Isaiah 24-27 declares in picturesque language that God is beyond question sovereign above all and will decide the ultimate turn of events in favor of people who believe in Him. Isaiah 27:2-5 is a song about the master of the vineyard to be sung by the remnant on their day of deliverance. Yahweh is the “keeper” of the vineyard who guards it day and night (27:3). What He purposed originally for the vineyard in chapter 5 will come to pass on the Day of the Lord. His power and initiative will overcome sinfulness when He destroys the weapons of His opposition and offers His mercy instead. Doubling the offer of peace underscores Yahweh’s willingness to make peace with anyone who opposes Him (27:4-5).
The picture of the vineyard immediately transforms into a picture of Israel producing the goodness for the world that God originally intended her to do (27:6; see Gen. 12:3). God has been merciful toward Israel, not striking them as hard for their sin as He has the nations who brutalized her (27:7). Still, He will send Israel into exile to chasten them, and this will serve as an appropriate punishment. Exile will fulfill God’s demand for atonement, when idolatry is eliminated and Yahweh is recognized as the one true God (27:8-9). The “fortified city” represents nations who opposed Israel and sought her destruction. They trusted in their military might and their fortresses. God will destroy these strongholds and leave them fit only for pastures (27:10-11a). These oppressor nations fail to learn the lessons of not trusting God and will reap the harvest of their choice - no compassion and no grace (27:11b).
On the Day of the Lord, however, God will act to bring His people back to Him. In a picture of harvest time, He will “thresh” the lands where they have been taken and bring home His people. Of the many faithful, not one will be overlooked (27:12). Recall that in apocalyptic writing the people addressed are to have patience and “wait” on the Lord until He acts (See 25:9). He will bring victory out of their terrible circumstances. Isaiah says that those who were “perishing” and “scattered” will become a congregation of worshipers on His “holy” mountain (27:13). That day will come for Isaiah’s remnant, but in its fulness on the Day of the Lord.
Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.