Summary: Exposition of Isaiah 34-35
The Way of Holiness
A Reckoning Is 34
Restoration vs. 1-
Highway of Holiness vs.
Pray for our families: Matt & Mike, Jeri, Robbie & Cara, & Eric & Marina Moore
The final countdown by Europe
Read Isaiah 34:1-4
Isaiah leads us now to the point of personal decision.
He has been showing us God and ourselves with new clarity.
What has Isaiah told us about God? God is our most loyal ally in the struggle of life.
He has made promises to us. He has proven himself already. He deserves to be trusted.
What has Isaiah told us about ourselves? We barely trust God.
God is faithful, but we are guarded. We need to make up our minds.
Are we going to live by faith in God or by faith in ourselves?
Will God save us, or do we have to save ourselves?
God defends us against our ultimate enemy, our own moral guilt.
God treats us in a way that has nothing to do with what we deserve
True salvation is simply God entering into our lives with his grace in Christ to meet all our needs.
And Isaiah has been urging us to treat God as a faithful Savior, so that we look like people who have actually been saved from something.
Then our faith will be convincing.
Chapter 34 shows us what will become of everyone who buys into this world,
Chapter 35 shows us what will become of everyone who banks everything on the promised salvation of God.
Isaiah lifts his eyes from his own times in the eighth century b.c. to see how things will finally end up
The end is coming and the outcome is black and white
The salvation you prefer now, whether earthly or heavenly, is shaping who you are and which direction you will go forever.
You need to understand that Hell or Heaven will be, in one sense, the eternal extension of the deepest, truest you that you become in this life.
So here is the most important question of your existence: What are you becoming?
Whatever you are becoming reveals where you are going
If you are savoring by faith a salvation and fullness from God, you are already on your way to what Isaiah calls Zion in chapter 35.
But if you choose not to live by faith in this world, Isaiah 34 is showing you your future.
A Reckoning Is 34
vs. 1-7 On the People
There is a reckoning coming, a final judgment on the world
A reckoning is a persons calculated judgment to settle matters and make things right
You get the picture of a sheriff with a cowboy hat on taking on the bad guys
In this reckoning God will deal, once and for all, with sin and rebellion
Isaiah now moves us toward closure.
Assyria fades from view, and the prophet addresses the whole world (34:1).
God is going to bring judgment on the world
Many don’t like to hear that, they just want to hear about love
It is not abusive to tell people about the judgment of God. God wants everyone to know.
Francis Schaeffer used to say that if he had one hour to explain the gospel to someone, he would spend the first fifty minutes on the bad news of judgment and then the last ten minutes on the good news of salvation, because without the context of judgment we don’t appreciate or even understand salvation.
We fear the wrong things. We fear looking bad in the eyes of people.
But God actually cares enough about people to tell them about his coming judgment
Ezek 33:11 God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?”.
This is for all nations
He has devoted for destruction all of those who haven’t turned to them
Vs. 5 The one nation he does mention is, surprisingly, Edom. Why?
Because Edom typifies the whole world
Edom tried to block the salvation that God was bringing into the world.
Edom, then, is the antithesis to God’s pilgrim people.
The ethos of the Edomite culture is the spirit of the whole world, a spirit that finds its salvation in the resources of this temporal, physical order.
We have to get past Edom to be saved by God.
Vs. 2-8 God will use Four Resources in judgment
First, on that great and final day, the wrath of God will explode upon the world like the bursting of a dam
Vs. 2 For the Lord is enraged against all the nations
God is patient with human evil, more patient than we would be. He is giving everyone a chance.