Isaiah 29 begins with a woe against Ariel. Ezra mentions an Israelite by the name of Ariel once but this chapter in Isaiah is the only place in the whole Bible where Jerusalem is referred to as Ariel.
Ariel means lion of God. Here, it refers to the city of Jerusalem where David dwelled but it is also where the Lion, from the tribe of Judah—Yeshua HaMashiyach (Jesus, the Messiah) will dwell in the future.
Years will go by and the feasts will be celebrated in their cyclical fashion but the Lord promised to eventually encamp against Ariel. This is in contrast to how the tribes of Israel once camped around the Tabernacle in the wilderness; this was a time when the Lord dwelled among His people. The Lord warned them He would make war against them. The result would be their deaths. At that point, the only way they could speak to Him would be from the ground. Based on the following verses, it seems that multitudes will come against Ariel but the multitudes will suddenly turn to dust as well.
Isaiah 29 continues by warning the people of Ariel that the Lord of hosts (armies) will punish them with storm, thunder, earthquake, and fire while Revelation 19:11-16 describes Him coming with His armies to strike down the nations. The multitude of all the nations that come against Ariel will be as a hungry man’s night vision. In other words, their desires will not be satisfied.
Even now, there is a strong desire among Israel’s enemies to wipe the Jews off the earth and seize the land for themselves. Surely, Isaiah 29 concerns the future around the time when the seven trumpets (shofars) will sound (Revelation 8 & 11).
Israel’s prophets and seers couldn’t really discern or understand anything because the Lord has stunned them with a spirit of lethargy. To them, the vision described in Isaiah was and is a sealed book. It is much like the vision Daniel sealed and the visions John saw in Revelation. Even now the vision is taking shape but there isn’t complete agreement on the meaning of the visions.
What is the problem? The problem is the same as it’s been for many generations. The New American Standard Updated Version translates it well. Isaiah 29:13-14 says, “Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, 14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.” According to these verses, the problem was:
- Insincerity or lip service,
- Heart defect,
The Lord wants sincerity, hearts of love and devotion, and obedience to His written Word! This is what Jesus stood for. He was irritated by the fact the leaders voided the written law of God by their traditions (Matthew 15:3). When Jesus taught His disciples, He used parables so the disciples could know the secrets of the kingdom of God but also so that those around them could look and hear but would not be able to see, hear, and understand (Luke 8:9-10).
Even the apostle Paul warned the readers of Colossians 2:8-9, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” We are to heed Paul’s warning and not to become blinded by such things. Philosophy and traditions can eventually cause us to give lip service to the Lord and affect our heart condition. Our wisdom will disintegrate and we’ll lose the ability to properly discern anything. We must pray for wisdom, discernment, and understanding while actively pursuing righteousness which is obedience to God’s commandments. We must separate ourselves from paganized Christianity (spiritual Babylon the Great) and honor the terms of our marriage covenant with the Lord.
We must also pray that the Lord will open the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf. Especially, pray that Israel will be able to see, know, and understand beyond a shadow of a doubt that Yeshua is HaMashiyach (Jesus is the Messiah) before the Beast, Scoffer, or Tyrant rises to power. If not soon, then after all that has been said has been done. Pray for the protection of Israel; for justice and mercy to prevail; and for the wicked to be cut off quickly if their hearts are so hard they will never repent. Pray for Israel to stand in awe of the Holy One of Israel.
May He be consecrated, praised, and magnified forever!