“The Feast on the Mountain”
Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD
Henderson’s First Baptist Church, Henderson KY
Introduction to the message
Good evening everyone.
The passage tonight is taken from Isaiah 25:6-9.
The book of Isaiah is the first book of prophecy in the Old Testament in terms of where it falls in the Bible. However, it’s not the earliest prophetic book (that was most likely the book of Amos). Isaiah is placed first because it is the most comprehensive of the prophetic books.
What’s happening in Isaiah is that the people of God have been split into two kingdoms, Israel in the North and Judah in the South.
Israel has already faced judgment for their rejection of God and Isaiah is pleading with the people of Judah to turn to God.
In chapter 24, we see a picture of the judgment that will come upon the nations that have not worshiped the one true God.
After hearing of the prophesied judgment against those that have rejected God, the people of Judah would have surely welcomed the word of promised deliverance that we find in our passage tonight.
Let’s read the passage. Stand with me now as I read it.
Read Isaiah 25:6-9
6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7 And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. 9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
Let’s pray as we dive into this passage.
Tonight, I want us to look at three aspects of this passage.
I. The feast on the mountain will be an epic event (verse 6)
This party that God is preparing will be epic! (I’m using “epic” as an adjective. Previously it was known only as a noun, but in today’s culture one can use it as an adjective). So, this feast will be epic!
First of all, we see that this feast will be on a mountain. Being on a mountain just adds to the epicness/epicticity of this event.
The mountain that this feast is upon is Mt. Zion, where God will rule as King after His judgment on the earth.
Those who are familiar with the Word of God will be familiar with this location. This refers to the center of God’s reign when he reigns on the earth in a physical way. At other times this is referred to as Jerusalem, or even the New Jerusalem.
There’s much more that could be said about this location and the significance of it, but we don’t have time to cover all of that tonight.
Also, we see that there will be tons of food and drink!
Verse 6 says a feast of rich food and a feast of well-aged wines. It says,
“a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.”
In describing this feast, Isaiah is describing it in a redundant way. It’s like a seven-year-old saying, “A lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot . . .”
Illustration: Cruise Food; New York Wedding
And don’t worry folks, at this feast you won’t have to worry about dieting. You can eat all of the fattening things that you want to eat!
Think about the best food that you’ve had; the best feast! That feast that you had is nothing compared to this meal with God on Mt. Zion.
At this event, God will demonstrate that He is able to supply far more than any of His children could ever dream. There will be feasting and celebration in abundance!
In eternity, we will not need to give up any good thing to be with God! What God offers will far surpass any good thing we could imagine in this world!
Paul speaks this way of God in Ephesians chapter 3.
Read Ephesians 3:20
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
God can do so much more than we can imagine! What He offers is far better than what this world offers. Everything in this life will pale in comparison with this feast.
God will prepare the most epic party ever for His people!
II. The feast on the mountain will be a wide-ranged homecoming (verses 6-7)
We also see that this feast is a homecoming of sorts. Not just for the people of Israel, but for all peoples who trust in God.
The description of this feast underscores the prophecy that God’s salvation is not just for the Jews, but for the whole of God’s created people all over the world.
Notice: verse 6, “ for all peoples;” verse 7, “for all peoples;” verse 8, “from all faces;” and verse 8, “from all the earth;”
You may well remember Jesus speaking of a feast where many were invited.
Read Matthew 22:2-3; 8-9
2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’. . . 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Jesus’ parable shares this similar scene, of a feast where people of all kinds invited to celebrate with the king.
This feast on the mountain includes all types of people: every race, language, culture, background, economic make-up; they’re all invited.
So, all peoples, that is all that God has saved from the earth, will gather in one place, at a homecoming feast with their Savior.
Note: We know that this is not literally all people in the world (rather than all saved people in the world) for two reasons. First, that would contradict others parts of Scripture (and the rest of Isaiah) that says God will judge certain sinners. Second, verse 9 declares that those at the feast will be those that trusted in God for salvation.
Well, if the feast is open to all, how do we get a reservation or a ticket?
It is through Jesus alone!
Read Hebrews 12:22-24 (NLT)
22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
This feast is open to anyone and everyone, but there is only one way to reserve your spot!
You’re invited to receive God’s salvation from the judgment of sins and enter into an eternal celebration of new life; life that is enjoyed to the utmost, and is enjoyed forever!
So, this feast is a wide-ranged homecoming, open to all. What a feast that will be!
III. The feast on the mountain will be a glorious celebration (verses 7-9)
At this feast, the people of God will not only experience the blessing of God but will also celebrate the faithfulness of God.
They will first celebrate God’s deliverance.
Verse 7 says that God will swallow up the covering (or shroud) that covers all nations. This probably refers to a sort of sheet, like one that is used to cover a dead body. God will destroy this shroud, in other words destroying death.
Verse 8 says explicitly that God will swallow up death forever.
Many of you may remember Paul using similar language in 1 Corinthians.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:54,
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
We, indeed, look forward to this moment.
Back in Isaiah, verse 8 continues, saying that, “. . . the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth.”
This is a moment of jubilant celebration. This suffering of this world is over!
They will further celebrate by celebrating the Lord’s faithfulness to them.
Read verse 9
9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
As we read this, we must acknowledge that it’s not an easy thing to wait for God. We struggle while on this earth.
Illustration: One pastor says, “To wait for God entails an ultimate trust in Him, not becoming impatient when His timetable for final salvation differs from one’s expectations.”
This feast, however, is THE moment that God’s people have been waiting for. Death is dead, sorrows are gone, tears flow no more, God has kept His promise.
They will say, “This is our God! He’s the one that we’ve waited for! We are now in His presence! We will rejoice in Him!”
Think about the moment when you can stand before God and experience the full benefits of your salvation!
Illustration: Have you ever been a bit sad in a moment of tremendous joy because you know that the great moment will have to end. Perhaps that feeling that you have on the last day of vacation. The feast on the mountain will be different! This is a joy that will never go away!
This will be a joyous celebration, forever!
The people of Judah would have been encouraged when they heard this, and so should you if your hope is in the Lord.
Illustration: A commentary that I read in preparation for this says, “God’s people had to wait all of their lives to sit at this table, but it was worth the wait. This is the banquet of true salvation. All the guests are happy, and nothing can ever make them sad again.”
Do you feel like this world is too much to handle? Look forward to this feast! Know that God will make all things right! Trust God’s faithfulness!
As we think about how this passage can apply to you in particular and to me in particular, I want to challenge you to answer these three questions?
1. Will you be at the feast?
The feast will be a gathering of Christians from throughout the ages, from all over the world.
Will you be there? If you’re not sure if you will be there, know that you can be. There is an invitation extended to you. Jesus is calling you. He’s inviting you to experience the fullness of His salvation.
If you have any questions about how you can do, I’d love to see you after the service.
2. What present and future hope do you have?
Where do you find your hope? What keeps you going? Money, job, education, relationships, weight loss? Just as Bro. Todd asked this morning. Our hope should be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in His promise to make all things right and to spend eternity with Him.
3. Who are you inviting to the feast?
This feast is unique in that not only are we invited, but we’re allowed to invite other guests also.
Illustration: Do you know that awkward moment when you have to tell a good friend that you can’t come to something that they’re doing because you have already been invited to something better? Usually you’re not allowed to invite others to something that you’ve been invited to by someone else. However, for this party, you not can invite others, you should invite others.
Just as Bro. Todd challenged us this morning to think of two or three people that you could meet with for weekly discipleship, I want to challenge you to consider two or three people that you could start the discipleship process with by simply first inviting them to Jesus and to enjoy the fullness of His salvation.
As we finish tonight, be encouraged that we have reason to celebrate now, and we will one day celebrate in a monumental way at the feast on the mountain.
As our praise band comes to lead us again, let’s reflect now on the glories of Christ and the gift of the gospel.
You may use this time to pray either where you stand or here at the altar, however the Lord is leading you.
(Prayer of Commitment)
Thank you all for coming tonight. It’s such a pleasure to serve here at Henderson’s First Baptist Church.
If you need to speak to a minister, there are several of us here and we would love to speak to you. You can find us in and around this room.
May God bless you greatly.
Let’s pray before we leave.
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