Read Isaiah 29-32.
“Ariel” means altar hearth, so the opening lines of this portion of Isaiah tell us that we are going to observe a bloody, religious event. I see the following themes running through this portion of scripture:
Warnings from God
- Against insincerity, injustice, complacency, oppression, deceitfulness
- Against the nations that oppose Jerusalem
- Against Israel for putting their trust in any other than God
The mysterious justice and compassion of God
- Those nations sent against Israel are punished
- Those who cannot see, hear, understand, or read are condemned
- Violence, killing, and bloodshed bring about justice and compassion
Salvation comes from God
- When God’s Spirit is poured out
- Returning to Him brings blessing, justice, righteousness, truth, clarity, and peace.
Reading these passages prompted me to read Heidelberg Catechism # 21 again. Q. What is true faith? A. True faith is not only a knowledge and conviction that everything God reveals in his Word is true; it is also a deep-rooted assurance, created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel, that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ, not only others, but I too, have had my sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation.
– Dave Dykgraaf