Monday, July 13, 2009

As the waters cover the sea

Isaiah 11

The Reign of Jesse’s Offspring
1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
(This, of course, is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the descendant of King David, the son of Jesse)
2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. (Making reference to the Holy Spirit, Who alighted upon Jesus at His baptism)
3 His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; (explaining the compassionate and understanding way that Jesus dealt with some Who came to Him, and continue to come to Him in repentance, humility and brokenness) but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; (In the sight of the Lord, poverty is not treated indiscriminately. Some poverty is the consequence of foolish choices on the part of the poor; some poverty is the consequence of God's judgement upon idolatry; and some poverty is the consequence of the greed and selfishness of those who have the power and authority to oppress the weak. To the righteous and the meek, the Lord brings relief from poverty. To the wicked, even if they are given all kinds of hand-outs, the poverty of their heart with lead them back into the condition that afflicts them.) He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. (Jesus is gentle to the meek, but violent towards the proud in heart. The days of Christ's Shepherd/Lamb ministry, were eventually followed by His ministrations of the Days of Vengeance. The Name of Jesus is 'Good News' to the meek and humble of heart, but to the self-righteous, the proud and the stubbornly wicked, it shall be a terror. Jesus is the Chief Corner stone; He is the rock upon Whom, if we fall, we shall be broken; but if it falls upon us, we shall be ground to powder.)
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist. (Jesus is faithful to the righteousness that is revealed in the Holy Law and character of the Almighty God. It is to this righteousness that He calls us also to be faithful.)
6 “ 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. 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. (Many times I have heard this passage, and other similar passages used to paint a picture of what heaven will be like. The application of this passage to heaven is both right and wrong. If we mean that this is a description of the heaven of heaven's to which we go after we die, the application is ludicrous. The Scriptures say very little of that state/place. However, Jesus told us to pray: "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven." This passage is a description of what a community will be like when the Gospel has influenced the members of the community, and men live heaven-like lives under the influence of the Holy Spirit, guided by the Law of God, living for the glory of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this community, people who had the characteristics of a wolf - predatory, savage, cunning - will be so transformed, that they will live at peace with those who have lamb-like qualities - vulnerable, weak, feeble-minded. Leopard-like people - swift, determined, full of stealth - will co-exist with goat-like people. Even those with lion-like qualities will enjoy the friendship and companionship of calf-like people. Children will be safe in the midst of all kinds of people of various human personalities: cows, bears, lions, oxen, even cobras and vipers. It is the knowledge of the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, that shall transform the lives of all these kinds of people, such that they will be conquered totally, and be taught of the Lord how to walk humbly with their God, and graciously and considerately with the other members of the community. And there shall be a day when this community transformation will be so universal, that it will be said: "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." Truly, at the coming of that day, the New Jerusalem shall have fully descended from heaven, and the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray shall finally and completely be answered.)
10 “ 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.” (Jesus' resting place is the church - Where two or three or more are gathered together in His Name. Jesus' Name is a war banner, around which the troops of the army of God can rally, moving forward behind the Captain of the Lord's Host; going forth conquering and to conquer. This army subdues the enemies of God through the proclamation of the Gospel, leading to conversion; and through the application of God's Law, leading to restraint, restitution or death.)
11 It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea. 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. Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
14 But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; together they shall plunder the people of the East; they shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; and the people of Ammon shall obey them. The LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; with His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, and strike it in the seven streams, and make men cross over dryshod. There will be a highway for the remnant of His people who will be left from Assyria, as it was for Israel in the day that he came up from the land of Egypt. (From before the foundation of the world, God has chosen such as shall be saved. Those whom He has predestined unto salvation, shall know the efficacious call of the Holy Spirit, shall respond in faith to the proclamation of the Gospel, and shall enjoy the glorious salvation that is theirs through the Atonement secured by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is all of God's doing; and it is a glorious manifestation of the grace of God. Even in periods of history, when the church seems to be reduced to an oppressed, miserable, stump, God shall revive His remnant and so influence their growth that the barely observable goat track shall become a great highway.)

Isaiah 12

A Hymn of Praise
With all that has been discussed above, let the following be our response:

1 And in that day you will say:

“ O LORD, I will praise You;
Though You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.
2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;

‘ For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’”
3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

4 And in that day you will say:

Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted.
5 Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things;
This is known in all the earth.
6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”

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