Isaiah 33:22
For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.
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(22) The Lord is our judge . . .—The verb is better omitted, and the threefold iteration of the name of Jehovah, in each case with a special characteristic, taken as the subject of the final verb: “The Lord, our judge, the Lord, our lawgiver . . . He will save us.”



Isaiah 33:22

There is reference here to the three forms of government in Israel: by Moses, by Judges, by Kings. In all, Israel was a Theocracy. Isaiah looks beyond the human representative to the true divine Reality.

I. A truth for us, in both its more specific and its more general forms.

{a} Specific. Christ is all these three for us-Authority; His will law; Defender.

{b} More general. Everything that human beings are to us, they are by derivation from Him-and He sums in Himself all forms of good and blessing. Every name among men for any kind of helper belongs to Him. All tender, helpful relationships are but ‘broken lights of Thee.’

II. A lesson hard to learn and to remember.

One knows not whether it is harder for faith to look beyond the visible helpers or delights to the Unseen Real One, or to look through tears, when these are gone, and to see Him clearly filling an otherwise empty field of vision. When we have a palpable prop to lean on, it is difficult to be clearly aware that, unless the palpable support were held up by the Unseen, it could not be a prop, and to lean on it would be like resting one’s weight on a staff stuck in yielding mud. But it is no less difficult to tell our hearts that we have all that we ever had, when what we had leaned on for many happy days and found to hold us up is stricken from beneath us. Present, the seen lawgiver, judge, or king stays the eyes that should travel past him to God Himself; removed, his absence makes a great emptiness, in whose vacuity it is difficult for faith to discern the real presence of Him who is all that the departed seemed to be. The painted glass stays the eye; shattered, it lets in only the sight of a void and far-off sky.

Israel could not breathe freely in the rarefied air on the heights of a theocracy, and demanded a visible king. It had its desire, and as a consequence, ‘leanness in its soul.’ Christendom has found it as difficult to do without visible embodiments of authority, law, defence, and hence many evils and corruptions in the institutions and practices of organised Christianity.

III. A conviction which makes strong and blessed.

To have dominant in our minds, and operative through our lives, the settled conviction that God in Christ is for us judge, lawgiver, and king, and that the purpose of all these offices or relationships is that ‘He will save us’ is the secret of tranquillity, the fountain of courage, the talisman which makes life all different and us who live in it different. Fear cannot survive where that conviction rules and fortifies a heart. We shall not be slavish adherents of men if we are accustomed to take our orders from our Lawgiver. Earthly prizes or dignities will not dazzle eyes that have seen the King in His beauty. We shall pay little heed to men’s judgments if there flames ever before conscience the thought, ‘He that judgeth me is the Lord.’ ‘He will save us’; who can destroy what His hand is stretched out to preserve? ‘If God is for us, who is against us? It is God that justifieth; who is He that condemneth?’33:15-24 The true believer watches against all occasions of sin. The Divine power will keep him safe, and his faith in that power will keep him easy. He shall want nothing needful for him. Every blessing of salvation is freely bestowed on all that ask with humble, believing prayer; and the believer is safe in time and for ever. Those that walk uprightly shall not only have bread given, and their water sure, but they shall, by faith, see the King of kings in his beauty, the beauty of holiness. The remembrance of the terror they were in, shall add to the pleasure of their deliverance. It is desirable to be quiet in our own houses, but much more so to be quiet in God's house; and in every age Christ will have a seed to serve him. Jerusalem had no large river running by it, but the presence and power of God make up all wants. We have all in God, all we need, or can desire. By faith we take Christ for our Prince and Saviour; he reigns over his redeemed people. All that refuse to have Him to reign over them, make shipwreck of their souls. Sickness is taken away in mercy, when the fruit of it is the taking away of sin. If iniquity be taken away, we have little reason to complain of outward affliction. This last verse leads our thoughts, not only to the most glorious state of the gospel church on earth, but to heaven, where no sickness or trouble can enter. He that blotteth out our transgressions, will heal our souls.For the Lord is our judge - Yahweh will be to us nothing but a source of happiness, truth, and prosperity. His presence will be to us only a blessing, and a means of success and joy. The repetition of the name Yahweh three times is common in the Scriptures. 22. Lord—thrice repeated, as often: the Trinity (Nu 6:24-26).

judge … lawgiver … king—perfect ideal of the theocracy, to be realized under Messiah alone; the judicial, legislative, and administrative functions as king to be exercised by Him in person (Isa 11:4; 32:1; Jas 4:12).

The Lord is our Judge; to judge for us, to plead our cause against our enemies, as the ancient judges of Israel did, Judges 2 16.

Our Lawgiver; our chief Governor, to whom it. belongs to give laws, and to defend his people. For the Lord is our Judge,.... The Lord Christ, who has all judgment committed to him by the Father, who will judge his people, right their wrongs, and avenge their injuries:

the Lord is our Lawgiver; who has enacted wholesome laws for his church, writes them on their hearts, and puts his Spirit within them, to enable them to keep them:

the Lord is our King: King of saints, King of Zion, made so by his Father, owned by his church, under whose government it is in safety:

he will save us; from all sin, and from all enemies, with an everlasting salvation. The church here speaks with great pleasure of her interest in Christ under every character, and of her safety as depending upon him. The Targum is,

"the Lord is our Judge, who brought us by his power out of Egypt; the Lord is our teacher, who gave us the doctrine of the law from Sinai; the Lord is our King, he will redeem us, and take vengeance of judgment for us on the army of Gog;''

which shows that the ancient Jews understood this prophecy as referring to times yet to come.

For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.
22. In the New Jerusalem Jehovah is Judge, Lawgiver and King, and therefore also its Deliverer from every danger.The prophet answers their question. "He that walketh in righteousness, and speaketh uprightness; he that despiseth gain of oppressions, whose hand keepeth from grasping bribes; he that stoppeth his ear from hearing murderous counsel, and shutteth his eyes from looking at evil; he will dwell upon high places; rocky fastnesses are his castle; his bread is abundant, his waters inexhaustible." Isaiah's variation of Psalm 15:1-5 and Psalm 24:3-6 (as Jeremiah 17:5-8 contains Jeremiah's variation of Psalm 1:1-6). Tsedâqōth is the accusative of the object, so also is mēshârı̄m: he who walks in all the relations of life in the full measure of righteousness, i.e., who practises it continually, and whose words are in perfect agreement with his inward feelings and outward condition. The third quality is, that he not only does not seek without for any gain which injures the interests of his neighbour, but that he inwardly abhors it. The fourth is, that he diligently closes his hands, his ears, and his eyes, against all danger of moral pollution. Bribery, which others force into his hand, he throws away (cf., Nehemiah 5:13); against murderous suggestions, or such as stimulate revenge, hatred, and violence, he stops his ear; and from sinful sights he closes his eyes firmly, and that without even winking. Such a man has no need to fear the wrath of God. Living according to the will of God, he lives in the love of God; and in that he is shut in as it were upon the inaccessible heights and in the impregnable walls of a castle upon a rock. He suffers neither hunger nor thirst; but his bread is constantly handed to him (nittân, partic.), namely, by the love of God; and his waters never fail, for God, the living One, makes them flow. This is the picture of a man who has no need to be alarmed at the judgment of God upon Asshur.
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