What the Righteous Seek

When God judges, the righteous endure it with hope.

Prophecy against the Earth: Isaiah 24 (4)

Pray Psalm 75.1.
We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.

Read Isaiah 24.14-16.

1. To whom does “they” refer in verse 14? What are they doing in these verses?

2. According to verse 16, what is the condition of these people? When God judges His people, are all judged?

The “they” of verse 14 points back to verse 13 and the promise of a remnant. God judges the wickedness of His people, but that does not mean that all the people are equally wicked, or that none of them have been faithful. Nevertheless, when judgment falls, even those who long for His majesty and glory are subjected to leanness(v. 16, “I am ruined, ruined!” or, literally, “Leanness to me!”).

The suffering of Jerusalem is thus a type of the suffering of Christ. Wickedness brings judgment, but those who look to the Lord are kept through wrath for a new beginning. Jesus bore the judgment of God against our wickedness, but He kept looking to the joy that was set before Him, trusting Himself to the Lord (Heb. 12.1-3). He is both the judged people of the Lord and the faithful remnant, and as we have seen, the Branch from which grows a new people unto the Lord.

The “sea” of verse 14 symbolizes God’s judgment, sweeping over His people. In the midst of this sea of wrath, the faithful remnant continues seeking the “majesty of the LORD.” Their desire is to “glorify the LORD” as day dawns after the night of judgment, and to proclaim His Name to the world (vv. 14, 15). Already, “from the ends of the earth” – that is, in their captivity in Babylon – the righteous are claiming the promise of “Glory (literally, “beauty” or “dignity”) to the righteous!” and looking forward to the return of God’s blessings, even though, for the time, they must endure the judgment of God (v. 16).

God may judge His Church in our day, but His faithful people will always seek His glory, worship His majesty, and live toward the day of His promises. Even though they may experience His judgment against His people, they will never relinquish their commitment to seeking His glory.

1. The faithful remnant continue to honor and worship God in the midst of the “sea” of His judgment. What does it mean to seek the glory and majesty of God?

2. The faithful remnant looks forward to the day of God bringing them into His beauty and dignity. Is this what you look forward to in your daily walk with the Lord? How do you envision the beauty and dignity of the Lord increasing to and through you? 

3. It is possible, in the midst of leanness and woe, to worship God and cling to His promises. What should we be doing daily to make sure that we can do this, should judgment come to the Church of our Lord?

He follows out and increases the consolations which he had briefly sketched; for, having formerly (Isaiah 10:19-22) said that, out of that vast multitude, a few drops would be left, which would nevertheless overflow the whole world, in like manner he now says, that the small number of the godly, which shall be left out of an abundant vintage, will nevertheless rejoice and utter a voice so loud that it will be heard in the most distant countries. John Calvin (1509-1564 AD), Commentary on Isaiah 24

Today, Lord, keep me alert to opportunities to proclaim Your Name in my Personal Mission Field, and help me to…

Pray Psalm 75.

Give thanks for the nearness of the Lord, and call on Him to give you strength to praise Him, even in the midst of difficult times.

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 75 (Galilee: Jesus Calls Us)
We give thanks, Lord, we give thanks for Your all-glorious Name is near!
Men Your wondrous works declare, Lord; let all living creatures hear!

When you choose the time of judgment, You will judge with equity.
Then the earth and all within it by Your hand no more shall be.

Warn the boastful, warn the wicked: “Do not boast or raise your horn!
Do not raise your boastful voices; do not speak with pride and scorn!”

Neither east nor west nor desert shall exalting bring to man.
God is Judge, He puts one down and makes another one to stand.

For the cup of judgment foams in Jesus’ sovereign, holy hand.
He has mixed it and will pour it out on every wicked man.

As for me, I will declare it: Evermore to God be praise! 
He abases all the wicked, but His righteous ones He saves!

T. M. Moore

Where do the prophets fit with the rest of Scripture? How can I be a better student of God’s Word? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better approach to and understanding of the Scriptures. Watch this brief preview video, then register at The Ailbe Seminary and enroll in this free online course.

Forward today’s lesson to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on Isaiah. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link for the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Isaiah’s important message.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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