The Sword Bathed in Heaven
Isaiah 34:5
For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down on Idumea, and on the people of my curse, to judgment.

The text draws back the curtain which separates the visible world from the invisible. It reveals celestial regions, in which there are also great struggles going on. It lifts up our eyes to the grander movements of the world of spirits; and then it declares that the sword which is to be used in fighting what seem to be the petty wars of the Hebrews and the Edomites, is the same sword which has been used in these celestial conflicts; that the means and instruments of righteousness upon the earth must be the same with the means and instruments of righteousness in the heavens.

I. ALL GOOD STRUGGLE IN THE WORLD IS REALLY GOD'S BATTLE, and ought to recognise itself as such. Every special victory of human progress — the victory over slavery, superstition, social wrong, nay, even the victory over tough matter, the subduing of the hard stuff of nature to spiritual uses, — each of these is but a step in the great onward march of God taking possession of His own. Fight your battle with the sword bathed in heaven; so you shall make it victorious, and grow strong and great yourself in fighting it.

II. One of the most marvellous things about Jesus is the UNION OF FIRE AND PATIENCE. He saw His Father's house turned into a place of merchandise, and instantly the whip of small cords was in His hands, and He was cleansing the sacred place with His impassioned indignation. And yet He walked day after day through the streets of Jerusalem, and saw the sin, and let the sinners sin on with only the remonstrance of His pure presence and His pitying gaze. Only in God's own time and in God's own way can the battles of the Lord be fought. There is no self-will in Jesus. He is one with His Father, and lives by His Father's will. His sword was always bathed in heaven.

III. THE BATTLE WHICH GOES ON WITHIN OURSELVES IS GOD'S BATTLE, and is of supreme importance. If the battle be God's, it must be fought only with God's weapons. You want to get rid of your selfishness. You must not kill it with the sword of another selfishness, which thenceforth shall rule in its place. Selfishness can only be cast out by self-forget-fulness and consecration. To count sin God's enemy, and to fight it with all His purity and strength, that is what it means for us that our sword should be bathed m heaven.

(Phillips Brooks, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

WEB: For my sword has drunk its fill in the sky. Behold, it will come down on Edom, and on the people of my curse, for judgment.

Divine Indignations
Top of Page
Top of Page