Today you should read: Isaiah 4
A Promise of Restoration2 But in that day, the branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of all who survive in Israel. 3 All who remain in Zion will be a holy people— those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem and are recorded among the living. 4 The Lord will wash the filth from beautiful Zion and cleanse Jerusalem of its bloodstains with the hot breath of fiery judgment. 5 Then the Lord will provide shade for Mount Zion and all who assemble there. He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day and smoke and flaming fire at night, covering the glorious land. 6 It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.
Isaiah is an incredible book of prophecy. The Old Testament is full of stories that point us to Jesus—the book of Isaiah is no exception. The prophecy we see today as we study the six verses of Isaiah 4 point us to the hope we have in our risen savior and His return.
Following the turmoil depicted in the first three chapters, we see in verses 2-3 Jesus “the Branch of the LORD” comes back for His people “those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem and are recorded among the living.” What an incredible promise for us to hold on to as we go through our day! Despite all of the problems in the world, God has a solution. He is holy and just and will judge the world “ with the hot breath of fiery judgment.” God will also provide “shade for Mount Zion” or a shelter for us in Christ Jesus. (Psalm 91:1)
In the final verses Isaiah likens this shelter to the pillar of cloud and of fire that lead the Israelites in their exodus from Egypt. (Exodus 13:17-22) The pillar of cloud over the tabernacle was a symbol of God’s favor and presence with the people. Whether cloud or fire, the pillar served as a direct form of guidance from the Lord in a vast, pathless desert. It also served as shade from the incredible heat, protection from dust storms, and as warmth in the fierce cold of night.
The rebellion of God’s people isn’t only an Old Testament issue that has long since passed; we still today live in a society of rebellious people!
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Jesus is our great shelter and the Holy Spirit is our guidance. His sacrifice is what redeems us and His blood is our righteousness. We, His holy people, trust Him because He told us that He is coming back and we look forward to that glorious day, “in that day, the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious.” Be encouraged today that a God who is just and righteous loves you. Be empowered today by His Holy Spirit to share the good news with someone you interact with.
Posted by: Alex Boswell, Ministry Intern- Richmond Campus