Thursday, August 31, 2017

Isaiah Post 6 - Peace Beneath The Banner (Chapter 11B)

My last post took a peek at the awesome Branch of the Lord - our Messiah, who grew from the stump  of Yishai (Jesse) and was raised in Branchtown (Nazareth).

Chapter 11 continues beginning in verse 6, with a description of the kingdom of peace that is to come, with Messiah ruling as king.

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.

For the third time in Isaiah, we see three pairs and then a seventh item.
Calf-young lion
And a little child shall lead them.

God uses this pattern of seven all throughout scripture to give us the idea of completeness.

Isaiah continues with more Messianic kingdom description:

The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.

This truly will be a time of complete peace.  The lion will eat straw - in other words, the mighty lion will no longer be a carnivore.  So much for evolution!  This is going to happen in an instant.  And the baby will play by the cobra. Simply unimaginable in our day.

This coming kingdom will be far above anything that has ever existed before, and as we can see, it will extend into the animal kingdom.

Revelation 20 gives us additional insight into this coming kingdom.  Satan will be bound for 1000 years, and the saints will rule and reign during this time with King Messiah.  There are two reasons for the peaceful kingdom:  King Messiah on the throne, and satan disabled for a time.  

Oh, what a time it will be.  And the location?  This will be here on earth, centered in Jerusalem - not up on some cloud somewhere.  We Christians have this notion that it's all about dying and going to heaven.  Well, that's not what the Bible says.  God made this earth for US and it has always been His intention to dwell with us here.

In verse 10, Isaiah gives us a picture of the current era we live in... the age of the gospel going forth into all the earth. Listen to this:

And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious.

Now the Root of Jesse, the heir to David's throne, will now stand high so the world can see Him.  See how the stump has progressed?  It began with chaos, felled trees, and stark poverty.  Now, the shoot is raised as a banner to the world!

This root of David is also seen in Revelation 5:5

Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.

Going back to the banner for a minute...  It is much more than a waving flag that we sometimes see in worship dance groups, although they are very nice.

The Hebrew word for banner - nes -  means a standard, a signal, an ensign; a rallying point for a cause.  It is something that is lifted up for people to see.  The first time scripture uses this word is in Numbers 21, when Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness.  And of course, that is the context for our beloved John 3:16. Often, the two verses leading up to verse 16 are not mentioned:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:14-15)

Yeshua reiterates this thought in John 12:32:

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

Isaiah is pointing to the cross as a focal point of human history. Do you see how Jewish the gospel is?

The banner of the Messiah is the rallying cause - the cause of salvation from our sin.  We are told that the Gentiles shall seek Him.  In the last 2000 years, the message of the cross has traversed the whole earth.

His rest (Hebrew menuach, for comfort) will be glorious!  His rest is coming soon, in the form of the Millenial Messianic kingdom.

Scripture warns that there are those who will not enter His rest.  We are warned in Psalm 95 and in the book of Hebrews not to harden our hearts against Him, for in doing so we shall not enter His rest. Hebrews 4 brings some more clarity to this rest:

For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:“So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” 

The rest that is to come is clearly the seventh millenium of human history.  This is why Hebrews compares the rest to the seventh day of creation, and Revelation speaks of the 1000 year reign.  We are living toward the end the sixth millenium right now. 

Scripturally, we can easily reckon the following: 
  • Adam to Abraham - approximately 2000 years
  • Abraham to Messiah Yeshua - approximately 2000 years
  • Messiah to now - approximately 2000 years
This means that the coming kingdom of Messiah is just around the corner!  It is coming soon to a certain Middle Eastern country near (or not near) you!

I love how everything is connected! The Bible fits together like a perfect puzzle with no pieces missing.  Sometimes we just see a pile of pieces.  Sometimes we see a part of the picture.  We won’t see it in its fullness until the King returns.

God is creating a family for Himself out of people from all nations, tribes, tongues.  We are all family!  We might speak differently, worship differently, pray differently, but we have all rallied to the same banner of Salvation – Yeshua.

Continuing in Isaiah 11:11, we see the LORD reaching out His hand again the second time, gathering the remnant of His people from the ends of the earth.

Judea was dispersed twice, and neither dispersion had happened yet when Isaiah was speaking this prophecy. The Jews were sent to Babylon 100 years after Isaiah's prophecy, and 70 years later a remnant of them were regathered to the land so they could experience Messiah's first visit.

The second dispersion took place in 70 AD, and the Jews were not just sent to Babylon but all over the world.  We are now living in the days of this great re-gathering...  so that they can experience Messiah's second visit.

In verse 12 Isaiah punctuates this thought.

He will set up a banner for the nations,
And will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
And gather together the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.

How exciting to be living in the days when Isaiah's words are being fulfilled.  Most of historic Christianity did not get to experience the regathering of Israel that we are seeing today.  Indeed, most of them believed it would never happen, so they replaced Israel with themselves - the church - as God's new chosen people.


We in the nations who have cast our eyes on the Banner of Messiah ARE part of His chosen.  But we are in addition to - and not instead of - His original chosen people, who will soon know Him too!  We will truly be One New Man in Messiah, reigning and ruling with Him, under His banner of peace, in the city of peace - Jerusalem.

Find the next post here.

If you would like to start at the beginning of Isaiah, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment