And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. — Isaiah 4:6
When I was five years old, I slept in a bed that had a large space underneath it. Often I pulled a soft blanket down over the sides, making a tent-like playhouse, and I found refuge there when things bothered me. It was what I loved most about my little room. My mother knew about my special hideaway and kept the area spotless and spider-free. My bedroom was close to the kitchen, so I could peek out and watch my mother sew, cook, or bake. When she was cooking, wonderful smells filled the air around me. My brother and sister could not see me in my hideaway, so peace surrounded me and happiness reigned. This area was like a fortress to me. If I ever felt sad, afraid, or scared, I would find comfort in this warm, secluded spot.
When the Columbus Day storm hit Portland on October 12, 1962, I stood by the kitchen window looking out at the trees that were bending in the wind. My mom took my hand and gently pulled me back from the window, afraid that something might blow through it and I would be hurt. In my mind, I can still hear her telling me to pray that the Lord would protect us. Suddenly we heard a huge bang and the whole house shook. The wind had blown over our towering cherry tree, causing it to crash onto the back of our house. My heart started to pound, and I ran to my place of refuge under the bed and began to pray for our safety. When my mom in a trembling voice told me that part of our roof had blown off, I did not worry, for I felt safe and protected. At five years old, I believed that nothing could harm me once I was in my fortress.
Although this childhood haven caused me to feel secure, it really can never be compared to what the Lord promises to His people. When we give our lives to God and follow Him, we have personal peace and safety even when there are physical or circumstantial storms raging about us. We have the peace of knowing that God controls and permits every situation, and that He will be with us every moment.
Then after Jesus returns to earth and sets up His kingdom during the Millennial Reign, those who have been faithful to Him will enjoy God’s paradise restored on earth. Joy and peace will flow in abundance.
As Christians, we may run into storms during our lives. Some may rip at us and try to destroy us. Yet, we can find rest and shelter in God’s promises now, and then we will be even more blessed when the Lord returns and the Millennial Reign begins.
This portion of text describes the time when the Lord will come again and establish His throne in Jerusalem. During the Millennial Reign, He will share the glories of His kingdom with those who love Him.
The “branch of the Lord” in verse 2 refers to the Messiah: Jesus Christ Himself. Isaiah had prophesied of harsh judgments that would come to Israel, but this promise of a branch offered hope. (Additional verses about the “branch of the Lord” are found in Isaiah 11:1 and Jeremiah 33:15.)
Isaiah had cried out against the wealthy and prestigious lifestyle of the people of Judah. He had spoken severely against the worldly beauty the women of their society prized. By contrast, Isaiah said that when the Lord rules the earth, holiness will be the distinctive characteristic of those who remain (“he that is left in Zion”) because judgment will have purged them.
In the Millennium, the Lord will restore the fruitfulness of the land and draw close to His people. Isaiah compared it to when God led the Children of Israel through the wilderness. Every dwelling place will be blessed with the very real presence of God, symbolized by Isaiah’s reference to a cloud of glory by day and a pillar of fire by night. “For upon all the glory shall be a defense,” means that God’s protection will cover His people like a canopy.
At the close of this chapter, the prophet Isaiah mentioned “a tabernacle” and “a place of refuge.” The word tabernacle means “a sheltering pavilion” — a place of peace and rest that will be surrounded by the glory of God. In countries that often experience violent storms as well as intolerable heat, such as the areas near Jerusalem, a portable tent or tabernacle is a necessary part of a traveler’s baggage. It helps to shelter and protect. This protection can be compared to the Lord, who is our ever-present shelter and bulwark.
During the Millennial Reign, the Lord’s children will be safe and secure, abiding always in the presence of the Lord without fear or harm.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The message of condemnation: the Holy One of Israel provoked, rebuking and judging
A. Prophecies related to Judah
2. God’s promise of glory after judgment
c. Jerusalem’s future cleansing (4:2-6)
Maybe you are facing a storm today, and you need God’s help and protection. He wants to shelter you and give you security in His promises.