Daily Readings & Thought for June 1st. “THE LORD OF HOSTS REIGNS ON MOUNT ZION”
Today’s readings.. (Joshua 18), (Isaiah 24), (Hebrews 6,7)
Today’s and tomorrow’s chapters in Isaiah (24 & 25) contain a powerful message about the climax of human history, yet they are not very often quoted. Chapter 24 ends with “for the LORD of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and Jerusalem and his glory will be before his elders.”
The next chapter begins with the reaction of the righteous, “O LORD, you are my God, I will exalt your name for you have done wonderful things …” Humanly fortified cities have become ruins, never to be rebuilt (v.2) and the “cities of ruthless nations will fear you.” [v.3] God has “been a stronghold to the poor … to the needy in his distress” [v.4]
Then a glorious scene opens up, “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food … he will swallow up death forever and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces … Behold this is our God, we have waited for him … “ [v.6,8,9]. But go back, we jumped over nearly all of Ch. 24 – it speaks of what is to happen before this time of wonder and joy on the earth. It is an extremely frightening picture! Is it about to happen? The chapter started, “Behold the LORD will empty the earth and make it desolate …”
The next verse indicates that all the buyers, sellers, lenders, borrowers, creditors and debtors will suffer. Verse 3 says, “The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered; for the LORD has spoken this word”. Then we read “the earth lies defiled under its inhabitants” [v.5], “its inhabitants suffer for their guilt” [v.6] and then follows details of the ways in which they will suffer.
Reading further – “The earth is utterly broken … is violently shaken … its transgression lies heavily upon it and it falls and will not rise again” [v.19,20]. This is symbolic language of the heavens and the earth (rulers and people) that now exist being destroyed. But later in Isaiah we will come across a wonderful vision, for God says, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold I create Jerusalem to be a joy … my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” [Ch.65 v.17,18,22] Will you behold these things?