The People of Zion Will Weep No More

30: 18-26

    DIG: In light of all the warnings throughout Chapters 28 to 30, how do you account for the promises of God’s grace here? What do the agricultural images convey about the LORD’s grace? What is the condition for this outpouring of grace? What contrasts do you observe between 30:18-26 and 27-33? Are salvation (30:18-26) and judgment (30:27-33) flip sides of the same action on God’s part? How do they work together to achieve the same divine purpose?

    REFLECT: How will your life change when the faithful remnant of Israel weeps no more? When will that be? What will cause their weeping to cease? What have you been saying to ADONAI Yishma lately? Does He hear you? How do you know?

    Therefore, although the nation of Isra'el had turned from ADONAI, He longed to be gracious and compassionate to them for they were in a covenant relationship with Him (Deuteronomy 29:1-29). For the LORD is a God of justice, giving blessings to those who depend on Him. Blessed are all who wait for them (30:18). And Isaiah, although he pronounces judgment upon judgment, also wants to include the promise of Isra'el’s future restoration. But there is going to be a delay.

    Because of the previously mentioned sins, the LORD is going to wait. YHVH is a God of justice, and He must wait before showing grace. First, He must be exalted. Because ADONAI is a God of justice, sin must be punished. He cannot simply bestow His grace freely without leaving sin unpunished. This is the reason for the delay. Blessed are those who meet God’s waiting with their own waiting. Messianic Jews and Gentile believers still wait today for Israel’s national regeneration and restoration. We know it will ultimately happen, because the believing remnant of the Great Tribulation will look to Him, the One they had pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son (Zechariah 12:10). And once God sees repentance, He is free to bestow blessing.

    Then, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Isaiah gave a far eschatological prophecy of blessing on Israel. During the Millennium, the Holy Ones (Deuteronomy 33:2-3; Job 5:1; Psalms 16:3 and 34:9; Zechariah 14:5) will once again be faithful to ADONAI. He will say to them: O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more (30:19a). How gracious He will be once He hears Isra'el cry for help at the end of the Great Tribulation (see my commentary on Revelation Ev – The Basis for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ)! As soon as He hears her cry, He (and not some other nation like Egypt, Syria or Ethiopia) will answer her (30:19b) with His return (see Kg – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ to Bozrah).

    He is ADONAI Yishma, or the LORD who hears. Talk! Talk! Talk! We all need to be heard. We each have a contribution to make, a thought, an idea, an opinion. The LORD knows what we are going to say even before it is on our lips. And, no matter how much we have to say, He never gets tired of listening to us. That is His name.

    Although Isra;el will experience the bread of adversity and the water of affliction during the Great Tribulation, the LORD will bless and restore her afterwards (30:20a). When Israel is restored, God will provide two types of guidance. First, they will receive outward supernatural guidance, by means of teachers who will teach them the Word. In contrast to rejecting them (30:10), the Israelites will gladly listen to them. Her teachers will be hidden no more; with their own eyes they will see them (30:20b). Rejection of the Word will be a thing of the past. Previously ADONAI had tried to teach them (28:9-13, 29:11-12, 30:15), but their own stubbornness had blinded and deafened them to the truth. Now, because of the judgment of the Great Tribulation, their eyes and ears will be opened to what He had been trying to say all along.

    The famous theologian C. S. Lewis likened the LORD’s use of adversity to walking a dog. If the dog gets its leash wrapped around a pole and tries to continue running forward, he will only tighten the leash more. Both the dog and the owner are after the same end, forward motion, but the owner must resist the dog by pulling him opposite the direction he wants to go. The master, sharing the same intention but understanding better than the dog where he really wants to go, takes an action precisely opposite to that of the dog’s will. It is this way that God uses adversity.

    Secondly, they will receive inward guidance, from the still small voice of the Holy Spirit (NKJ). Like never before, the nation of Israel will be sensitive to God’s Word. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, they will hear His voice saying: This is the way; walk in it (30:21). The natural result of the inward and outward guidance will be the end of all idolatry.

    Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away lie a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you” (30:22)! With their eyes opened as a result of both the judgment of the Great Tribulation and the corresponding grace of God. Israel will finally see the uselessness of idolatry. So instead of being defiled by their idols, they will defile their idols by getting rid of them (Hosea 14:3b; Micah 5:13-14). Not even the outward gold and silver will be kept as a reminder of them.

    Then Isaiah turns to describe what it will be like when the people of Isra'el live according to God’s Word and are obedient to Him. Another element of the restoration will be the material blessings from the Land, which will prove to be productive. In the Millennium He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the Land will be rich and plentiful (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). In that day, your cattle will graze in broad meadows (30:23). Even the beasts of burden will be well fed. The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash, spread out with fork and shovel (30:24).

    In the day of great slaughter (Revelation 16:16, 19:17-21), after Isra'el’s and ADONAI’s enemies are destroyed, she will enjoy great peace. When the towers fall, streams of water will flow and there will be an abundance of water on every lofty hill and every high mountain (30:25). Throughout Isaiah, especially the first part of the book, dryness and barrenness are associated with human pride. Likewise, water and fruitfulness are associated with trust in ADONAI and dependence of Him. Consequently, when the towers of Isra'el’s pride are smashed (2:12-17, 32:14-15, 57:15), she may expect a new era of unbelievable fruitfulness.

    Also, light will be increased because of the Shechinah glory of God (see my commentary on Revelation Fu – A Great High Wall with Twelve Gates), for the moon will be like the sun. And the sun will be seven times brighter than normal, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of His people. At that time, the LORD will heal His people of the wounds He inflicted; that is, He will restore them to the place of blessing (30:26). What a wonderful time it will be.

 

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