Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Isaiah Post 46- Zion Reborn! (Chapter 66B)

My last post got us all the way through verse 5 of this final, glorious chapter of Isaiah.

Verse 6 continues vividly with a picture of our returning King Messiah:

The sound of noise from the city! 
 (literally the sound of ROARING in the Hebrew)
A voice from the temple!  
(There WILL be a temple.)
The voice of the Lord, 
Who fully repays His enemies!

Scripture clearly portrays Yeshua's second coming as time of wrath and vengeance on His enemies.

Deuteronomy 32:35 says:
Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; 
Their foot shall slip in due time; 
For the day of their calamity is at hand, 
And the things to come hasten upon them.’  

Paul repeats this idea in Romans 12:
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”says the Lord.                               
Friends, you want to be on the LORD’s side.  He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  He is coming to save Israel, and based on what I've read in scripture, I believe He is bringing us with Him to Israel at some point soon after the great gathering of the elect.  Here are some verses that pull it together for me.

Matthew 24:29-31 says, 
Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days (that tells us when) the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  

1 Thessalonians 4:17 says, 
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Zechariah 14:5 says,
Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with Him.
And Revelation 19:14 tells us,
And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

It seems clear to me that we WILL around during the great tribulation, and it is only at His return that we are rescued and brought with Him to Jerusalem.

Anyway, moving on to one of my favorite promises in the Word, starting with verse 7:
“Before she was in labor, she gave birth; 
Before her pain came, 
She delivered a male child.

Who is this talking about?   Revelation 12:1-2 says, Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.”

I have a Catholic friend who likes to say that this is a reference to the virgin Mary.  Indeed, there is a near/far prophecy here, referring to the birth of Messiah as well as His return.  But Isaiah continues, and leaves us no doubt…

Who has heard such a thing? 
Who has seen such things? 
(in other words, NO ONE! This is rhetorical) 
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? 
Or shall a nation be born at once? 
For as soon as Zion was in labor,
She gave birth to her children.  

The passage answered its own question:  Zion.

Continuing on...
 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.   
Again, rhetorical - He will complete His work as promised.  To stop delivery would kill the mother.

(Older Christian commentaries didn’t really know what to do with these verses because of Replacement Theology.)

The labor was long, but the birth was quick.  Only one nation has ever come back and been restored after being scattered.  The UN took about one hour to vote on the modern state of Israel in November of 1947.  The whole world got together in New York City for this monumentous event.  The UN was only two years old when they voted. (Sadly, since that time, the UN has turned into a very anti-Israel entity)

We can now look back at that moment.  The impossible happened after centuries and centuries.  The Bible became front page news. We are living in these days! Most Christians who have lived in the past 2000 years didn’t get to experience this prophecy coming true.  When the time for God to favor Zion came about, things happened quickly. 

Psalm 102:13 says,
You will arise and have mercy on Zion; 
For the time to favor her, 
Yes, the set time, has come.

Isaiah continues in verse 10:
Rejoice with Jerusalem
And be glad with her, all you who love her;      

Here we can see the fruit of the commanded prayer in Psalm 122:6...  
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May they prosper who love you.

If you have been faithful to pray this prayer, Isaiah is showing you that it WILL be answered!

By the way, that word for loveahava – first shows up in Genesis at the near-sacrifice of Isaac.  Love and sacrifice go together.

Isaiah continues...
“Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; 
That you may feed and be satisfied 
With the consolation of her bosom 
That you may drink deeply and be delighted 
With the abundance of her glory.”

Do you know how I long for the salvation of Israel?  For the Messiah to come to Jerusalem and reveal himself to all of us? Oh, may He return soon!

 Remember 62:1?  
For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, 
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, 
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.  

And 6-7?  
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; 
They shall never hold their peace day or night. 
You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, 
And give Him no rest till He establishes 
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

I will wrap up this post with verses 12-14:
For thus says the Lord:
(an emphasis word – in other words,  get ready for what is about to be said!
I will extend peace (shalom) to her like a river, 
And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream
Shalom is much more than the absence of conflict.  It is wholeness, completeness, safety, prosperity, contentment, and restoration stemming from the presence of the Lord.  Rivers of it!!

Then you shall feed; 
On her sides shall you be carried, 
And be dandled 
(to be taken delight in) 
on her knees. 
As one whom his mother comforts, 
So I will comfort you; 
And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Here we are, back to the picture of mother and baby.  The word for comfort is Nahum.  The village where Yeshua did much of His teaching was Kfar Nahum (aka Capernaum), which means village of comfort.

Verse 14 continues:
When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, 
(There will be an explosion of joy)
And your bones shall flourish like grass;  
(the word flourish is the same root as peretz – remember that word? It means breaking out!
The hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants,  And His indignation to His enemies.

That verb to know – it means far more than head knowledge.  It means to know intimately.  He is speaking to His followers.

Note the contrast in verse 14; the joyful explosion suddenly turns to His holy wrath. And that is where we will pick up on the next post.

To read from the beginning of this series, click here.

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