Isaiah 33 Forgiveness For The Remnant.
Those who plundered would be plundered, and those who were treacherous would be dealt with treacherously (v. 1 Cf. 10:12; 14:25; 21:2; 31:8 Ps. 7:14). God would use the remnant to plunder his enemies (Hab. 2:8 Cf. Ps. 12:5; Rev. 13:10). In the midst of trouble, salvation is by grace (v. 2 Cf. 25:9; 26:8). When the LORD arises he will scatter the plunderers (vv. 3-4 Cf. 17:13). The exalted LORD will fill Zion, the abode of his people, “with justice and righteousness, wisdom and knowledge” (vv. 5-6 Cf. Ps. 97:9). Salvation is from the LORD to those who fear him, but those who break the covenant will be despised (vv. 7-8 Cf. II Kgs. 18:13ff.). All of creation is involved in this blessing and cursing (v. 9 Cf. 24:4).
However, Zion itself was in the LORD’s sight-He would rise in judgment against them so that all their efforts would be fruitless (vv. 10-12 Cf. 2:19-21; 9:18; 59:4). They needed to hear the LORD through his prophet, and acknowledge his might (v. 13 Cf. Ps. 48:10). It was the hypocrites who would be judged, and who rightly feared this (v. 14 Cf. 30:27-30; Heb. 12:29). The righteous who are not moved by bribes, and do not condone bloodshed and evil (v. 15 Cf. 58:6-11; Pss. 15:2; 24:3-5; 119:37), “will dwell on high; his place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure” (v. 16). A beautiful King would come, and his people would look for his reign in the earth (v. 17 Cf. Ps. 27:4).
Until that King came, the people would meditate on the terror of not having a scribe, or one who balances the scales of justice, or one who ensures that the watchtowers are occupied with those who could be trusted (v. 18 Cf. I Cor. 1:20). However, when the King would come to Zion the remnant would not fear, instead they would be at peace, because the covenant LORD would dwell in their midst (vv. 19-20 Cf. 32:18). “But there the majestic LORD will be for us, a place of broad rivers and streams, in which no galley with oars will sail, nor majestic ships pass by” (v. 21). The confidence of the remnant would not be in these evidences of maritime power. The LORD would provide what his people needed (Cf. 41:18; 48:18).
The LORD alone would be their Judge (Cf. Acts 10:42), Lawgiver (Cf. 1:10; 51:4, 7; Js. 4:12), and King (Cf. 25:9; 35:4; Ps. 89:18; Zech. 9:9). He alone would save them (v. 22). The powerful nations of the sea would not be able to touch them (v. 23a). Instead, the lame will “take the prey” (v. 23b Cf. Mic. 4:7). “And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”; the people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity” (v. 24). Their chief sickness, and ours, is sin. However, in the King who would come, and has come, there is forgiveness. The warfare associated with sin will be ended (40:2). The LORD pardons those he preserves (Jer. 50:20 Cf. I Jn. 1:9). This is the gift to “the remnant of His heritage” (Mic. 7:18).