In our study of Isaiah chapter thirty two, we look at the real "New World Order" that will be established with the return of Jesus Christ. In chapter 31, we saw Isaiah prophesy that, when Israel saw the Lord defend Jerusalem, they would repent and turn back to God. The battle described there speaks of the final events before the period of time that is commonly called the "Messianic Reign" or the "Millennial Reign" and we will look at that period of time in this study.
See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with Justice.
Isaiah begins with a couple of often overlooked facts about this period of time. The first one is that "a king", which refers to Jesus Christ, will reign and that is nothing new as there have been many men throughout history that have attempted to take over the world. There are many conspiracy stories about a shadowy form of government that conspires to control the world and this theory is partially true. Although Isaiah did not speak of this directly, in his day, this was associated with the Assyrians who were trying to take over the entire land of Israel. In the last days before the reign that is described in this chapter, there will be a group of individuals that are led by Satan and his anti-christs. They will deceive the nations and a counterfeit "new world order" will be set up. It is counterfeit for a couple of reasons and the first is that they are really not in control as it is God that allows the events to take place to fulfill His purposes. The second reason that it is a counterfeit reign is that it is temporary as it will only last through a short period of time that is commonly called the "Great Tribulation". The real king that Isaiah refers to can only be Jesus Christ as he says that He will "reign in righteousness" which speaks of the fact that He will establish the proper government for the earth. The second overlooked fact is that this King will appoint people to be leaders around the world. He will reign in Jerusalem but His kingdom will include all of the earth. We will look at these people in more detail in the next part of our study.
Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
To understand the purpose of these people, we must understand that the world (and those that were left in it) has just gone through a very trying time (the Great Tribulation). Many are confused as to what has been happening and especially the world events that they have watched unfold including the counterfeit "new world order". These people will need comforting and some explanation of what they have been through as well as preparation for what is to come. These rulers will be the ones with the answers and they will explain all of this to the people that are in their part of the world. This will be a sharp contrast to the counterfeit leaders that the people had experienced and they are not leaders like we think of in our world today. They will not be motivated by personal gain, power, or fame but by their love for the King. The reference to the "shadow of a great rock" speaks of the fact that, in the desert, there are usually no trees or much of anything else to shield a person from the intense heat of the sun. These rulers will be telling those that are left about the fact that the final wrath of God is coming upon the world and the only escape is under the cover of the Rock that is Jesus Christ. The "thirsty land" speaks of the fact that the people have basically exhausted their own efforts to please God and are finally willing to accept the teaching from these millennial teachers.
Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen.
The "eyes" speak not only of the physical eyes of the people but also of a fountain. You can tell a lot about someone by looking them in the eyes as what is inside flows out through the eyes much like water from a fountain. The eyes of these teachers will be a window into the peace and love of Jesus Christ. The eyes that were closed speaks of the people that have been unable to see the grace that can save them from the final judgment. Their eyes were closed to this as they were trapped in a religion that depended on their own efforts and they could not fathom the idea of something as precious as eternal life being given freely to them. The ears listening refers to the fact that they will not only hear the words of these millennial teachers but the words will penetrate into their hearts. They will finally be able to accept the fact that salvation is "by grace through faith and not of works" which is the same message that Paul shared (see Ephesians 2). This was also what Jesus was speaking of, in His letters to the churches of Revelation, when He ended His messages with the reference to ears that hear (see Revelation 2 & 3). Today, there are many people that speak of two covenants (one for the Jewish people and another for the rest of mankind) but this verse speaks of the fact that there is only one way to escape the eternal judgment and that is through Jesus Christ. The false teachings about dual covenants and all religions leading to God in their own way are nothing more than a lie that is straight from the depths of hell. All of these deceptions were removed as the devil was bound during this Messianic Age.
The fearful heart will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.
At first, it might seem like there is not much contained in this verse but we will look a little deeper. The word that is translated here as "fearful" is the Hebrew word "mahar" which actually speaks of something that is fluid or easily changed. Here it is speaking of people that were easily swayed to follow the crowd and the heart speaks of the inner most part of a person. This refers to people that were quick to follow the latest trend of religion because they were not grounded in the truth through the power of the Holy Spirit. The "stammering tongue" refers to people that start and stop things as stuttering/stammering refers to people where their flow of speech is broken. Together, this gives us the picture of someone who jumps on the latest thing in search of the fulfillment that only Jesus Christ can provide. Today, there are all kinds of so-called prophets and teachers who claim to have special insight into matters of the Kingdom of God. It does not matter how crazy or contrary to the Word of God they are, people will grab a hold of their teaching because it is the latest fad and it makes them feel good. After a short time in which they see no results, they move on to the next great thing. People like that are what Isaiah is speaking of and what we call the "millennial students" it is also people like that who will be deceived by the "counterfeit new world order". There is hope as we see that, during this time when the influence of the devil has been removed, people like this will be able to see the "real deal" which is faith in Jesus Christ.
No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected. For fools speak folly, and their hearts are bent on evil: They practice ungodliness and spread error concerning the Lord; the hungry they leave empty and from the thirsty they withhold water.
To understand this passage, we must look at the word "fool" which comes from the Hebrew word "nabal" and "noble" which is translated from the Hebrew word "nadiyb" which speaks of generosity. We all understand what it means to be called a fool but, in Psalm 14, we see that it pertains to someone that denies the existence of God (atheists). They speak of a "freedom from religion" and the ability to do whatever we want as long as it makes us happy. We also see that they do this under the mask of providing freedom for all when, in reality, they are withholding the freedom that is only found in Jesus Christ. Their counterfeit "new world order" produced bondage as was demonstrated by the mark of the beast during the Great tribulation. With the arrival of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, the people will see that true freedom is only found in Christ and not in the absence of our Lord.
Scoundrels use wicked methods, they make up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just. But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.
We see that these godless people prey on the poor and promise to meet every one of their needs but what does Isaiah mean by "wicked methods"? This speaks of the fact that many of them hide among the believers like the proverbial "wolf in sheep's clothing" and often use fear as a weapon against those seeking the Lord. They may often do "good things" such as provide food and shelter for the poor but do not tell them about the true freedom from poverty that is only found in Jesus Christ. This Millennial Reign will be a time when they can see that they do not have to be slaves to fear but can have true freedom. This freedom is due to the fact that they are a child of God and is not gained through the efforts of men.
You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say!
The Hebrew word that is translated, here, as "complacent" is "sha' anan" and it basically gives the idea of being secure. We see that Isaiah is speaking to the Jews as Israel is often referred to as a woman in the scriptures. You can almost feel God pleading with His people to listen to the truth. The false sense of security that Isaiah is talking about is the fact that the Jewish people continue to hold onto their religion instead of embracing the truth that freedom can only come through Jesus Christ.
In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come. Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your fine clothes and wrap yourselves in rags. Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines and for the land of my people, a land overgrown with thorns and briers - yes, mourn for all houses of merriment and for this city of revelry. The fortress will be abandoned, the noisy city deserted; citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever, the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
This passage describes the period of time that is commonly called the Great Tribulation which is a time when God removes His hand of provision from the world. We see that the purpose is to get the Jewish people to repent and accept the fact that their entire religious system pointed to the first coming of Jesus Christ. We also see that the reason that they continue to hold onto their religion is pride as God urges them to exchange their fine clothes for rags. Many people (both Jew and Gentile) are proud of their religion and obedience to a set of rules. The fact that they are still on the earth (while most Christians have been removed) and they are going through this terrible period of time is meant to wake them up.
till the Spirit is poured on us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest.
How long will the Great Tribulation last? We see here that it will last until the return of the presence of God to the earth. From Revelation, we know that this will be a total of seven years from beginning to end. We also see that with the arrival of Jesus there will be a renewal of the earth.
The Lord's justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field.
This verse speaks of a separation where those that reject Him will not see abundance while those that have accepted Him will have plenty.
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
The Hebrew word shaqat is translated here as quietness and it speaks of rest where there is no hustle and bustle of trying to provide for oneself. The Hebrew word betach is translated here as confidence and it speaks of security and trust as those who have put their trust in Jesus do not have to worry about their security or about providing for their own needs. This is a stark contrast for those that have rejected Him and are in the desert of trying to provide for themselves.
Though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely, how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.
Isaiah ends this section by basically reminding the people that their present conditions are only temporary and that they will not have to worry anymore when Jesus shows up.