The Scriptorium

Strands of a Single Cord

Isaiah's message in a nutshell.

The Day of Salvation: Isaiah 25-35 (2)

Pray Psalm 80.3-7.

Restore us, O God;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!
O LORD God of hosts,
How long will You be angry
Against the prayer of Your people?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
And given them tears to drink in great measure.
You have made us a strife to our neighbors,
And our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!

Read Isaiah 27, 28.

1. Three themes are interwoven in these two chapters. Can you identify them?

2. God will be a crown, a diadem, and a cornerstone for His people “in that day.” To what do these refer?

These two chapters, like many other chapters throughout the books of the prophets, provide a concise summary of the message of the prophets and of Isaiah. Three themes emerge, and they wrap around and through one another like a strand with three cords.

First is the promise of hope and restoration. God promises to renew His vineyard and its abundant fruitfulness, so much so, that the nations will want to come and take root in it. The restored vine of the Lord’s people will bear abundant fruit to fill the earth (27.2-6). This is the promise for “that day” when the Lord puts away sin and brings forgiveness and renewal to His people. Then His people will be gathered together to worship and serve Him (27.12, 13), and God will be a crown of glory for His people and the strength they need to prevail against all their foes (28.5, 6). A Cornerstone will be set in Zion for the building of a new temple unto the Lord, and He will be the benchmark against and upon which everyone either rises or falls (28.16-19).

Second is the announcement of coming judgment, both upon Israel and the nations in the short term, and on the enemies of God in the long term, including the ancient serpent (27.1). God will strike Israel and her neighbors in the short term, although He will leave a remnant of His people for the promised restoration (27.7-12). Israel is judged for pride and self-indulgence in the present (28.1-4). All the good work God gave them to do has become disgusting to the Lord (28.7-9). Israel has rejected the instruction and counsel of the Lord (28.11-13). God will surely judge His people for their sins, and all people and nations in the day of “His awesome work,” “His act, His unusual act” – the act of redemption (28.20, 21).

Finally, the call to repentance comes to those who will hear (27.5, 6; 28.9-14; 23-26). All who receive the prophet’s message, and who look to God and are taught by Him, shall persevere through judgment to the promise of fruitfulness in the days to come. They have God’s Word on it (28.23-28).

These two chapters summarize Isaiah’s message and help us to keep the whole of His prophecy in mind, so that we can think clearly about how it applies to us, and what we should do (Rom. 15.4).

1. What does God promise to His vine? Who is that vine today? Is the vine fulfilling what God spoke of it?

2. Meditate on Isaiah 29.9-13. What counsel is there for you here in how you ought to learn God’s will? What promise accompanies this?

3. Meditate on Isaiah 29.23-29. We can learn wisdom from God by carefully observing His work in creation. How can you see that in these verses? What does this suggest about your own growth in the Lord?

So the Lord says through Isaiah: “Behold, I lay a stone for a foundation in Zion.” This means Christ as the foundation of the church. For Christ is the object of faith to all; but the church is as it were the outward form of justice; it is the common right of all. Ambrose of Milan (333-397 AD), Duties of the Clergy 1.29

You are my Crown, my Diadem, my Cornerstone, and my Glory, Lord, and I am Your vine. Help me to…

Pray Psalm 80.

The psalmist appeals to God for a return of the days of Israel’s great fruitfulness. What would that look like in our day? Pray that God will begin to restore His people, and ask Him to bring forth specific fruit in your own life today.

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 80 (St. Theodulph: All Glory, Laud, and Honor)
O God of grace, restore us, and shine on us Your face!
O save us, Lord, work for us; renew us by Your grace!
Give ear, O gracious Savior, Who leads us as Your flock:
Stir up Your pow’r and favor, our King and Lord and Rock!

How long will You ignore all Your people’s fervent prayer?
Shall bitter tears fall ever?  O Lord, renew Your care!
Our neighbors mock and scorn us, they laugh at our distress;
Renew, O Lord, and turn us, look down on us and bless!

You set us free from sin, Lord, and planted us in grace;
We rooted in Your strong Word have spread from place to place.
Our shadow covered mountains, our branches reached the sea;
Your grace flowed like a fountain of life, abundantly.

Now You in wrath have spoken and bruised Your chosen vine.
We languish, Lord, are broken by wrath, deserved, divine.
Once more, Lord, hear our pleading: return and heal this vine!
Look down on us, so needy, and show Your love divine!

Though we be burned and perish because of Your command,
Revive us, Lord, and cherish this son of Your right hand.
Then let us not return to our sinful, selfish ways,
But call on You and learn to surround You with our praise.

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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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.
Books by T. M. Moore