Isaiah in the early 20s

I was all ready to give up by the time I got to Isaiah 24! 

It was verse after verse of warnings and terrible prophecy. Egypt (chp 19), Egypt and Cush (chp 20), Babylon (chp 21) , Jerusalem (chp 22) , Tyre (chp 23) , then the whole earth (chp 24) .

I should have been prepared for it, I should have known this is how it would be. The book of Isaiah is made up of two major sections. Chapters 1-39 are collectively known, by some commentators, as ‘the judgement book’. If you know Isaiah then you’ll know that the ‘comforting’ stuff doesn’t appear until 40:1. I knew that, so I shouldn’t have been so surprised by the tough stuff. But I was.
And as I mentioned, by chapter 24 I’d had enough.

Then… like a little oasis in the desert there was some refreshing cool. 

“So will it be on the earth and among the nations, 
as when an olive tree is beaten, 
or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.

They raise their voices, they shout for joy; 
from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty. 
Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;

exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, 
in the islands of the sea.

From the ends of the earth we hear singing:
“Glory to the Righteous One.”” Isaiah 24:13-16a

Look closely in these ‘judgement’ chapters and you still find the faithful promises. As angry as he is, God regularly drops in the promises to the remnant of believers. Our faith will be beaten, shaken and we may feel like a combine harvester has actually run over our souls. But there will be ‘gleanings.’

The Church might well look like an empty harvest field with just a few olives lying around here and there. Or a vineyard with just the odd grape remaining.
But we few who are left “raise our voices and shout for joy.”

Continue on in Chapter 24 and Isaiah returns to words of woe. The tough stuff is not over yet. But there is always a reason and an opportunity to stop and give glory to the Righteous One. We had our Harvest Services yesterday and we thanked God for all he has given us, and will continue to provide for us.

We’re a small church but few as we are,
                                           we gave glory to the Righteous One.

So tell me… which end of the earth do you live in? Were you in church yesterday? What did you shout? What did you sing?

3 thoughts on “Isaiah in the early 20s

  1. Certainly interesting! I live in Suffolk, England. I was in church morning and evening – we do believe in the Lord’s day, not just a morning. 🙂 We have no shouting – our church is rather conservative, but we had lots of singing and after an evening service we had share & sing time. It was very encouraging. Don’t want to be a spoiler alert, but we were in Chapter 41 this Sunday at church and it is beautiful stuff there. The visiting preacher said he just wanted to teach on one verse from ch.42:1 “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whim my soul delights.” That is worth reading about doom and gloom of 40 chapters! And the reason why we had a visiting preacher because my husband, who is a pastor of the church is in Tanzania and the good Lord is working miracles there – so encouraging. Many many pastors are gathering for teaching – they are truly spiritually hungry. Theological books are being shipped to Zambia as well and a church plant is happening. God is gathering in His remnant no doubt! Keep it going, I’m off to Paris, but look forward to more gleanings once I’m back. God bless you!

  2. Great post! I just finished chapters 1-24 last week.

    “So tell me… which end of the earth do you live in? Were you in church yesterday? What did you shout? What did you sing?”

    I live in the USA….in Arkansas (a southern state).

    We shouted “Praise be to God” at our Cumberland Presbyterian Church”.

    We sang several hymns. One was “Be Thou My Vision”.

  3. We don’t sing at the 8am service, in fact, it’s a pretty quiet affair until we get into the Cloister Room afterwards and share tea, coffee and gossip, we are very much a community though and that’s the special thing for me

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