Isaiah, chapters 24-28

“[…] Like heat is subdued by the shadow of a cloud,
So the song of the tyrants is silenced.”
~Isaiah 25:5

God’s Word has long prophesied the end of all evil.
How will this be realized?
Isaiah foretells that God “will turn his attention to the army of the heights above and to the kings of the earth upon the earth.” (Is. 24:21)
The “army of the heights above” represents the wicked forces of the spirit realm, so described by the Christian prophet Paul (Eph. 6:12)
The “kings of the earth” are the imperfect humans that govern over humanity.
They fail to recognize Christ’s kingdom and act as if they will not have to render an account to God for their corrupt actions. (Eccl. 8:9)
Instead of doing Jehovah’s will, they succumb to their own selfish interests, thereby realizing the will of Satan and his demonic forces (John 12:31; 1 John 5:19)
Referring to “the army of the heights,” the prophet Isaiah says they will be gathered into a pit, like prisoners, and shut up in the dungeon. (Is. 25:22)
This coincides with the Apostle John’s prophecy in which he describes an angel hurling Satan into an abyss and locking him up for 1,000 years (Re. 20:1-3)
At the end of that period, Satan and his remaining supporters will face the same fate that corrupt leaders will have already faced: hopeless annihilation. (Re. 20:7-10)
At that time, those people who remain, including those who will have been resurrected, will be individually judged and be granted either eternal life or permanent death.
Finally, the ultimate tyrant, Death itself, will be forever silenced (1 Co. 15:22-26; Re. 20:13-15)

Deuteronomy, chapters 32-34

“Moses was 120 years old at his death. His eyes had not grown dim, and his strength had not departed.”

~Deuteronomy 34:7

I had the opportunity to share this passage with an elderly woman in the ministry last week.

She is in her late 70s and has been undergoing cancer treatment for the last three years.

She still has two more years of treatment before she can go back to her “normal” life.

The medication she takes has very painful side effects.

She cannot usually sleep at night and her bones hurt constantly.

I’ve known her for a little over a year and every time I visit her, she complains about the pain and wishes she could just let herself die.

Our initial visits were all about why God allows pain and suffering, whether life is ruled by karma or random chance.

In later visits we focused on God’s kingdom, the hope that one day earth will be without any pain, suffering or even death.

As we talked last week about Moses’s end-of-life, we noted that Moses did not start his life’s major work until he was about 80 (Acts 7:20-36).

So, even in old age, we should not face life with an attitude of giving up, as if the best is already behind us.

In my friend’s case,  she does not have the strength she had 15 or 30 years ago.

But she contributes so much to her family’s and neighbor’s quality of life just by being there, enduring, joking around with them.

Now she has finally learned God’s reasons for allowing pain and suffering, understanding that he is not the one to blame for our lamentable state.

Through that understanding she no longer feels angry at God, so whatever the future holds for her, she can be at peace, knowing he has her best interests in mind (Jer. 29:11).

Moses knew Jehovah “face-to-face,” and perhaps none of us will ever enjoy that privilege (De. 34:10).

But we can imitate the faithful attitude Moses demonstrated up until his last breath, even as he looked at the entirety of the promised land, conscious that he was not to enter it (De. 34:4,5).

‘For God is not unrighteous so as to forget our work and the love we show for his name,’ ‘therefore, do not give up, but even if the man we are outside is wasting away, certainly the man we are inside is being renewed from day to day,’ (Heb. 6:10; 2 Cor. 4:16).

 

Genesis, chapters 47-50

Genesis 49:9,10~

Judah is a lion cub. From the prey, my son, you will certainly go up. He has crouched down and stretched himself out like a lion, and like a lion, who dares rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, neither the commander’s staff from between his feet, until Shi′loh comes [meaning: He Whose It Is; He to Whom It Belongs], and to him the obedience of the peoples will belong.

On his deathbed, Jacob passed down the birthright of preserving the Messiah’s lineage to the eldest of his sons who did not sin against him.

The lion and the scepter represent the right to rule as king, and Shi’loh refers to the then unborn Messiah.

This is a noteworthy prophecy because as we now know, King David proceeded from the tribe of Judah and Jesus’ ancestry was traceable to David on both his parents’ sides (2 Sam. 2:4; 2 Sam. 7:16,17; Matt. 1:1-16; 3:23-33).

Of Jesus, it was said: “This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom,” (Luke 1:32,33).

Jesus asked us to pray for that kingdom to come: Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matt. 6:9,10).

After his death, Jesus’ followers expected him to one day begin ruling from heaven:

God resurrected this Jesus, and of this we are all witnesses […] For David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet,”’ (Acts 2:32-35).

This in turn makes reference to Jesus’ first act as king: to do God’s will in heaven, that is, to throw out God’s enemies from it (Rev. 12:7-12).

Then the prophecy refers to us, saying: “the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”

It might take thousands of years for God’s prophecies to come to full light, but they are always fulfilled unfailingly.