Isaiah 1:24-26 God is Sovereign

Isaiah 1:24-26 Therefore, the sovereign Lord who commands armies, the powerful ruler of Israel, says this: “Ah, I will seek vengeance against my adversaries, I will take revenge against my enemies. I will attack you; I will purify your metal with flux.  I will remove all your slag. I will re-establish honest judges as in former times, wise advisers as in earlier days. Then you will be called, ‘The Just City, Faithful Town.’”

v. 24 The first phrase is very offensive. At issue is the idea of a sovereign God. Sovereignty is defined as the definitive ruler of the universe. Yes, this is saying that despite all of the billions of free wills on this planet, God is in charge. Sovereignty does not mean we have any choices. We do have choices. This same God created us with a free will to make our own choices. However, God is in absolute control in spite of all of us and our decisions. He is in charge of man (1 Samuel 2:6-8), nations (Habakkuk 1:6), history (Psalm 115:1-3), and Satan (Job 1:6-12).

The context of the passage is military in nature. All the military personnel in the world could agree to fight God (and they will as noted in Psalm 2 and Revelation 19:19-21) and they don’t stand a chance. This ruler is definitively in charge of the military and Israel. This is not a peace negotiation.  The Lord will comfort and console Himself by delivering a profound, vengeful defeat to His enemies. There are many examples of the decisive and bloody defeat that is coming. Two of these include Isaiah 63:3 “I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. Notice, He does not require any help. He does it all by Himself. Revelation 19:15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

v. 25 The idiomatic language returns with the metals. The impurities of the flux and slag will be removed. The heat will be turned up and the bad stuff will be separated and removed from the good. The corrupt city officials will be replaced with honest judges and wise city leaders. Can you imagine a government entity with honesty and wisdom?

Notice that honesty and wisdom are equated with faith. So according to God’s Word, character does matter. This mindset is clearly at odds with today’s culture and politicians. We have politicians today who lecture us that character does not affect job performance and political decisions. I am not naming names, but understand that aspects of today’s culture are in direct opposition to what the Bible says.

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