Ariel Is. 29: 1-24 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This chapter runs along the familiar theme of God punishing Jerusalem during the Tribulation, then destroying their enemies at the Second Advent and then restoring Israel at the beginning of the millennium.
Ariel in v.1 is Jerusalem “where David dwelt” but “woe” is pronounced against it. Ariel will be distressed with heaviness and sorrow in v.2. The Lord will fight against Ariel by sending strong nations to arrack her in v.3 and by supernaturally orchestrated natural disasters in v.6. The siege, mount and forts are the work of Israel’s enemies in v.3 [Ezek 4:2] and the thunder, earthquake, noise, storm, tempest and devouring fire are the Lord’s work in v.6 [Rev 11:19, Is 30:30].
The nations that attack Israel will nearly defeat her in v.4 and then suddenly the Lord will come and overthrow them in v.5, 7-8. Their sudden defeat will make their attack seem as if it were all a dream it happens so fast [Zech 14:3].
Now, studying this passage today, we can see clearly what the Lord is planning to do. Why can’t Israel see this? They can’t because they are like drunken men to whom reality is distorted in v.9. But they aren’t drunk; they are blinded by a spirit of deep sleep in v.10 [Rom 11:8]. They are as blind men [Rom 11:25; Matt 23:16, 17, 24, 26]. And so to them the Bible is sealed in v.11. They don’t have the learning in v.12 or the wisdom and understanding in v.14 to get it.
Why would God blind them like this? Verses 13 and 15 hold the answers. The Lord said they:
- Honored me with their lips
- Removed their heart far from me
- Their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men
- They hide their counsel from the Lord
- Their works are in the dark
These are the five-fold marks of classic hypocrisy. Instead of destroying Israel completely for their hypocrisy, the Lord simply refashions them like a potter would the clay in v.16. He takes this country which gets reduced to a remnant in their desolation and turns them into a fruitful field and a forest in v.17. Israel is restored; the deaf hear and the blind see [they finally “get it”]. The meek and poor rejoice in v.19 [Matt 5:3-6; Is 61:1-3]. But their terrible enemies are cut off in v.20-21.
Israel will be redeemed in v.22. None of the following things that occur as a consequence of their restoration will happen until the Lord’s millennial reign:
- There will be children in the midst of him [v.23, fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham that his seed would be a numerous as the stars of heaven, Gen 15:5].
- They will sanctify his name in v.23 [the name of Jesus, predominately, Phil 2:9-11].
- They will fear God in v.23.
- They that erred in spirit will understand in v.24.
- They that murmured will learn doctrine in v.24.
Before we move on to Chapter 30, notice these outstanding verses:
Is 29:4 – the familiar spirit speaks with a whispering voice – Mormons say that a spirit reveals to them that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
Is 29:13 – this is the most concise summation of religion [Matt 15:8-9].
Is 29:15-16 – men will hide and sin in the dark [Ezek 8:7-12].
Is 29:21 – those looking to be offended only need one “word” to trigger their anger [Lk 20:20; Acts 28:25].