What does Isaiah 4:4-6 mean?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Speaker 1

Alihat is asking, what does Isaiah four, four to six mean?

Speaker 2

Thanks, Alihat. And I definitely like questions like this where we’re asked to dig into a verse, especially one that doesn’t come up that often. So let’s talk about a little bit of background. First of Isaiah four, it’s important to always look at what’s before, what’s after. And here for Isaiah four, it’s following Isaiah three, obviously, but Isaiah three is ending with this discussion of these women of Judah and they got really proud. And God talks about, okay, all your men are going to be destroyed and the gates of Jerusalem or Judah are going to lament and mourn and be desolate. So the question here is, is this being metaphorical or is this being literal? Is it talking about figurative Israel or is it talking about literal Israel or literal Judah? And this is where the great debate is. And definitely there’s plenty to say that this literally happened and maybe it could be figuratively talked about things to come, but nobody’s 100% sure. But there’s always this is it literal or is it figurative? And for that chapter, it does seem like it could have both applications. Then we come to Isaiah four, starting at verses two and three.

Speaker 2

We now see entering in this notion of the branch. And the branch is kind of this buzz term for Jesus. So it’s talking about Jesus’s presence and Jesus is here and things are happening because of it and talk about this remnant that’s left in Jerusalem. So again, the question is, is this talking about literal or is this figurative? And this is something that’s not as clearly seen as being fulfilled yet. Yes, Jesus did eventually show, but then is it talking about literal Israel and literal Judah that’s being left there? Again, who knows? But when we come to Isaiah four, verses four to six, we have even more certainty in the sense that this has not been fulfilled yet. And we see in verse four, let’s read it. It says, when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning and then we go down. Then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion and above her assemblies a cloud and smoke by day and of the shining of a flaming fire by night.

Speaker 2

For over all the glory there will be a covering. And we know, like we don’t see today, literally any cloud by day and pillar of smoke by night at all around Mount Zion and Jerusalem. So we know this hasn’t been fulfilled yet, at least not in a literal sense. And has it been done figuratively? That would be harder to parse out, but we do see verses that really interact seem to resonate with what we just read. So in verse four, it’s talking about purging and cleansing and involvement of the Holy Spirit. Well, there’s language that seems to speak to like Acts 319 where it said, repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out so that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. That seems to connect here. And what is that time of refreshing? A lot of people understand that to be the Second Coming. And indeed we see Malachi three two similar language that again is also seeming to point to the second coming. It says, but who can endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap he will sit as refiner and a purifier of silver.

Speaker 2

He will purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer to Lord an offering in righteousness. Now granted, some of this was accomplished by Jesus in person. And as I mentioned in verses two and three of Isaiah, there’s this indication of the branch being present. So Jesus was present after Jesus left. It talked about how many of the priests actually converted to Christianity. So if those priests were of the lineage of Levi, it was fulfilled then even the verse of Malachi of purifying the sons of Levi literally if that was what was spoken there. But then going back to verse five where it know there’d be this dwelling place of Mount Zion and this cloud of smoke by day and shining of fire by night. Where have we heard this before? So this seems to be pointing back to or using the same language as that pillar of fire and pillar of cloud and that pillar of fire that followed the Israelites during their time in the wilderness and that was the presence of God with them. And I say actually that was Jesus as the angel of the Lord there with them as the fire and as the cloud giving them what they needed at the right time.

Speaker 2

And that was sort of the ultimate symbol again of God’s presence being with them and God’s provision and God’s protection. And God is in a sense promising that again for his people that that will be a defining element when he returns. And we sort of see a hint of that in Revelation 22 five, which says, there will be no more night there. They need no lamp nor light of the sun for the Lord gives them light and they shall reign forever and ever. So it seems to fit with, okay, this is the future when God will come after the second Coming. And verse six it says, and there will be a tabernacle for the shade in the daytime from heat and a place of refuge for shelter from the storm and rain. And again, this could be connected to this notion of God providing protection and creating paradise for us, this place where we could truly rest and not be attacked and assaulted even by the forces of nature anymore. And that ties into with what we see in Revelation 21 four. And God will wipe away every tear from their eye. There should be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying.

Speaker 2

There should be no more pain. For the former things have passed away. So it’s going to be a different experience once we’re actually living with God and God is living with us. And we notice the term glory in verse five says for over all the glory there will be a covering. Glory often is pointing to that future time where we will be glorified, our bodies will be glorified and our experiences are going to be completely different given because right now we’re so limited. We are just carnal, we’re just in like an earthly state, but in the glorified state it’s just going to be so different and we’re going to be in the presence of God’s glory. It’s not going to be concealed from us. In fact, we’re going to be wrapped in it. We’re going to have the robes of light. And whether the earth itself will be wrapped in glory too, is that being literal about that? Who knows? We have to wait and see. But it does tie into this nature that no longer will we even be naked, but will be wrapped again with the the robes of righteousness that were promised in Revelation and elsewhere.

Speaker 2

So hope this is helpful and this notion of God providing a sanctuary and being a safe place for us. This also ties into Psalm 91, one of my favorite verses for a lot of people, where it starts in verse one it says, he who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. And I will say to the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust. So of course in the future we will dwell literally in that secret place. We will be in the shadow of the Most High. That will literally be fulfilled. But I believe there also is a spiritual application to this where today even we can dwell in God, we can place our cares, place our concerns, and even by faith be in his presence. As Paul says, we could go boldly before the throne of grace. We don’t have to be there in person, but by faith we can. And so pray that you can also find blessings with these verses, comfort for things to come, but also what we can enjoy by faith today. Thank you very much for asking these questions and Dana, love to hear if you have other thoughts, insights about these verses which just truly don’t get talked about.

Speaker 1

Looking, I’m sorry, I’m just kind of looking at them again now. And right now I’m reading the Book of Ezekiel, and Ezekiel is talking all about the judgments of Israel in a lot of ways. And it kind of just reminds me of basically how God is talking about God’s always trying to help us, to restore us to Himself, because like it says in Isaiah 59 two, that sin separates us. So God’s always trying to restore us to Him. And when it’s talking in verse four, when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning. Because the thing was what was going on in the nation of Israel back then is the people were worshiping Baal and part of Baal worship was to sacrifice your children. And so God is saying like, this is unacceptable. We need to put this sin away. We need to get rid of this. And so in the book of Ezekiel, he talks a lot, the, the daughters of like the daughter of Samaria, which is Jerusalem. And so God is basically saying we need to put away sin.

Speaker 1

We see how this works through the sanctuary. And God is always trying to lead us out of darkness, out of sin, away from those things so that we can be restored to Him, because again, that is always his will. That’s why he said, let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them, because that’s always God’s purpose, is to be with us and to forgive us and to wash us and cleanse us because he loves us so much. So anyways, that’s just my only thought for that one. You could say it.

For the full episode:
https://youtube.com/live/H0JpCNBCxuQ

Share this video with a friend:
https://youtu.be/ZuLotTM8EUY

Leave a Comment