Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Isaiah Post 30 - Returning With Joy (Chapter 51)

Following the servant song of the previous chapter, Chapter 51 is a chapter of great encouragment, comfort, and exhortation to the people of Israel.  Let the first three verses soak in:

“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness,
You who seek the LORD:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,

(Messiah is the rock)
And to the hole of the pit (quarry) from which you were dug.

Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone, 
And blessed him and increased him.”
(This is a reference to the Abrahamic covenant. God gave this promise to one man - Abraham - but made him a father of many nations)

For the LORD will comfort Zion,
(in the same way as Abraham going from barrenness to many)
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

Oh my word - is this comforting or what??

The passage continues, telling us that law, justice, salvation, righteousness will reign.  This is millenial kingdom language.  In the last days, scripture tells us, there will be an increase of wickedness, where good is called evil and evil is called good. This passage promises a reversal of that nastiness.

In verses 5-8, we see the expression My Salvation three times, which is Yeshua in Hebrew.  The very name of the Servant, the Messiah of the world.  And as I've said before, when something is stated three times, it is the ultimate emphasis in Hebrew.

Yeshua - Salvation

Verse five tells us, My Salvation will go forth.  We are then twice assured that this Salvation will be forever, from generation to generation.

Verse six emphasizes that even the earth will pass away, the sky will vanish, but My Salvation (Yeshua!) will be forever.

In verses 9-10, Isaiah reminds the people to wake up and remember the mighty things that the arm of the LORD has done from ancient times. He has wounded the serpent (whom someday He will crush), and He has dried up the sea so that the redeemed could cross.

Verse 11 tells us that as it was then, so it will be again. Zion is returning with joy. Sorrow shall flee!  In fact, here it is:
So the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Returning with joy and singing to Zion

The passage continues with assurance that God is almighty and in charge. The exile WILL end.  The Babylonian Exile and the Worldwide Exile.  Today, the children of Israel are returning to the land with joy from all over the planet.

And just listen to verse 16:
And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’”

Did you catch that?  The very creation of heaven and earth is aligned with the statement, “You are my people, Zion.”

Isaiah continues in verses 17-20 with a reminder of where they have been, and an exhortation:  Wake up, Jerusalem, you who has suffered the fury of the LORD!

Following the exhortation is the promise to His long-afflicted people:  The cup of the Lord’s wrath shall be removed from them, never to drink it again.

However, the scripture tells us; OTHERS will drink it.  The cup of God's wrath will be poured out on those who have afflicted God's people - those who mistreated the Jew, throughout history and now. Sadly, much of this was done by the church and in the name of Jesus. 

Where you stand on Israel and how you treat God's chosen people matters very, very much.

For a trip to the top of the roller coaster in my next post, click here.

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

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