Judgment and Rule

"In that day" God will rule from in the midst of His people.

Prophecy against the Earth: Isaiah 24 (6)

Pray Psalm 146.1, 2.
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the LORD;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Read Isaiah 24.21-23.

1. To what does the phrase “in that day” refer (cf. Is. 2.1-4)?

2. Judgment and rule come “in that day,” and Jesus is at the center of both. Explain.

Now Isaiah’s prophecy against the earth addresses events that will occur “in that day.” This is a reference, as we have seen, to the coming day of the Lord’s redemption. Here it is described as a day of judgment against the high and haughty, of glory outshining the moon and sun, and of God’s beginning to reign in Mt. Zion and Jerusalem.

This promise of the rule of God comes after His judgment is exercised against the earth. (The reference to “the host of the exalted ones” could refer to the rebellious angels whom Lucifer commands.) When God comes to reign, it will be from among His people, Mt. Zion and Jerusalem; and the beauty, brilliance, and power of His reign will put the sun and moon to shame. 

The judgment of God against the world came on the cross of Calvary, where all the wickedness of the world was exposed, condemned, and finished in our Lord Jesus’ suffering, and where Satan and his minions were put to shame and routed (Col. 2.13-15). Fifty days later, the Lord established His Kingdom on earth, in the midst of His people, who began to radiate His rule and glory throughout the Roman world. 

The wrath of God continues to be revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men, who suppress the truth in their unrighteous ways (Rom. 1.18ff). And the rule of God continues from within His people, although its brilliance and power are not what they have been in the past, for most of those who profess to believe in the Lord have not truly made the Kingdom turn into a life of seeking and advancing the rule of King Jesus. This sad situation is why proclaiming the Kingdom and calling people to recover their Kingdom-and-glory calling from the Lord is so important today.

We are the “in that day” people within and among whom Christ is advancing His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We are called to His Kingdom and glory (1 Thess. 2.12), and that calling entails seeking the Kingdom in every facet and aspect of our lives (Matt. 6.33). As we do, the glory of God is made known and shines more significantly than the sun, moon, and stars.

1. What does it mean for you to seek the Kingdom of God as the defining priority of your life?

2. The “elders” mentioned in verse 23 are the representatives of the people of God, and thus stand for all those who truly believe (cf. Rev. 4, 5). In what sense or ways do the elders of a church represent the people of the congregation? What does this suggest about how we select people to be elders?

3. Isaiah compares the glory of God with the light of the sun and the moon. In what ways is glory like this? What does this suggest about what Paul means in 1 Corinthians 10.31?

I have no doubt that he continues to give the consolation which he had glanced at in the former verse; “When the Lord shall visit his people, and cleanse the Church from its defilement, he will establish a kingdom so illustrious that it will darken the sun and stars by its brightness.” John Calvin (1509-1564 AD), Commentary on Isaiah 24

You have called me to Your Kingdom and glory, Lord. Help me today to…

Pray Psalm 146.

Let this psalm lead you to focus on the works of the Lord. Call upon Him to lead you more completely into the life of faith, and commit your day to seeking His Kingdom.

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 146 (Hallelujah! What a Savior: Man of Sorrows)
Praise the Lord, my soul, give praise! While I live, His Name I’ll raise, 
and exalt Him all my days – God forever reigns in Zion!

Trust we not in prince or man – no salvation’s in their hand. 
Death shall take them, breath and plans – God forever reigns in Zion!

Blessed are they whose hope resides in the Lord, Christ at His side. 
By Him heav’n and earth abide – God forever reigns in Zion!

He is faithful evermore; He gives justice to the poor, 
Feeds the hungry from His store – God forever reigns in Zion!

Jesus sets the pris’ner free, heals blind eyes that they may see, 
lifts those burdened painfully – God forever reigns in Zion!

He the righteous loves the best; wand’rers in His grace are blessed;
Needy ones in Him find rest – God forever reigns in Zion!

But the wicked who defame His eternal blessèd Name, 
Them He brings to ruin and shame – God forever reigns in Zion!

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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