I know enough about reading Isaiah that, within the prophecies of days of judgment and days of restoration, there is pictured events which are imminent and events which are little further off in the future. Judah to be judged soon, the world to be judged eventually. Return from exile and restoration, at least on a temporary basis within at least some of the people’s lives he’s writing to, reconstruction, on a forever basis for those who are possessors of eternal life. Sorting through which is which can be tricky — and sometimes, I’m pretty sure, it’s not either/or it’s both/and. Such may be the case with a couple of verses I’m hovering over this morning.
The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.
(Isaiah 33:5-6 ESV)
According to my handy-dandy, online bible program, some commentators view this vision of Isaiah being fulfilled when Hezekiah became king over Judah. And to be sure, under his reign there was a great reversal of Judah’s slide down the slippery slope of idolatry and rebellion (2Chr. 29-31). The temple was cleansed and reopened for business. The Passover again celebrated in a way that had not been seen in Jerusalem since King Solomon. And the priesthood revitalized. To be sure, the fear of the LORD seemed to have again come to Judah. But, all that was undone (and more) when, after Hezekiah’s death, his son, Manasseh, took the throne.
So, while Hezekiah may have been the stability of your times if your times ended when his did, if you happened to live beyond Hezekiah, he would have been the stability of your times for only some of your time. Thus, only partially fulfilling Isaiah’s words. (Make sense?)
Thus, could Isaiah have also been pointing to another king who would come who would be the stability for all times? I’m thinkin’ . . .
There is coming a day when the King of kings will return, be exalted, and dwell on high. A time when He will fill Zion, and the whole earth, with justice and righteousness, with an abundance of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. And He will be the stability of your times for all time. Even so, Lord Jesus, come!
But as I chew on the promise of this future day I’m reminded that Jesus is the stability of your times even at this time.
If any one word could describe our current times, it’s unstable. Politically, environmentally, internationally, pandemic-ally — not to mention whatever’s happening personally — who knows what a day will bring? Not this guy. Yet, amidst the stress and uncertainty there is a peace that passes understanding. A wellness of the soul amidst the waves of the storm. There is a stability for the times for those who know Jesus, for those who abide in Jesus.
The King is coming, for sure. But the King has come — equally for sure. He will reign over all the earth, but even now He reigns. Then, we will be with Him, but even now He is with us, living in us and through us by His Holy Spirit. An anchor for the soul.
He is the Rock. He is the sure foundation. His promises are true. His provision is sufficient. His power known even in our weakness.
He is the stability of our times. Amen?
By His grace. For His glory.
THE SOLID ROCK
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In ev’ry high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
His oath His covenant His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
When He shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
Edward Mote | William Batchelder Bradbury
© Public Domain