“IN THAT DAY”
Jason K. Boothe
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. (2) Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. (3) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (4) Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: (5) For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. (6) The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. (7) The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. (8) Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. (9) With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (10) Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. (11) LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them. (12) LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. (13) O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. (14) They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. (15) Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. (16) LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. (17) Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. (18) We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. (19) Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (20) Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. (21) For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Will God comfort His people? Can believers have assurance of faith? Will God deal with the wicked? These are the major questions addressed by this portion of Isaiah’s prophecy. Isaiah assures the people of God that “In that day” God’s purpose and will shall unfold in full and complete perfection. In That Day, writes Isaiah, God provides comfort for His people. In That day, God shall assure His People. And in that day, God shall judge the wicked.
I. In That Day, God Comforts His People (vv. 1,2)
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. (2) Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Hundreds of years before Christ’s first advent, the Prophet Isaiah identified a coming time of wonderful Gospel outpouring that would usher in the second coming of Christ, calling it “that day.” Beloved, it thrills my heart to proclaim to you that we are blessed of the Lord to live here and now in that day! Ever since Christ’s full payment for sin on Calvary’s tree, we have lived in that day: that day of Gospel proclaimation, that day of reigning grace, that day when God shall, in time, reap His great harvest of souls secured by Christ at Calvary unto Himself. And when that day finally comes to an end, the ground shall cast out the dead in Christ, those of us who are alive will be caught up as well, and together we will see the gates of that heavenly city, New Jerusalem, swing wide as we enter into the joys of the Lord. For eternity, all of God’s beloved people will worship and praise as we peer into the very face of He who makes all things new! We look to the wondrous Coming of Christ at the close of this Gospel season to comfort our weary hearts and to encourage one another. In Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, he exhorts the brethren with this glorious promise:
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (4:13-18)
What comfort is afforded us in the Word of God, beloved! And in reply, as the prophet Isaiah wrote, let us sing songs of our salvation in Christ until the great day of the Lord’s return. Then, let us sing them forevermore in praise of His glorious grace bestowed on us in the finished work of Christ Jesus.
II. In That Day, God Assures His People (vv. 3,4,12,13)
(3) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (4) Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: 12) LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. (13) O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.
As we patiently await the close of “that day,” Isaiah reminds us of the keeping power of God in Christ. God promises in verse three to keep His people “in perfect peace” because as verse four reminds us, “in JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” In the midst of the struggles and trials of this live, even as we battle and fail in our struggles against the sins to which we are prone, God provides us perfect peace in Christ! This truth rings loudly in Colossians:
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (23) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; (1:19-23)
Those who believe the true Gospel are they that “continue in the faith grounded and settled,” and are “not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” And believers of the true Gospel have every assurance from Scripture that peace and security is the lot of every Christian! Perfect peace is not the result of our toil! It is not the result of a lifetime of half-measured deeds. Perfect peace with God is wrought through the blood of Christ Jesus alone. Only He could make this peace. Christ saves us, granting us repentance, a change of mind from “wicked works” to faith in the living God, reconciling everything between the Christian and the righteous requirements of God’s holiness.
Surely, God has wrought all our works in us through Christ (v. 12). The very fact we even mention God’s precious name is in light of the empowering Holy Spirit who has granted us repentance and faith!
III. In That Day, God Will Judge the Wicked Reprobate (vv.10,11,21)
(10) Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. (11) LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.(21) For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Isaiah presents a hypothetical scenario: Suppose God did show favor to the wicked. What would change? How would they respond? Would they run to God in repentance and faith? The prophet’s answer lines up with the rest of God’s Word on the subject: The reprobate wicked, those destined for destruction, will not and cannot change their heart’s dead condition should God pour worldly favor on them to the uttermost! The prophet teaches us that the wicked will “not learn righteousness.” Scripture has much to say about the reprobate wicked. Consider this brief sampling from the Psalms:
Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Psalm 10:3-4 For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. (4) The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Psalm 73:18-20 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. (19) How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. (20) As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
The wicked will face God’s judgement in God’s good time and in God’s own way, the fire of their own making will devouring them. In that day, God will judge righteously and will by no means clear the guilty!
In that day, Christ will come again. Comfort one another with these words. In that day, Christ Himself as witnessed by His own finished work, will be the assurance of His people. In that day, the wicked reprobate, being made to stand in slippery place, will come to a crashing end as God rightly judges the living and dead according to righteousness.
The remaining question for us to consider this morning comes in light of what we’ve learned from the text: Do you know the Lord as your righteousness before God? Has the Spirit of God testified of this truth to you? Do you believe the Lord will keep you in perfect peace? Friends, today is the day of salvation. Those who hear, those to whom this blessed truth has been given, those to whom the arm of the Lord has revealed this Gospel, come and drink of the waters of life freely! Know that Christ will never leave you or forsake you. Praise God forever!