Isaiah 27 (ESV)
The Redemption of Israel
In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.
What do we know about Leviathan from this passage? We know that Leviathan is identified with a serpent. We know that Leviathan is resisting God (fleeing . . . twisting; twisting has the idea of coiling, as if it were ready to strike). We know that Leviathan is connected with the sea. And we know that Leviathan’s destiny is to be destroyed by the Lord.
What do we know about Leviathan from other passages of Scripture? Leviathan is referred to in passages like Job 3:8, Job 41, Psalm 74:14, and Psalm 104:26. These passages reinforce the idea of Leviathan as a mighty, serpent-like creature, connected with the sea, who resists God and will be crushed by the Lord.
We are familiar with the reference to Satan as a serpent (Genesis 3:1-5), but here the picture is of a sea-serpent or perhaps what we would know as a dragon. This reference may be a literal reference, and at some point in history, either past or present, Satan may manifest himself as monster connected with the sea. Certainly, Revelation uses this imagery in describing the emergence of the Antichrist (Revelation 13:1-4).
Essentially, Isaiah prophesies the ultimate defeat of Satan when the Kingdom of the Messiah conquers all (He will slay the dragon).
2 In that day,
“A pleasant vineyard, sing of it!
3 I, the Lord, am its keeper;
every moment I water it.
Lest anyone punish it,
I keep it night and day;
4 I have no wrath.
Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!
I would march against them,
I would burn them up together.
5 Or let them lay hold of my protection,
let them make peace with me,
let them make peace with me.”
6 In days to come Jacob shall take root,
Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots
and fill the whole world with fruit.
“Whereas the vineyard in chapter 5 was overrun by thorns, not a brier or thorn can be found in this vineyard.”
–Herbert M. Wolf
7 Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them?
The Lord shows His mercy to Israel, in that even though the Lord struck Israel when Israel went astray, He did not strike Israel as severely as He did the other nations that went astray.
Or have they been slain as their slayers were slain?
8 Measure by measure, by exile you contended with them;
he removed them with his fierce breath in the day of the east wind.
9 Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be atoned for,
The Lord shows His mercy to Israel in that He covers their sin. This is ultimately fulfilled in the Kingdom of the Messiah, when all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26).
and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:
when he makes all the stones of the altars
like chalkstones crushed to pieces,
no Asherim or incense altars will remain standing.
The Lord shows His mercy to Israel in that He destroys their idolatrous altars and images, forcing them to worship the Lord only.
10 For the fortified city is solitary,
a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;
there the calf grazes;
there it lies down and strips its branches.
11 When its boughs are dry, they are broken;
women come and make a fire of them.
For this is a people without discernment;
therefore he who made them will not have compassion on them;
he who formed them will show them no favor.
The city of man lies desolate . . .
12 In that day from the river Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt the Lord will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel. 13 And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
. . . while the city of Jerusalem is thriving as God’s people return and worship Him.
The Church of All Nations, completed in Jerusalem in 1924, stands adjacent to the Garden of Gethsemane. Inside on the ceiling of the church are flags from the many countries which contributed to construction. Inside on the floor of the church is a section of bedrock where visitors can remember Jesus praying before his arrest, trial, and crucifixion.
When I have stood inside, looking at the rock and imagining Christ the King sweating it out to be obedient for the salvation of the world — oh, it takes my breath away. What else to do, then, but fall before my Savior and worship?
HERE is Steve Camp and “The Beauty of Holiness.”
Psalm 96:9-11 (KJV)
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.