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A SONG OF TRIUMPH
LESSON II., JANUARY 10, ISA. 26:1-15.
Golden Text.--"Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in
the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."
In this lesson we have two great cities brought
to view; and the burden of the song is that the
one has been "laid low, even to the dust"--
i.e., utterly destroyed--while the other is established
in peace and security. Jehovah is shown
to be the destroyer of one, and the founder and
strength of the other. (Verses 5,1.) In the
symbolic language of the Scriptures a city always
represents a government or kingdom.
The city here represented as securely established,
and as a place of safety for all who love
righteousness and truth (verse 2), symbolizes
the Millennial Kingdom of God; while the city
which is destroyed is the opposing kingdom of
the prince of this world. In Revelation 21:2 the former is called "the holy city, the New
Jerusalem," whose excellent glory is described
as like that of "a bride adorned for her husband;"
while the latter, in Chapters 14:8and
18:21, is called Babylon, whose unrighteous
character is described, and its sudden and violent
overthrow predicted and likened to a great
[R1352 : page 16] millstone cast into the sea to be found no more
The time when this song will be sung is also
definitely pointed out. "In that day shall
this song be sung." What day? Evidently
the day when the singers begin to recognize the
fact that the New Jerusalem or Kingdom of
God is established in the earth, and that the
great city, Babylon, has been completely
overthrown--the dawn of the Millennial day.
Those two events will occur simultaneously,
and will be recognized together, as indicated
in this song of triumph.
This calls to mind the theme of our last lesson
(Isa. 11:1-10), and, glancing along the
intervening chapters, we see that the Prophet
applies this same name, Babylon, to the great
city whose destruction he predicts, and that he
has much to say of its ignoble character, as
well as of its doom. See chapters 13:1,19;
14:4,22; 21:9; 47:1.
The destruction of Babylon and the establishment
of the New Jerusalem or Kingdom of
God are ascribed to Jehovah in verses 1,4 and 5;
and this is in harmony with Psa. 2:6. "I
[Jehovah] have set my King [Christ] upon my
holy hill of Zion." And the great day of
wrath which will accomplish the destruction
of Babylon is called "the day of Jehovah."
"Lo, the day of Jehovah doth come, fierce with
wrath and heat of anger."--Isa. 13:9.
We next notice (verse 1) that this song is
sung "in the land of Judah," thus indicating
what is elsewhere clearly shown, that Israel will
be the first to recognize the Kingdom established.
[R1353 : page 16] And they will say, "Lo, this is our
God; we have waited for him, and he will
save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for
him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."
Having thus distinguished the cities and located
the time and the singers, let us now observe
the burden of this song. Concerning the
great city, Babylon, they sing (verses 5,6),
"The lofty city [the city formerly exalted and
powerful in the earth], he layeth it low; he layeth
it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it
even to the dust; for he bringeth down them
that dwell on high. The foot shall tread it
down, even the feet of the poor and the steps
of the needy"--referring to the great social
troubles which will culminate in the utter destruction
of all the present civil and ecclesiastical
power of "Christendom:" a culmination
even now greatly feared by long-headed statesmen
and ecclesiastics everywhere.
But concerning the then established city, the
New Jerusalem or Kingdom of God, they sing
(verse 1), "We have a strong city; salvation
will God appoint for walls and bulwarks." It
will be a strong city of refuge within whose
protecting walls all may enter who desire the
great salvation which it assures.
Verse 2. "Open ye the gates, that the righteous
nation which keepeth [observeth or regardeth]
the truth may enter in." From Rev. 21:12 we learn that the gates or entrances of the
city, which are twelve in number, are inscribed
with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
This is in harmony with what we have learned
of the earthly phase of the Kingdom of God (see
MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chapter XIV.), that
the ancient worthies from the various tribes of
Israel, selected during the Jewish age, will be the
visible representatives of the heavenly Kingdom
in the earth, through whose instrumentality
the nations may enter into the blessings of
Verses 3,4tell of the peace and general advantages
of trusting in God. Verse 7tells how
plain he has made the path of the just--"The
way of the just is plain: thou makest exactly
plain the path of the just."--Leeser.
In verses 8,9they tell how, through the long
night of their chastisement, when the judgments
of the Lord were upon them, they still
remembered the Lord and desired his favor and
blessing; and they justify God in sending his
chastisements upon them for their correction,
because they were necessary.
Verses 10,11note the fact that the remainder
of the world have not yet recognized and
submitted themselves to the new Kingdom, but
that they shall yet see and be ashamed of their
past course, and that God will surely destroy
any who persistently remain enemies.
Verse 12expresses their confidence in God,
who has cared for them in the past and ordained
peace for them now, since they have
come to trust in him.
Verses 13,14refer to the contrast of their
condition under the Kingdom of God with that
under other rulers or lords of the past--the evil
governments and systems under which they
have suffered privation and bitter persecution.
Henceforth they desire to make mention only
of the Lord as their King and to forget the
bitterness and woe of the past while cast off
from his favor and subject to other rulers; for
they remember that those evil governments and
systems have perished, never again to be reorganized
to oppress and misrule the world.
Verse 15again refers to the blessedness of
Israel regathered under divine protection and
favor--Israel, which for their sins had been
scattered to the ends of the earth.