There’s no doubt that the world today is broken, fallen, in a horrible state. Some may think it’s irreparable — beyond repair, beyond hope. Not so. That is why God gave us prophets. They are His spokespersons. He shows them what will happen within their lifetimes, as well as a far distant future. Today’s prophecy goes further on past the impending threat to Hezekiah’s city, Jerusalem, to the Last Days. You know, the name Jerusalem means “city of peace”. When will there be peace in Jerusalem and the whole world for that matter? Let’s dig in…
Isaiah 32 – Israel’s Ultimate Deliverance
Look, a righteous king is coming!
And honest princes will rule under him.
2 Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.
3 Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth,
and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it.
4 Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding.
Those who stammer will speak out plainly.
5 In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes.
Scoundrels will not be respected.
6 For fools speak foolishness
and make evil plans.
They practice ungodliness
and spread false teachings about the Lord.
They deprive the hungry of food
and give no water to the thirsty.
7 The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil.
They plot crooked schemes.
They lie to convict the poor,
even when the cause of the poor is just.
8 But generous people plan to do what is generous,
and they stand firm in their generosity.
9 Listen, you women who lie around in ease.
Listen to me, you who are so smug.
10 In a short time—just a little more than a year—
you careless ones will suddenly begin to care.
For your fruit crops will fail,
and the harvest will never take place.
11 Tremble, you women of ease;
throw off your complacency.
Strip off your pretty clothes,
and put on burlap to show your grief.
12 Beat your breasts in sorrow for your bountiful farms
and your fruitful grapevines.
13 For your land will be overgrown with thorns and briers.
Your joyful homes and happy towns will be gone.
14 The palace and the city will be deserted,
and busy towns will be empty.
Wild donkeys will frolic and flocks will graze
in the empty forts and watchtowers
15 until at last the Spirit is poured out
on us from heaven.
Then the wilderness will become a fertile field,
and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.
16 Justice will rule in the wildernessIsaiah 32 NLT
and righteousness in the fertile field.
17 And this righteousness will bring peace.
Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in safety, quietly at home.
They will be at rest.
19 Even if the forest should be destroyed
and the city torn down,
20 the Lord will greatly bless his people.
Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up.
Their cattle and donkeys will graze freely.
The King of kings
Isaiah starts off announcing Jesus’ arrival to the world as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Besides that, we, His born-again believers, will rule as princes under Him. Jesus refers to that in the parable of the 10 servants in Luke 17. Your faithfulness now means authority in His Kingdom. John foresees this in Revelation 5…
7 He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. 8 And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song with these words:
“You are worthy to take the scrollRevelation 5:7-10 NLT
and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 And you have caused them to become
a Kingdom of priests for our God.
And they will reign on the earth.”
Some say Bible Prophecy is hard to understand. Yes, especially if you try to read it on your own. Fortunately, God makes the Holy Spirit available to us to open our eyes, mind and heart to read, listen and understand. When you sit down to read or listen to the Word of God, ask Him to guide you and help you comprehend what He’s trying to say to you. Believe me, every time you read a verse or chapter, it may hold a different meaning for you depending on your current situation.
If you sincerely want to understand, God will make sure you do.
There will come a time when every heart will be exposed. No more hiding, deceit and dishonesty. As Jesus told Nicodemus…
19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”John 3:19-21 NLT
All throughout the scriptures you’ll see the phrase “sackcloth and ashes”. Sackcloth is also known as burlap. It’s a very coarse fabric and extremely uncomfortable to wear. Ashes are the result of something that’s burned. It no longer exists. People put on sackcloth and tossed ashes on their heads as a sign of remorse or mourning, and most importantly, humbling.
The Apathetic and Apostate Church
Isaiah admonishes lazy women who have become complacent. That truly describes today’s church: apathetic and apostate. Apathetic means uncaring, showing no interest or concern. Apostate means abandoning religious or political belief. They go together. Pastor Sandy Adams explains…
…the women of Jerusalem needed to repent of apathy. It’s like the young girl who said, “The number one problem in this country is apathy, but who cares!”
It’s been stated of the church, “10% of people are actively engaged in progressiveSandy Adams
change; 10% are actively engaged in resisting change; and the other 80% just sit
there.” Do you just sit there, or really care? How many of us have grown complacent toward the people around us going to Hell? Are we apathetic toward our own worship, or our own spiritual growth? It’s time we wake up to what matters to God!
Nevertheless, God promises that there will be an end to complacency, apathy and apostasy. People will stop being uncaring. How? Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Like Peter said in Acts 2 when he quoted the prophet Joel (we’ll get to him soon)…
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,Acts 2:17-21 NLT
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on my servants—men and women alike—
and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below—
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
and the moon will turn blood red
before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved.’
There is no Peace Apart from Righteousness
- Evil causes chaos
- Hate causes pain
- Pride causes greed
- Coveting causes jealousy
- Lust causes unrest
Furthermore, they all lead to war. There is no peace without righteousness and there is no righteousness without the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Sandy Adams likens Old Testament Bible Prophecy to a chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream cone. You have 2 flavors which, each on their own are good, but blended together, they are the best! These prophecies are 2-fold — warnings for the people living in the prophet’s time as well as warnings, promises and blessings for all those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Like it or not, the Great Tribulation will happen at some point after His born-again believers — His church — is raptured out of here to meet Him in Heaven. No matter what the world looks like after the Great Tribulation, God will bless us, His true believers. The promise is in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. John wrote…
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.Revelation 21:1-2 NLT
See, Jesus will come and rescue His believers from His wrath in the Great Tribulation in the Rapture. Once, that’s all over, we’ll come back with Him to live in the new earth and worship Him in the New Jerusalem. Check out my study on Revelation 21 and 22.
Where are YOU in all this?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…