Key Verse: “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.”
THE “MOUNTAIN” OR KINGDOM of God is again the theme of our Scripture lesson. A great feast is being prepared by God, and all people will be invited to attend. It is a “feast of fat things, … of wines on the lees.” (Isa. 25:6) This figurative language portrays the richness of God’s blessings that he will pour out on all mankind. Hearty and nurturing truths will be made plain to all. Like wines on the lees—well preserved—the exhilarating doctrines of the peaceable kingdom, which have been forever preserved by God, will cheer men’s hearts. “Give … wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” (Prov. 31:6,7) In God’s kingdom, after centuries of suffering and groaning, mankind will finally put the “poverty” of their sinful state, and the “misery” of the dying condition, behind them.
Isaiah’s prophecy exemplifies the same lesson as Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep. (Matt. 18:12-14) As a shepherd would not be satisfied with accepting the loss of even one sheep, so God is “not willing that any should perish.” (II Pet. 3:9) He makes his “feast of fat things” available to “all people.” This is in harmony with the teaching of Paul regarding Jesus Christ’s dying as “a ransom for all”—not merely for some.—I Tim. 2:6
In God’s kingdom, the “covering cast over all people” will be removed. (Isa. 25:7) This is the covering of ignorance that prevails over the world today. It will be pulled out of the way, revealing a loving God to men. This will be one of the most epic events in human history. At that moment there will not be terror, but amazement. When the true nature of God is made plain, the reaction of mankind will be as expressed in verse 9: “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” This is to be man’s reaction—already foreknown and prophesied—when at long last God is revealed to them. They will discover the God that they had yearned for, and realize that he is not cruel, arbitrary, or vindictive toward them. Rather, he is loving, just, merciful, and kind.
God’s kindness, mercy, justice, and love are expressed in verse 8 of Isaiah’s vision. God will apply the justice-satisfying redemption of Christ’s sacrifice to the benefit of our dying race. As a result, “he will swallow up death in victory.” In his kindness, God will tenderly “wipe away tears from off all faces”—none will be neglected. His mercy will be expressed in taking away the “rebuke of his people … from off all the earth.”
Jesus will accomplish the work of bringing the fallen human race back into harmony with their Creator. The result will be that “God … will dwell among them [restored mankind], and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:3,4, New American Standard Bible) Let us take encouragement from this vision and its hope of mankind’s eternal deliverance in God’s kingdom.