Read 187.) Isaiah 29:1 thru 32:20. If conservative Evangelicals are correct about their understanding of Biblical Eschatology, or the study of last things, end times, then wherever we read of these things in scripture, there ought to be congruency. We say that the End Times will consist of a 7-year Tribulation period, a 1,000-year Millennial Kingdom on this earth, and then the Eternal State upon a new earth. While we have a good bit of understanding of things from the New Testament, the vast body of knowledge about these is to be found with the prophets of the Old Testament. Word clues tell us what period they are addressing. We see a good deal of that here: Chapter 29 opens with woe upon Jerusalem, but beginning with verse 5, we see the end of the Tribulation, and the Return of Christ once again! Ending with verse 8, we see what John related to us in Revelation 19:11 thru 20. He returns to deliver remnant Israel at the very end, when all the nations are about to devour them, affecting their ‘Final Solution.’ Verse 13 was quoted by Jesus to His people Israel 750 year later. Verse 17 to the end speaks of Israel’s spiritual renewal in the Millennium. Words like, “No longer,” always work as a sure clue.
Chapter 30 addresses Judah’s dependence upon Egypt for protection, rather than the Lord, who promised that He would protect them, if they would only believe and trust in Him. Their solution is found in verse 15; repent and trust! Verses 19 thru 26 go to the Millennium with word clues, “No more,” and, “In that day.” These will be the very best of times! Chapter 31 resumes His complaint of their reliance upon Egypt. Verses 4 thru 6 again speak of the day of Christ’s Return for Israel, at the end of the Tribulation. He closes by speaking of Assyria falling to Babylon, but ordered of the Lord.
Chapter 32 closes our reading with great Millennial hope in verses 1 thru 5, and 15 thru 20. Verse 1 is King Jesus and His perfect rule! Verses 9 thru 14 tell of calamity to fall upon Judah the next year. If 723 BC, this will be Assyria coming for them, and taking their harvest. It could be averted, if only they would repent. Verse 15 holds forth the pouring out of God’s Spirit upon His people in the end, as Joel did most famously some 100 years before, in chapter 3, verses 28 and 29 of his book. The chapter ends on that positive Millennial hope and promise of peace and prosperity for Israel in the Kingdom.
Conservative Evangelicals have it right. There are 3 easily definable future, yet unfulfilled, periods of time. The duration of each is told us in the Revelation of the New Testament, but so much of what those times are really going to be like is scattered all throughout the writing prophets of our Old Testament, and the abundance of word clues, such as, “forever,” here, help us to see and understand that this Book really is the Word of God! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell