Isaiah 25: The Banquet
Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Yay! A happy chapter! Chapter 25 just may be the most powerful passage of Scripture I’ve ever read. It’s short and uncomplicated and there’s not much I can add. Isaiah said it best.
So this is one of those exhortations that doesn’t take long to read, but it can take you a lifetime to ponder:
Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago. (verse 1)
This is the song of the remnant on their way up to Zion, traveling through the cities of the proud now humbled. They come singing of their Deliverer’s awesome power as they look on the cities of the ruthless, now ruined. Those whose cities the LORD tore down will now honor Him and tremble in reverence as the rescued pass through, proclaiming what they've learned about the One who’s invited them there.
At the end of the trek is a banquet prepared by the LORD of all. It’s a lavish feast with the most delicious food and the finest of wines. Only the best for His chosen. And here is the most incredible thing of all—people from every nation are invited in. Just count how many times Isaiah says “all“:
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken. (verses 6-8)
Is there any question that the Lord is merciful and kind?
This is the feast that Jesus spoke of when he broke bread for is disciples at his last supper on earth. With surety and in anticipation of this day, he gave them the bread and said, “I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 26:26)
This is the banquet Jesus referred to in his parable of the great feast (Luke 14:16-23) when the only qualification to attend was a willingness to come, and the only ones excluded were the unwilling and the proud.
While people from all corners of the earth enter into the Kingdom to eat, drink and be merry, Moab remains outside. Rather than reaching his hand out for rescue, he clings stubbornly to his pride. And so,“in the place he chose he will be trodden down.” (verse 10)
People from every other tribe and nation will gather with the remnant to celebrate God. His generosity of grace and goodness will be on display. He will remove the dark cloud that hangs over their heads and then tend to each one as He wipes tears from their eyes. Those bent over by the weight of the world will lift their heads to look joyfully at the One who has saved them, and He will swallow up death forever.
And in that moment, at that glorious time, people will say:
"This is our God! We put our hope in him.
We knew that He would save us!
This is our God, the Eternal for whom we waited
Let us rejoice and celebrate in His liberation." For on this mountain, the powerful hand of the Eternal abides. (verse 9-10a)
To all who’ve ever doubted, it becomes perfectly clear: In perfect faithfulness, God does all He’s said He will do—wonderful things He planned long ago.
When it seems like the darkness is winning, remember this: He who sits in the heavens laughs (Psalm 2:1-6). He’s never given up; He’s never despaired. The plans of the enemy were doomed from the start and those preserved by the Faithful God will call His Kingdom “home.“
Inside the gates, Jesus—who for the joy set before him endured the cross—is seated and waiting for us (Hebrews 12:2).