As the first readers make their way through this book, they know Isaiah’s prophecies concerning the northern kingdom of Israel have come true. This may give them some degree of pause concerning the love of God. After all, He said he would send the Syrians and Philistines to devour them. He promised to scorch their land with His wrath – and He has (see chapters 9-10). The readers know God has carried away the nation of Israel into Assyrian captivity.
But the readers also know that God has promised similar punishment for them.
Does it mean God has rejected His people, given them up forever?
No. Isaiah 27 (like the end of 10 and all of 11), promises that God’s people will endure – though only the descendants of those He has punished. But these people God restores will be changed. They will be a people who worship God according to His will. The people who are restored are not the same old folks who have endured God’s discipline and come out on the other side as they were before. Those people are forever lost. Restoration comes to those renewed in heart and life.
No matter how God disciplines His people, He never abandons them. But He only blesses those who turn to Him with all their heart.
But who is “Leviathan, the gliding serpent”? Leviathan is mentioned five times in Scripture. He is the creature of God, fearful in appearance and power and under only God’s control. He stands for all that is fearful in consideration of God’s disciplining hand.