Collective Damnation but Personal Salvation
April 17, 2021
Even when God’s people as a whole transgress and accumulate collective guilt, all isn’t lost for righteous individuals. God may bring his judgments upon a nation, but he provides a way of escape for those who love him. In the midst of pronouncing “woes” or covenant curses upon the wicked of his people—portraying their utter destitution in his Day of Judgment—God says, “Tell the righteous it shall be well with them; they shall eat the fruits of their own labors” (Isaiah 3:10; compare vv 6–11). When the Assyrians invade his people’s land like a new Flood (Isaiah 8:7–8)—a collective covenant curse—God is a “sanctuary” to his holy ones (Isaiah 8:13–14).
In the end, only righteous individuals survive God’s destruction of the wicked: “Bind up the testimony; seal the law among my disciples. I will wait for Jehovah, who hides his face from the house of Jacob, and expect him” (Isaiah 8:16–17); “In that day Jehovah will thresh out [his harvest] from the torrent of the River to the streams of Egypt. But you shall be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel” (Isaiah 27:12). As a type and precedent of his righteous descendants, Abraham left his land and separated from his kindred but ultimately became a father of nations: “He was but one when I called him, but I blessed him by making him many” (Isaiah 51:2).