Having recently studied this chapter in Isaiah just a couple of months ago, I’m reading over this chapter with a broader view.
There is a reality that is illustrated in this chapter. That reality is that God is a loving, patient and benevolent companion to those who will have him. This reality is reinforced throughout this chapter with statements like the following:
- “thou shalt be far from oppression”
- “terror… shall not come near thee”
- “whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake”
So then the natural question that follows is why are “bad” things happening to the righteous. The answer is in verse 16:
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
So my conclusion from reviewing this chapter is that at the ultimate end, it is the individual’s personal progression that is of greatest concern to the Lord. Outward organization and warlike metaphors can be more symbolic than literal. Not that these prophecies do not have reference to actual historical or future events. But service to the Lord, in his Church, or in whatever capacity they are found, is designed more for the benefit of the individual and their spiritual progression than it is to fill a function within the Church. It is more about us becoming the instruments in the Lord’s hands, while having our impurities purged or destroyed from us.