Friday, September 9, 2016

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday September 11, 2016

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(GOD’s victory over oppression and death)
(Isaiah 25)

   In Isaiah 25 the prophet shows us a snapshot of what the “End Times” will be like for those who will receive salvation, and, for those who won’t. Here, this biblical picture of the End Times is given to encourage believers, and not to make us afraid, or, cause us to withdraw from being a blessing to the “unsaved world” with the sharing the Good News about CHRIST.
    Understandably, it is difficult for us not to wonder or imagine if what is being revealed here will occur in our own lifetimes, however, what we really should be concerned about is looking beyond this world, to GOD. JESUS cautioned us in Matthew 24:36 that, no one except the FATHER knows when the end will come, not even HE HIMSELF knew, and, taking that into account, we should be more concerned about how we are living our lives, than we are with how our lives will end.
    This chapter of the book of Isaiah is quite literally a “praise song”, a psalm that praises GOD for both, HIS judgment, and, HIS salvation through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Here Isaiah describes a scenario which will exist when the coming “Millennial Kingdom” is established here on earth by CHRIST JESUS at the time of HIS second coming. He also describes the praise and worship that will be bestowed upon CHRIST for HIS great work of salvation. Also, here in this passage, Isaiah speaks in the first person, which is a sign of his confidence that he himself will be there to partake in this great celebration.
    Isaiah says that when CHRIST returns in HIS judgment, HE will turn mighty cities into heaps   of rubble, and beautiful palaces will disappear, never to be rebuilt again. Mighty nations will bow down before CHRIST JESUS and declare HIS glory, and revere HIM forever (Vs.2-3). He also speaks of how the LORD will be a refuge for the poor and needy that may be oppressed, and, are in distress in those days. They will be protected from the onslaught of ruthless people who have become accustomed to preying on them for their own livelihood and entertainment (Vs.4-5).
    In verse 6 Isaiah describes a magnificent feast in Jerusalem for everyone, Jews and Gentiles, from around the world to attend. On that day the LORD will remove the “veil” from the eyes of the whole world, that shadow of death that now hangs over the whole earth, so that they will be able to see at last, exactly WHO HE is. In fact, HE will swallow up death altogether, forever, and HE will wipe away tears, and remove all insults and mockeries against HIS people (Believers), both Jews and Gentiles (Vs.6-8).
    In this passage (Vs.11-12) the city of Moab represents the enemy of GOD’s people. Isaiah says that upon the LORD’s return, all of HIS enemies will be trampled underfoot like straw and left to rot. HE will put an end to HIS enemy’s rebellious pride, and destroy all of their evil works. They will no longer be able to hide behind their walls (evil works) of arrogance, which will be torn down and ground into powder.
    The end of all things is near for each of us, personally. In fact, that is the most important warning in the messages of all the Old Testament prophets, and, the New Testament writers and thinkers. It has always been, and will always be the “Will of GOD” that man, not know what his time, place, or method of demise will be. In fact, it is no man’s duty to even speculate on what GOD’s secrets may be, but rather, it is our duty to prepare ourselves for HIS coming, and then wait on mercy from JESUS CHRIST to usher us into eternal life.
    And so, from these verses of Isaiah 25, we will do good to remember to never become so engrossed in “time” that we forget about “eternity”. We can never let our concern for worldly affairs completely distract us from remembering that there is a GOD, and, that the issues of life and death are in HIS hands. And whenever HIS call for our departure comes, morning, noon, or night, we will be found ready and prepared to go into HIS glorious presence, because our own history and lifestyle, that exemplified faith in CHRIST, will judge us to be worthy to share in the Kingdom of GOD, for all eternity.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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