Israel’s Restoration: Major & Minor Prophets, Isaiah Part 5
This is a study on the restoration of Israel from both Major and Minor Prophets. Every Restoration passage is being covered, and I hope none has been missed. The series began with the book of Isaiah, and this is PART 5 of the series.
Isaiah 54:4 – “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame, neither feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced, but you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. Isa 54:5 Your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel Who is called the God of all the earth. Isa 54:6 The LORD has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,’ says your God. Isa 54:7 ‘For a brief moment I forsook you but with great compassion I will gather you. Isa 54:8 In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment but with everlasting loving kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the LORD your Redeemer.”
Verse 4. These 5 verses are tender, loving, and show the Lord of compassion, love and mercy. It is a wonderful God who wipes away the past and restores a glorious future. All Israel’s spiritual adultery that has caused shame and disgrace will never be remembered again. This is a magnificent restoration for the Jews. The Second Coming will be disaster on the world (especially the nations gathered against Jerusalem on the eve of Armageddon) but a glorious manifestation for Israel. A similar application rests here for us. When a Christian sins, he is in shame and disgrace, but the God of love restores that one, and God will never recall the sins of a backsliding Christian who repents (1John 1:9-10).
Verse 5. It is Israel who is spoken to. Israel is the wife of Jehovah, and it is He who made the nation from Abraham. For His nation, He has a special name – The LORD of Hosts – Messiah is the LORD of hosts = YHWH saboath [Jehovah of Hosts] = Commander of the angelic armies of heaven. The Lord redeems His people with great power. Names are packed into this verse also including Maker, Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, and God of all the earth.
Verse 6. How lovely is verse 6. In the eyes of a judgmental world, Israel was like a sinful wife that any husband would reject. She was forsaken and rejected, but what was the good news? Well, her “husband” of love, Messiah Himself, became despised and rejected before a judgmental world and died for the spiritual restoration of the nation He loved. Jesus takes up this despised wife, and He will restore her to a greater position than at the first. She will be the chief nation of the earth in the time to come. There are similarities here with the book of Hosea in the first three chapters. The cross work of Christ was firstly for His chosen nation as “wife,” and also for the chosen world as “Bride.” Isaiah had revealed that sacrifice of the despised and rejected One, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, in the previous two chapters.
Verse 7. “for a brief moment I forsook you.” How long was that brief moment and what is it being compared with? What an amazing thought. For 2,000 years the Jews have been rejected by Jehovah, and in a sense, it has been maybe 2,500 years. God terms that time as “a brief moment.” How do we understand that? He who is the First and the Last from eternity to eternity will hold Restored Israel in a close covenant relationship for all eternity. 2,000 years is but a brief moment in that context. It was in that time of forsaking that the Lord was forming His Church, and that is almost complete, so it will be very soon that the Lord again turns to his beloved nation. Take note how the Lord will gather His redeemed; He does it with “great compassion,” and that shows the closeness of the Lord with Israel.
Verse 8. “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment but with everlasting loving kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer. This is another amazing verse. The Lord says, “an outburst of anger,” but this had continued all through Israel’s history. The people were wayward all the time and idolatrous for most of their existence. God says He hid His face from them, and still does, and for how long has He hidden His face? The two outbursts of anger that I think are the outstanding ones are the two destructions – Nebuchadnezzar and Titus. Prophetically, Isaiah was looking at Nebuchadnezzar, about 200 years off. He says, “for a moment,” and what is said in verse 7 above applies here. That is not the end. God will have everlasting kindness and compassion on them as He reminds them He is their Redeemer. What a glorious future! What love!
Isaiah 55:10 – “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, Isa 55:11 so shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isa 55:12 You will go out with joy and be led forth with peace. The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isa 55:13 Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to the LORD for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”
This passage looks forward to Kingdom blessing, for that blessing is connected with God’s word. His word does not fail and will accomplish what He has said and promised. Isaiah uses a comparison given by God to explain the workings of God’s promises, and that is the rain and what it produces. Rain ultimately produces bread; the word of God ultimately will produce great blessing for His people Israel. Not one of God’s promises is empty, and going right back to Abraham, every promise and prophecy will produce blessing as He has ordained. The word of God not being empty but will accomplish what God promises is a universal truth for all generations.
Verses 11 and 12 are relationship and result. The relationship is with the people He has redeemed and restored, and the result is that they will be blessed by nature, and honoured in God’s creation. It is all Israel, not the Church. Verse 12 is poetic licence supporting the words, “You will go out with joy and be led forth with peace.” When the Lord calls back His people to Israel at the beginning of the Millennium, the whole world will rejoice. Yet again, this verse has become a song that is sung without understanding. How many could really explain what the song is supposed to be saying. The words do not apply to the Church. It is amazing how people can shut off the mind’s understanding in singing, any singing. Verse 13 is all in the Millennium and is blessing upon blessing. Our minds can’t appreciate the external beauty that will cover the earth in God’s restoration.
Isaiah 59:20 – “A Redeemer will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,’ declares the LORD. Isa 59:21 ‘As for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ says the LORD: ‘My Spirit which is upon you and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,’ says the LORD, ‘from now and forever.”
There are very important key words here – Redeemer, Zion, covenant, Spirit, My words, forever. This is all about restoration. A redeemer will come to Zion (Israel), and in the covenant He makes with them, His Spirit will be poured out (Joel), and His words will be accomplished. The offspring of Jacob will live in the land forever, and God’s word will never depart from them. All transgression will be gone, and righteousness will rule. Just before these 2 verses it says, “According to their deeds, so He will repay – wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies,” and that is the judgment on the world at Armageddon and the sheep and goat nations. Regressing to the words, “My Spirit which is upon you,” – Zech 12:10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.”
For a full explanation of the new covenant and the Spirit poured out, it will be done when we do Joel (Lord willing).
Isaiah 60:1 – “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. Isa 60:2 Behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you, Isa 60:3 and nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isa 60:4 Lift up your eyes round about and see. They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. Isa 60:5 Then you will see and be radiant and your heart will thrill and rejoice because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you. The wealth of the nations will come to you.”
Verses 1-2. In Handel’s great masterpiece, The Messiah, he uses these two verses for the First Advent, which is the typical understanding of these verses, and although it does have part application for that, the First Advent is not the correct interpretation. It really means the Lord’s appearance to Israel in glory at the Second Advent. When Jesus first came, the glory of the Lord was not upon the people even though the Glorious One had come. The shepherds saw a touch of it, but the true glory awaits. It will come to Israel, but in (technically, after) the time when deep darkness covers the earth in the time of Israel’s trouble and at Armageddon. How magnificent it will be when Messiah comes to His people in a glorious Coming as described in Rev 19. Israel’s dark time of Jacob’s trouble will give way to Messiah’s great light and peace. Darkness will be defeated and take its flight. Something similar will happen now in salvation when a person’s dark night of sin gives way to the glorious light of the gospel that causes conversion.
Verses 3-5. These verses are parallel to some of the ending chapters of Zechariah. It is in chapter 14 we see where nations come yearly to Jerusalem, and they come to see the King at Jerusalem. Light will stream from the Light of the World. Verse 4 speaks of the return of the Jews, those redeemed Tribulation saints from all over the world. We will see that in more detail in chapter 66. If you want some understanding of what it is like in the millennium, then think into verse 5. Hearts are radiant! Hearts thrill and rejoice! Not only that but the “abundance of the sea” will become theirs, as will the wealth of the nations. What is the abundance of the sea? I do not think it talks about fish, but of the wealth that is in the sea, whatever that may mean. The “sea” is also a prophetic type of Gentile nations. The wealth of nations – Zech 14:14 “Judah also will fight at Jerusalem, and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance.”
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 6