Read Isaiah 27
Deliverance of Israel
27 In that day,
the Lord will punish with his sword—
his fierce, great and powerful sword—
Leviathan the gliding serpent,
Leviathan the coiling serpent;
he will slay the monster of the sea.
2 In that day—
“Sing about a fruitful vineyard:
3 I, the Lord, watch over it;
I water it continually.
I guard it day and night
so that no one may harm it.
4 I am not angry.
If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!
I would march against them in battle;
I would set them all on fire.
5 Or else let them come to me for refuge;
let them make peace with me,
yes, let them make peace with me.”
6 In days to come Jacob will take root,
Israel will bud and blossom
and fill all the world with fruit.
7 Has the Lord struck her
as he struck down those who struck her?
Has she been killed
as those were killed who killed her?
8 By warfare and exile you contend with her—
with his fierce blast he drives her out,
as on a day the east wind blows.
9 By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for,
and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:
When he makes all the altar stones
to be like limestone crushed to pieces,
no Asherah poles or incense altars
will be left standing.
10 The fortified city stands desolate,
an abandoned settlement, forsaken like the wilderness;
there the calves graze,
there they lie down;
they strip its branches bare.
11 When its twigs are dry, they are broken off
and women come and make fires with them.
For this is a people without understanding;
so their Maker has no compassion on them,
and their Creator shows them no favor.
12 In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, Israel, will be gathered up one by one. 13 And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
The first thing we notice reading through this chapter is the cryptic promise about a dragon-like serpent, Leviathan, who lives in the sea. Even though God will destroy this beast, what is it? Why is it referenced here?
Chapter 27 opens with the promise that God will conquer the source of evil and fear. He will punish the serpent with His sword. He will kill the dragon in the sea. This is a reference to the mythologies of Israel and surrounding nations during that time. The myths mentioned here included a seven-headed, fire-breathing monster in the sea called the Leviathan. The Leviathan is mentioned in several places throughout the Bible in addition to Isaiah, including Job and Psalms. The Leviathan represents the fear, chaos, and death that come with sin. God’s destruction of the Leviathan is synonymous with the destruction of Satan.
There may not be a Leviathan swimming through waters nearby, but there are certainly sources of evil and fear near us today. What are some common myths in our nation? How do lies told in our culture impact us? What fear, chaos and death do they bring?
On the day death is destroyed, the people of Israel will be restored to Him. We begin to see a vision of the kingdom of God. People are safe and at peace. They blossom and fill the earth with fruit. They are under the protection of the God who loves them. Yet, those who rise against God experience something different altogether. Rather than their land being filled with life and fruit, it is a wasteland of death and poison. Those who rise against God are broken like old sticks used in a fire. The vision in the chapter ends with how God will bring the scattered people of Israel back to Him from all across the known world. At that time, this would include land from Egypt to Assyria to Jerusalem. All the sons and daughters of God will be restored.
- Which command is repeated twice in verse 5? Why do you think it was repeated?
- Which images are used to represent being in the presence of God? Which are used to represent separation from God?
- When God gathers His people, where will they worship? How can you trust that God will conquer death in the end?
By the Way
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