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Isaiah 25:6-10a – A Feast of Rich Food

Summary

God's coming kingdom will be like a feast of rich food, celebrated on God's mountain where God promises to swallow up death forever.

Analysis

This is one of the most positive "day of the Lord" passages. To be sure, the judgment of the wicked is not far off (25:10b-12), but here God makes clear that the heavenly banquet is meant for "all peoples." The promise is especially appealing to the poor and needy (25:4), who, no doubt, would never in their lives have experienced a dinner of "rich food" and "well-aged wines." Alas, many affluent readers in our day have a hard time appreciating these offerings because not only are we never without them, but we have become addicted to them so they no longer seem good. The problem, of course, is ours, not the text's. As with many biblical promises, they are properly understood only from a situation of need.

God's mountain, earlier the scene of eternal peace (2:2-4), is now the place where even death is overcome and all tears wiped away. Israel will say on that day, "Lo, this is our God"--and rightly so. There are many descriptions and images of God in the Bible, some more positive than others. But the text is clear: This is the image of God par excellence. This is our God--the God of life and abundance who intimately and personally reaches out to wipe the tears from the eyes of those in pain.

Isaiah 25:6-10a


6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
   a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
   of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.
7 And he will destroy on this mountain
   the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
   the sheet that is spread over all nations;
8 he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
   and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
   for the Lord has spoken.
9 It will be said on that day,
   Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
   This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
   let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
10 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.


The Moabites shall be trodden down in their place
   as straw is trodden down in a dung-pit.

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10 February 2011

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