Isaiah 4 has the prophet talking about the desperation in Jerusalem after God pours out His judgement. “And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day”. There were so few men left that they literally would be fighting over the few that remain. To say they can’t be picky is an understatement. They would be so desperate for marriage that they will not expect their husbands to provide for them at all. “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach”. They just want to be married and able to avoid the treatment of being unmarried and without children, which was not looked upon well in those days.
Along with the pain and suffering that will happen, Isaiah paints a picture of the promise of a Messiah. “In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel”. It doesn’t mean that Jesus will be coming during this time, but that when He comes, it will be more beautiful and glorious than the suffering they now endure. There is One who will come and take away the challenges and pain, and He is Messiah!
Isaiah makes it clear than those who remain will be holy. “And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem”. Holy does not mean sinless or perfect. It does not mean they will be everything that God expects. It means a life, a heart, a mind, and a body that is genuinely separated unto the Lord. It is a life lived apart from the thinking and heart of this world. It is living with a choice to walk in obedience to the Father, rather than to follow their own desires.
“When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning”. The process of being made clean is not a painless one. God cleanses us through judgment and burning of the dross in our life. We become clean by the shed blood of the Lamb. He not only washes his people from their sins, but takes away our desire for sin, or our sinful nature, without which we’d jump right back into the sinful life He is cleansing us from. It is the power of Christ that allows us to be made holy and clean. And that love and shed blood is also what allows us to spend eternity with God in heaven!