(17 verses, 2:50 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Chapters 34 and 35 form the end of the first part of Isaiah’s prophecy, a preaching of Law and Gospel. Chapter 34 is the Law, the threat of God’s judgment on all the nations that fought against Zion.
MARK & LEARN
- In verse 1 the Lord summons all the nations to hear the proclamation of His wrath.
- The judgment of God is complete (34:2-4), His wrath against sin is nothing to trifle about.
- “The LORD has a sword” (34:6). While it is the Lord’s desire to have mercy and act in kindness, He will do His strange work of judging the nations.
- The Lord’s wrath against the nations is described, in these verses, in terms of sacrifice. Those who refused to bring their sacrifice to Zion become, themselves, sacrifices. (See verse 7)
- The utter completeness of the Lord’s wrath is described as Edom becoming a wasteland (34:9-17).
- In verse 16 the Lord is throwing the dice of vengeance, arbitrarily dividing up the nation. This comes full circle in the passion, where the soldiers are casting the lots to divide Jesus’ clothes. The Lord will punish sin, but it is His profound desire that His punishment falls on Christ, and not on us. He will do His strange work of having wrath, but His desire is always to love and save. Even in this chapter, which is full of wrath and destruction, we see the Lord’s mercy that He has sent His prophet Isaiah to preach and warn of His wrath before He acts, and this preaching is done in hope, the hope that the nations will repent and avoid the trouble threatened in this chapter.
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Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller
Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO