R1352-15 Bible Study: A Song Of Triumph

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LESSON II., JANUARY 10, ISA. 26:1-15

Golden Text.—”Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”

In this lesson we have two great cities brought to view; and the burden of the song is that the one has been “laid low, even to the dust”—i.e., utterly destroyed—while the other is established in peace and security. Jehovah is shown to be the destroyer of one, and the founder and strength of the other. (Verses 5,1.) In the symbolic language of the Scriptures a city always represents a government or kingdom. The city here represented as securely established, and as a place of safety for all who love righteousness and truth (verse 2), symbolizes the Millennial Kingdom of God; while the city which is destroyed is the opposing kingdom of the prince of this world. In Revelation 21:2 the former is called “the holy city, the New Jerusalem,” whose excellent glory is described as like that of “a bride adorned for her husband;” while the latter, in Chapters 14:8 and 18:21, is called Babylon, whose unrighteous character is described, and its sudden and violent overthrow predicted and likened to a great

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millstone cast into the sea to be found no more at all.

The time when this song will be sung is also definitely pointed out. “In that day shall this song be sung.” What day? Evidently the day when the singers begin to recognize the fact that the New Jerusalem or Kingdom of God is established in the earth, and that the great city, Babylon, has been completely overthrown—the dawn of the Millennial day. Those two events will occur simultaneously, and will be recognized together, as indicated in this song of triumph.

This calls to mind the theme of our last lesson (Isa. 11:1-10), and, glancing along the intervening chapters, we see that the Prophet applies this same name, Babylon, to the great city whose destruction he predicts, and that he has much to say of its ignoble character, as well as of its doom. See chapters 13:1,19; 14:4,22; 21:9; 47:1.

The destruction of Babylon and the establishment of the New Jerusalem or Kingdom of God are ascribed to Jehovah in verses 1,4 and 5; and this is in harmony with Psa. 2:6. “I [Jehovah] have set my King [Christ] upon my holy hill of Zion.” And the great day of wrath which will accomplish the destruction of Babylon is called “the day of Jehovah.” “Lo, the day of Jehovah doth come, fierce with wrath and heat of anger.”—Isa. 13:9.

We next notice (verse 1) that this song is sung “in the land of Judah,” thus indicating what is elsewhere clearly shown, that Israel will be the first to recognize the Kingdom established.

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And they will say, “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.”—Isa. 25:9.

Having thus distinguished the cities and located the time and the singers, let us now observe the burden of this song. Concerning the great city, Babylon, they sing (verses 5,6), “The lofty city [the city formerly exalted and powerful in the earth], he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust; for he bringeth down them that dwell on high. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor and the steps of the needy”—referring to the great social troubles which will culminate in the utter destruction of all the present civil and ecclesiastical power of “Christendom:” a culmination even now greatly feared by long-headed statesmen and ecclesiastics everywhere.

But concerning the then established city, the New Jerusalem or Kingdom of God, they sing (verse 1), “We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” It will be a strong city of refuge within whose protecting walls all may enter who desire the great salvation which it assures.

Verse 2. “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth [observeth or regardeth] the truth may enter in.” From Rev. 21:12 we learn that the gates or entrances of the city, which are twelve in number, are inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. This is in harmony with what we have learned of the earthly phase of the Kingdom of God (see MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chapter XIV.), that the ancient worthies from the various tribes of Israel, selected during the Jewish age, will be the visible representatives of the heavenly Kingdom in the earth, through whose instrumentality the nations may enter into the blessings of the Kingdom.

Verses 3,4 tell of the peace and general advantages of trusting in God. Verse 7 tells how plain he has made the path of the just—”The way of the just is plain: thou makest exactly plain the path of the just.”—Leeser.

In verses 8,9 they tell how, through the long night of their chastisement, when the judgments of the Lord were upon them, they still remembered the Lord and desired his favor and blessing; and they justify God in sending his chastisements upon them for their correction, because they were necessary.

Verses 10,11 note the fact that the remainder of the world have not yet recognized and submitted themselves to the new Kingdom, but that they shall yet see and be ashamed of their past course, and that God will surely destroy any who persistently remain enemies.

Verse 12 expresses their confidence in God, who has cared for them in the past and ordained peace for them now, since they have come to trust in him.

Verses 13,14 refer to the contrast of their condition under the Kingdom of God with that under other rulers or lords of the past—the evil governments and systems under which they have suffered privation and bitter persecution. Henceforth they desire to make mention only of the Lord as their King and to forget the bitterness and woe of the past while cast off from his favor and subject to other rulers; for they remember that those evil governments and systems have perished, never again to be reorganized to oppress and misrule the world.

Verse 15 again refers to the blessedness of Israel regathered under divine protection and favor—Israel, which for their sins had been scattered to the ends of the earth.


— January 1, 1892 —