Read Is 26:20—27:13
Isa 27:1-6 In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea. (2) In that day, “A pleasant vineyard, sing of it! (3) I, the LORD, am its keeper; every moment I water it. Lest anyone punish it, I keep it night and day; (4) I have no wrath. Would that I had thorns and briers to battle! I would march against them, I would burn them up together. (5) Or let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me, let them make peace with me.” (6) In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit.
Who or what is this Leviathan or dragon? Some commentators think these are actually three different creatures representing different world powers at the time. Yet the Church’s, our struggle, is not against flesh and blood. John sees and I think better identifies this beast in Revelation: Rev 12:9 “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Satan may have seen to have won the battle in the garden, yet that was only the beginning of his ultimate defeat. It may seems to us, with all the craziness in the world that the devil is winning the war. Yet John sees Michael and his angels cast Satan out of heaven. He is doing his worse here now for he knows his time is short. At the end of the age, Satan and all those who follow him, his angels and humanity who put their hats in with him will be cast into the lake of fire which is the second death. Rev. 20:10, 13, 14
Ah, but what of the Lord’s vineyard? The Lord Jesus Christ sings over his vineyard. That vineyard is his Church. It is the Church, which includes ancient Israel and Judah, the Church as we see it today. It is full of hypocrites, liars, thieves, adulterers and murderers. Yet God’s holy people reside inside. It is a field of wheat and tares, of wheat and chaff. The Lord keeps, waters and cares for his Church. Mat 16:18 Jesus said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus does not battle with his Church or even the tares and chaff that fill it. He calls to them to make peace with him. How do the members of the visible Church make peace with their Redeemer and Savior? By trusting they have been redeemed and saved. Of course in that act, they confess they have need of being redeemed and saved from their sins.
Jesus calls out to the members of his body, the Church to lay hold of his protection for Peter tells us, 1Pe 4:17-19 “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (18) And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ (19) Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” In the meantime, Jacob takes roots and Israel blossoms, the Church fills the whole earth as the Spirit gathers to Jesus people of every language, tribe, nation and people to be his holy Church. He has declared it. It will happen. Be at peace with Jesus your King and God.
Lord Jesus Christ, ever protect your Church from all her enemies, especially the devil and make her to grow upon the face of the earth and make us members of the same, protecting and perfecting us until the day you reveal yourself and your Church to the world. Amen.