God’s people sanctified and saved. Isaiah 30:20-26

And though the Lord will give the bread of adversity and, water of oppression, yet their teachers shall not be removed and set in a corner, be repudiated and set aside as in the past. But they shall be before their very eyes (vs. 20). And when they turn to the right or to the left, deliberate as to the direction in which the path of rectitude leads in life’s transactions, there shall be a voice behind them saying, This is the way, walk therein. And they shall hear with their ears, take to heart the instruction of the voice (vs. 21). They shall defile the draperies of the images of their silver, hitherto held sacred, and all the vestments of their images of gold. They shall cast them away as menstruous cloth in their loathing of them. Away with you, they shall say (vs. 22). 

In token of His delight in them, the Lord will give rain in the season of sowing and an abundance of bread of the finest quality, and their cattle shall feed in spacious pastures, and their oxen and young asses that till the ground shall cat fodder salted and winnowed and therefore clean (vss. 23, 24). Springs of water shall gush forth in the mountains in that day of the great slaughter and the falling of the towers (vs. 25). 

This is a description of the ideal state that will prevail in the heavenly kingdom of the glorified Christ, reigning in the Jerusalem that is above, when every violence that exalts itself against God and His people shall have been destroyed. The description is under earthly images supplied by the circumstances of this present time. As the sequel reveals, the prophecy of the falling of the towers (vs. 25) looks to the overthrow of Assyria as the possessor of the world power at that time and to the passing away of the world at the appearing of Christ at the end of time. In that day, when the Lord will mend the breach of His people—reconcile them to Himself through Christ’s cross—the moon will shine with the brilliancy of the sun and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold (vs. 26). 

It is plain again from this verse that also the reach of this prophecy extends to the end of time, and that its final fulfillment is the appearance of Christ at the end of time. 

The judgments of God over the nations and over Assyria as the type and representative of the whole.Isaiah 30:27-33

In his vision the prophet beholds the name of the Lord—name, i.e., the manifestation of His attributes here in judgment over the nations—coming from afar off, i.e., from Jerusalem, heaven, The same idea receives expression in Amos 2:1, where it is stated that “The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem.” His face (name) burns with indignation, and its burden is heavy, laden, as it is, with calamity. His lips are full of anger, replete with words of wrath, that as uttered, devour His enemies. For He is the living God; to the power of His word there is no limit. And so His tongue consumes like a fire, and His breath, like an overflowing brook, divides the man—the total of nations engulfed—into two unequal halves, only the smaller portion—the neck and the head—appearing above the stream (vss. 27, 28). This revelation of wrath through calamity sifts the nations like a sieve, called “sieve of emptiness” in the text, because all fall through it. But the nations do not repent. But this is of the Lord. For a bridle is put in the jaw of the people, i.e., what is known of God through His visitations—His power and divinity—is manifest in them; the plagues are laid upon their heart, and His command that they turn from their abominations and desist from assailing His people is in them. But sin, on this account, is not restrained in them. On the contrary, the bridle causes them to err. They rebel more and more as Pharaoh of old. For the Lord hardens their heart. For it is His purpose to destroy them. (vs. 28b). 

Seeing the salvation of the Lord, His redeemed people shall have a song in the night and a holy assembly as in the night of Israel’s departure from the land of Egypt when the pascal lamb was eaten amid sacred songs as the destroying angel smote Israel’s firstborn. With gladness of heart they shall come to the mountain of the Lord—Zion—come they shall to the rock of Israel (vs. 29). 

And the Lord shall cause the glory of His voice to be heard and reveal the letting down of His arm—the stretching forth of it, i.e., manifest the indignation of His anger—His arm—through flame of devouring fire, scattering, storm and hailstones (vs. 30). 

The source of these means of judgment-of the hail, storm, fire, pestilence etc.—is the Lord, His creative will, and accordingly His tongue, lips, breath, arm, anger, wrath etc. so that the text can speak of the fire of His tongue and of His breath as an overflowing brook of calamity. 

Through the Lord’s voice the Assyrian—the type of the world-power of all the ages that were still to come—shall be confounded. He shall be smitten with the rod of the Lord (vs. 31). And in every place where this rod of doom shall pass as made to rest upon the Assyrian it will be with tabrets and harps, i.e., amidst the song and music of instruments of music on the part of the Lord’s people. And in battles of shaking (of the Lord’s outstretched arm) will He fight against the enemies of His church until they be destroyed (vs. 32). 

For Hell—Trophet in the text—has been ordained of old and prepared for the king (of Assyria); it is deep and large. A great pile of wood is afire there. And the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, kindled it (vs. 33).