention of thy name . . . we will celebrate His praise, and trust in Him for the future. Only the Lord has given us both the ability and reason to magnify His Name, for without His help we would have gone into the place of silence, where there is no remembrance of Him (Ps.6:5; 30:9; 88:10-12; 115:17; Isa.38:18-19).
Isaiah 26:14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. (KJV)
They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased . . . the oppressive rulers (vs.13), the kings of the earth and their mighty men, companions of the Roman Antichrist, who shall be gathered together, and slain at the battle at Armageddon. The tyrants and enemies of God and His people are utterly and irrecoverably destroyed, so they shall never live or rise again to molest us.
They shall not rise . . . they shall not live again in this world, nor rise from their graves, nor return to their former power and authority; or terrorize, molest, oppress and persecute the people of God ever again, although they shall rise again at the end of the thousand years (Rev.20:5), and shall awake to everlasting shame and contempt (Dan 12:2), and come forth to the resurrection of damnation (Jn.5:29).
Therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them . . . that they might be so effectually destroyed.
And made all their memory to perish . . . thou hast destroyed both them and all the monuments or memorials of their greatness and glory. They are irrecoverably lost, and shall not have eternal life, or rise in the resurrection of the just (Lk.14:14; Acts 24:15); because God has visited them in wrath, destroyed them because of their sins, with such an utter destruction, that they shall be no more remembered (Jer.11:19; Eze.21:32; Hos.2:17). This visitation (judgment) will be at Armageddon, when the kings, and captains and great men will be slain (Rev.19:11-18); the beast and false prophet taken, and cast alive into the furnace of fire (Rev.19:19-20); and the rest will be killed by the sword, proceeding out of the mouth of Christ Rev.19:21). Some interpret this as God's casting the wicked into Hell.
Isaiah 26:15 Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. (KJV)
Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD . . . Thou hast added to the nation . . . which may be understood either #1. In way of mercy, of adding to their numbers (2 Sam.24:3; Ps.115:14), or #2. In way of judgment, of adding to their plagues or miseries (Rev.22:18; Ps.120:3). The nation is supposed by some to be the people of Israel, emphatically called the nation, while others think it could possibly be the Assyrians, of whom the prophet spoke in the last verse. Thou art glorified . . . His justice and fairness is glorified by the destruction of the anti-Christian powers, by the enlargement of the church and Kingdom of Christ; for now will the voices be heard in Heaven, giving praise and glory to God: even those that are frightened with His judgments, as well as those that are affected with His goodness, will give glory to the God of Heaven (Rev.11:13).
Thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth . . . which may be understood either of #1. Israel, and that in a way of mercy, by His destroying the Assyrians; or #2. Of the Assyrians, that God had removed them from Jerusalem, which they had besieged, and caused Israel to flee into their own country, which in Scripture is said was in the end of the Earth (Isa.5:26), for Christ's Kingdom will be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth (Ps.72:8).
It may be easier to understand where every island and mountain flee away at the destruction of the Antichrist, and the enlargement of Christ's Kingdom. Rev. 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (KJV) Rev. 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (KJV)
Isaiah 26:16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. (KJV)
Lord, in trouble have they visited thee. . . they are God’s people, as appears both from the substance of this verse, and from the following verses. Visited thee . . . come into His Presence, with their prayers and petitions, as the next clause clarifies it.
They poured out . . . this states the abundance and the earnestness of their prayers (Ps.42:4; 142:2). A prayer. . . such as Hezekiah used when he was in great distress: Isaiah 38:14 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (KJV) . . . Such prayers were usual in case of great humiliation and sadness of the mind; and when the Lord’s chastening was upon them; when He was punishing them for their sins.
When thy chastening was upon them . . . the afflicting Hand of God, not as a punishment, but as a fatherly chastisement upon them. All their persecutions from men are considered as permitted by the Lord for their instruction and correction. These chastisements will not drive His people from God, but instead bring them to Him, as they seek Him by prayer and requests.
*****This, and the two following verses represent the troubles and disappointments of the church and people of God, before the destruction of the Antichrist; in which time of trouble they will visit the Lord quite often at His throne of grace (Heb.4:16), as all saints in afflictions do; for many times this is the answer to their prayers (Hos.5:15). The closer we feel to His Presence, the less we feel the affliction.
Isaiah 26:17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. (KJV)
Like as a woman with child . . . by this image is set forth the great distresses and afflictions the church will be in, before redemption and deliverance from the anti-Christian yoke comes.
That draweth near the time of her delivery . . . when her burden is great and very troublesome.
Is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs . . . for her friends to come near and give her all the help and assistance they can.
So have we been in thy sigh, O LORD . . . such was our anguish and danger, in His sight; while it seemed that He only looked on us like a mere Spectator, without giving us any pity or help.
In the Great Tribulation, the nation Israel will be as a woman in childbirth, so great will be their suffering. The prophet saw it from the other side of the river of time.
Isaiah 26:18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. (KJV)
We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind . . . Israel’s time in the Great Tribulation will belike the torment of a woman in child-bearing, but not with the comfort of a living child (Jn.16:21), for they will have brought forth nothing but wind; all their labors and hopes will be in vain and unsuccessful. The prophet here represents their disgraceful and desperate condition before God will appear to deliver them.
We have not wrought any deliverance . . . Israel will be totally unable to deliver themselves.
In the earth . . . salvations have not been wrought in the Earth, this explains what is meant by bringing forth wind; salvation and deliverance is completely out of the hand of mortal man.
Neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen . . . worldly men, the great men, the kings of the earth; particularly those who commit fornication with the whore of Rome (Rev.17:1-2). These as yet are not fallen, but they shall indeed fall in the battle of Armageddon (Rev.19:11-21).The inhabitants of the world, the Assyrians or any other enemies; for they are here opposed to God's people.
*****In verses 17-18, the scene shifts from this future period of peace to the present reality. In chapters 24-27 the prophet Isaiah often makes this shift from the ideal future to present reality. The intensity of Israel's situation in the Great Tribulation is likened to a woman suffering the pain of childbirth, but from the agony of her labor, however, no child is born to bring joy amid the suffering. Israel's efforts to save herself had proved fruitless.
Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (KJV)
Thy dead men shall live . . . God says that Israel's future will be one of resurrection and life, which is in direct contrast with that of Israel's enemies in verse 14. The Jews will be restored spiritually and nationally (Eze. 37:1-14).
Together with my dead body shall they arise . . . the prophet here clearly foresees the physical resurrection of the dead (Dan.12:2; Jn.5:28-29). Just as the dead will definitely be raised, so too will Israel be raised spiritually, even though she is as good as dead. Only God can revive the dead. Our faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basis for our believing in the resurrection and eternal life (1 Cor. 15).
Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust . . . a day is coming when the people who have died and now dwell in the dust, will sing in the land of Judah. And they will awake in the likeness of Christ, and bear the image of Him (Phil.3:21; 1 Cor.15:42-44).
For thy dew is as the dew of herbs . . . Thy dew is the favor and blessing of God upon people, which is often compared to dew (Hos.14:5; Mic.5:7). Is as the dew of herbs . . . which gently refreshes and revives them, and makes them grow and flourish. The power of Christ will have a great effect on, and easily raise the dead, just as the dew has upon the herbs, to refresh, raise, and revive them; so that their bones, as the prophet says, shall flourish like an herb (Isa.66:14).
And the earth shall cast out the dead . . . and the Earth shall deliver up the dead that are in it, at the all-powerful Voice of Christ Jesus (Rev.20:13). But the wicked to whom thou hast given power, and they have transgressed thy word, thou wilt deliver into Hell (Rev.20:14-15).
*****Some people say there is no life after death. Others believe that there is, but it is not physical life. But Isaiah tells us that our bodies shall rise again. All the dead believers will arise with new imperishable bodies . . . bodies like the one Jesus had when He was resurrected.
*****The people realized the pain of being away from God's Presence, and yet they were assured that they would live again. God turned His Back on His people when they disobeyed, but a remnant (small number) never lost hope and continued to seek Him. No matter how difficult times may be, we will always have hope when we keep trusting in Him.
Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. (KJV)
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee . . . withdraw yourself from the company and conversation of the wicked world, lest partaking with them in their sins you would partake of their plagues. Pour out your prayers to God in your closet (Mat.6:6). Put yourself under the protection of the Lord’s providence and grace by faith and prayer. The prophet refers to the common practice of men, who when there are storms or dangers abroad, confine themselves in their own houses or chambers for safety (Ex.9:19-20), or to that command that none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning (Ex.12:22), or to the like care given to Rahab, for her preservation (Joshua ch.2).
Hide thyself as it were for a little moment . . . the prophet points out that all their afflictions, no matter how long and tedious they may seem, are but short and just for a moment, when it is compared to the happiness which is reserved for them (1 Pet.1:4).
Until the indignation be overpast . . . the dreadful effects of God's wrath, the sore judgments of God mentioned in the following verse.
Enter thy chambers . . . when God is ready to take vengeance on the ungodly, the saints shall be shut in by Him in a place of safety, just as Noah and his family were in the days of the Flood (Gen.7:16), and the night of Passover when the Egyptian firstborn died (Ex.12:22-23). God's people need to find a place of safety because God will absolutely punish the ungodly. God asks His people to wait patiently and confidently until He acts to bring about their salvation (Ex.14:13-14). The only Place of safety for us today is Christ Jesus (Mat.25:41; Rev.20:15).
Isaiah 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. (KJV)
For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place . . . God, being omnipresent, is everywhere . . . He cannot leave one place, and go to another because He is everywhere! But since Heaven is the seat of His majesty (His Home, His Throne), and where He so much more clearly displays His glory, when He is said to do anything remarkable on Earth, He is said to come out of his place, and come down thither (Mic.1:3). http://www.godcannotlie.org/micah_ch1.htm
The Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the Earth for their iniquity. This is not the same as in verse 10, where those are notable from the Lord's people; but carnal, worldly, men, mainly the followers of the Antichrist, who have committed fornication with the whore of Rome (Rev.17:2), theses the Lord will punish for their iniquity; for He punishes none EXCEPT for sin: for their idolatries, adulteries, sorceries, thefts and murders, especially for their shedding of innocent blood. Anyone who is punished by God, shall receive just and right judgment. God will remember their iniquities, and retaliate (Rev. 9:20-21).
The earth also shall disclose her blood . . . crimes of cruelty and oppression, which have passed by the eyes of men, God will bring into judgment, and shall punish them as they deserve. The kingdoms of the Earth will be accountable to Almighty God, for the abundance of innocent blood which they have shed because of their lust for power and ambition! God is coming to avenge all the innocent blood shed and wrongs that have gone on so long without punishment (Gen.4:10; Job 16:18; Eze.24:7-8; Rev.16:16). When God comes to judge the Earth, the guilty will find NO place to hide. Jesus said that the hidden will be made known because His Truth, like a light shining in a dark corner, will reveal it (Mat.10:26; Rev.20:12). Do not try to hide your shameful thoughts and actions from God, confess them to Him and He will forgive you (1 Jn.1:8-9). There is NO sin too big that God cannot forgive, IF you repent of it.
Commentaries on Old Testament Books
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page