And Finally, Up
A reading of Isaiah chapters 30 through 33 gives impressions which are both beautiful and confusing.
The people of God are under attack. They have not totally cast off their idols. They have foolishly considered aid from the wrong human source (Egyptian horses and chariots). They have received poor counsel at their gates. The ravenous Assyrians with their vile leader "the Assyrian" (foreshadowing the Anti-Christ) have cut a destructive path of colossal proportions. God looks upon the unbelief and chastens His people. But then God arises:
3Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.
4For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.
5As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.
6Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.
Throughout these passages speaking prophetically of Zion we see a progression of up, down, up, down..and finally up. The final picture is that of a faithful, resting community which we have not yet seen. It is not just speaking of the Church operating under Christ's ethic. Presently no such peace is enjoyed in the Church, and no amount of "Kingdom Now" enthusiasm will manufacture it. It is speaking of a completed Israel of faith, Gentiles included (Galatians 6:16), at a time when it encounters Jesus, Messiah by sight (Ephesians 5: 27).
17Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.
18Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?
19Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.
20Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
21But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.
22For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.
23Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey.
24And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.