Lesson 351 - Junior
"Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word" (Psalm 119:114).
Words of God
Isaiah was a prophet. He spoke the words of the Lord to the Children of Israel, and his words are recorded in the Bible for the good of all mankind. God inspired Isaiah to foretell events, which would take place, and some of Isaiah's prophecies have already come to pass. Isaiah foretold the birth of the Saviour. He said: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" [ISA:9:6]). This was fulfilled when Jesus was born. Isaiah also said: "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" [ISA:53:5]). These words referred to the crucifixion of Jesus, which took place many years later.
To Be Fulfilled
Some of Isaiah's prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. The Great Tribulation was foretold by Isaiah and by other prophets. It has not yet taken place but could come upon the earth and upon the people of the earth very soon.
A tribulation is a condition or a time of suffering and distress. The Great Tribulation will be so severe that no person could survive if those days were not shortened [MAT:24:22]). Isaiah said that there will be "few men left." That tribulation will be greater than any other time of suffering, "such as was not since the beginning of the world . . . nor ever shall be" [MAT:24:21]). The Great Tribulation will affect all people who are on the earth. No partiality will be shown. All will suffer -" the workers and their bosses, the people and their false ministers, those who sell and those who buy, the rich and the poor.
The Earth Shaken
How will the Great Tribulation affect the earth and its inhabitants? The land itself will be laid waste and "utterly spoiled." The earth will be in a condition of ruin, neglect, and destruction. There will be great earthquakes. Isaiah said: "The foundations of the earth do shake. . . . the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage."
"The LORD . . . turneth it upside down." Every mountain and island will be "moved out of their places" [REV:6:14]) and will disappear [REV:16:20]). The stars will fall; the moon will become "as blood"; the sun will become "black as sackcloth of hair" [REV:6:12-13]). Isaiah said: "The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away."
The people and the land will be comfortless and forsaken. They will become weak and powerless. The proud will be humbled. "Every house is shut up, that no man may come in." No joy or happiness can be found. There will be no pleasure in music, nothing to cheer the heart. "All joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone." There will be no escape for the people on earth. Those who flee from one terror will be victims of another. "He who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare" [ISA:24:18]).
The Great Tribulation will be a time of disasters -" not one, but many. John the Beloved was given a glimpse of this Great Tribulation about which Isaiah wrote. John saw the disasters, one after another, as horsemen riding on the earth. War, famine, death, pestilence, and catastrophe will move upon the earth, as recorded in Revelation 6. In this manner the wicked shall be punished. "They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison" [ISA:24:22]).
Why is all this tribulation coming upon the earth? Isaiah gave the cause. He said: "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate." The Children of Israel were told that they would receive a blessing if they obeyed God. If they disobeyed God and His words, there would be a curse on them. Moses said, "Set your hearts unto all the words . . . because it is your life" [DEU:32:46-47]).
Through the words of the prophets, we today are told what will come to pass if we disobey God, if we change His laws, if we break His covenant. Today many people defy God and His laws; they worship money; they live boldly in wickedness. But in the day of God's wrath, they will cast their idols of silver and gold to the moles and to the bats [ISA:2:20]); they will try to hide in dens and in rocks; they will call on the rocks and the mountains to fall on them to hide them from the judgment of God [REV:6:15-16]).
There will be no escape when the anger of the Lord is turned loose upon the nations [ISA:34:2]). Many will die, "for it is the day of the LORD's vengeance" [ISA:34:8]). The Lord will punish the people of the earth because of their iniquity and wickedness [ISA:26:21]).
A Hiding Place
Is there no hiding place from the terrible things, which Isaiah said would come upon the earth? Isaiah wrote the words of the Lord: "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast" [ISA:26:20]). Yes, there is a hiding place for God's people. Before the Great Tribulation, Christ is coming back to take His people out of this world to be with Him. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" [1TS:4:16-17]).
This hiding place with Christ is for His people only. Our concern should be that we belong to Jesus and that we are prepared to meet Him. The Bible teaches that we must walk in all the light that God gives us in order to be full overcomers, prepared to meet Jesus. We who have had the light have learned from the Bible that we must have our sins forgiven, live a sanctified life, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, in order to be ready for Jesus' coming.
One can have his sins forgiven by praying and asking God for forgiveness. (Read [PRO:28:13] and I [JHN:1:9].) After a person is saved, he should be sanctified. By praying and consecrating his life to God, one will receive sanctification, an experience which will take out the root of sin and enable him to live a holy life. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" [1TS:4:3]). For a person o live holy is not only the will of God but it is a requirement, because the Bible says, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" [HEB:12:14]).
There is another experience that we should have in order to walk in the light that has been given to us, and to be ready for Jesus' coming. That is the baptism of the Holy Ghost which Jesus promised to His disciples [ACT:1:5], and which is promised to "as many as the Lord our God shall call" [ACT:2:39]). The baptism of the Holy Ghost gives one power for service and power to witness for the Lord. Do you have these experiences? Are you ready for Jesus' coming? If the trump of God sounded this very hour, would you meet Him in the air?
Isaiah told not only of the Great Tribulation but also told of a hiding place for the followers of the Lord. The Psalmist, too, mentioned a refuge. He said, "The God of Jacob is our refuge" [PS:46:11]). David said: "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me" [PS:27:4-5]).
We need not be overcome by fear. We can be overcomers by faith. Let us not be terrified by the words of Isaiah, but rather let us be prepared, working, watching, and waiting for the coming of the Lord, and thus escape the Great Tribulation which is coming upon the earth.
1. What is the work of a prophet?
2. What prophecies of Isaiah have already come to pass?
3. What is tribulation?
4. Why is the Great Tribulation coming?
5. Where will it take place?
6. How will the people be affected by it?
7. What will happen to the sun, moon, and stars?
8. How will the righteous escape the Tribulation?
9. What must one do to prepare for the Lord's coming?
10. How do we know that there will be a Tribulation?English