HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Book of Isaiah
Chapters 49-57 give us God’s gracious provision of redemption. This second section (chapters 49-57) points to an effective cure for their (and our) real problems. On the outside, their exile would seem to be the bad guy ruining their lives. If from section one they can understand that their judgment is because of their sin, then they will look for relief not only in a return to their homeland but in the healing of their sins, and ONLY God alone can provide this healing.
Although they are comforted about their return to Palestine, it is just a small part of the complete worldwide plan of healing that Almighty God will provide through His gracious and Humble Servant. The Servant serves as the Center of Hope in these chapters. Because of this awesome Servant, Israel can be assured that God has not forsaken them. In reality, the Servant will lead ALL nations to serve God. Slowly this Majestic Servant is introduced. His work is not easy, but He finds strength in the LORD God.
Through the multitude of verses describing the Suffering Servant, the Israelites (and we as well), should begin to realize the cost of salvation. It is easy enough to arrange for their passage back to Judah as the first section emphasized using Cyrus the Persian emperor as His servant. But, this Suffering Servant, brings God’s people back through sufferings which climax with His death on the cross, and in this way He has become their Saviour (and ours). He died for their sins. What should have been OUR sufferings, became His sufferings. Do you honestly realize just what Jesus did for us? For you and for me? And because He faithfully did and does His work, He prospers and leads all those who are made righteous (justified) by Him (Rom.3:24; 5:1, 9).
God ever so patiently taught the Jews that His plan was to incorporate people all around the world. The many was to include people from all around the world . . . Jews AND Gentiles! The every one in chapter 55:1 is all-encompassing. Chapter 56 deliberately assures these strangers (Gentiles) not to feel inferior or unimportant. Consider the following:
#1. Man looks for political freedom; God provides spiritual freedom in the Kingdom of God.
#2. Man thinks only of his own race. God helps people from every tongue and race.
How great and immeasurable is God’s grace! Chapter 57 brings us back to the operating table. God spreads out our wickedness right before our eyes, and IF you sincerely want salvation of your soul, and long for hope of everlasting life, you must be willing to hear what the LORD has to say to you. Are you listening???
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (KJV)
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV) . . . This is very important, because Jesus says it again!
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV)
Ch.40-48: Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.49-57: Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.58-66: Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (KJV)
All three of these last sections end with the same idea . . . there shall be no peace, to the wicked. The Messiah brings peace, but any and all who reject Him will NEVER know peace. Turning TO idols is turning AWAY from the Messiah. As we have seen, this section has majored in a condemnation and rebuke of idolatry. Idolatry is a road that leads to Babylon. The LORD, in the Book of Isaiah, is traveling the lonely road to Calvary. BEWARE!!! ALL idolatry and witchcraft are an abomination to the LORD: (Deut.27:15; 1 Ki.11:7; 23:13; Isa.44:19; Jer.32:35; Eze.18:12; Dan.12:11; Mal.2:11; Rev.21:27)
ISAIAH 54 parallels with 1 TIMOTHY. Isaiah 54:1 O barren, thou refers to Israel under the law. Isaiah 54 shows the contrast between law and grace, the results of atonement to Israel. Isaiah 54 tells the cause of their fruitfulness and rejoicing, which is Calvary. 1 Timothy shows us Paul, a shadow and representative of Israel, in his barren condition under the law and then in his fruitfulness under grace.
As Chapter 53 is a prophecy of the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, of His sufferings and His death, and the glory that should follow; this is a prophecy of that part of His glory which tells of the prosperous estate of His Church. In reality, the Death of Christ is the life of the church and of all those who truly belong to it and therefore very correctly, after the prophet had foretold the sufferings of Christ, he foretells the success of the church, which is a big part of the glory of Christ Jesus. His glory, and the adoration and acclaim of Christ was the actual reward of His humiliation. It was a Promise to Him that He would see His seed, and this chapter is a revelation of that Promise (Gen.22:17-17; Ps.89:3-4). It may easily be taken for granted that it has a primary reference to the welfare and prosperity of the Jewish church after their return out of Babylon, which was typical of the glorious liberty of the children of God, which through Christ we are brought into . . . yet it cannot be denied that it has a further and main reference to the Gospel church, into which the Gentiles were to be admitted (Gal.3:26-28). It is here promised concerning the Christian church: #1. Although the beginnings of it were small, it should be greatly enlarged by the accession of many to it among the Gentiles, who had been totally destitute of church privileges (vs.4-5). #2. Although sometimes God might seem to withdraw from her, and hold back the signs of His favor, He would return in mercy and would not return to struggle with them anymore (vs.6-10). #3. Although for a while she was in sorrow and under oppression, she would be in time, advanced to greater honor and splendor than ever before (vs.11-12). #4. That knowledge, righteousness and peace, would flourish and prevail (vs.13-14). #5. That all attempts against the church would be confounded since the LORD was on her side, and she would be secured from the malice of her enemies (vs.14-17).
Theme: The regathered and restored wife of Jehovah; the rejoicing and righteous restored wife of Almighty God.
This is the logical (common-sense) chapter to follow Isaiah Chapter 53, because it is the song that should always accompany salvation and the future glories of Israel. Dear one, our precious Redeemer is coming to Zion, and some day they and we, shall behold Him Face to face!
The Regathered and Restored Wife of Jehovah (54:1-10)
This is speaking directly to Israel saying they should sing.
Isaiah 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear . . . one version interprets this: sing praise, O Jerusalem, which was as a barren woman that bears not. The apostle Paul applies the words of the text to the Jerusalem, the mother of us all, the then present Gospel church (Gal.4:26), which when it was first set up, in the times of Christ, during His life and at the time of His Death, and before the day of Pentecost, was like a barren woman; the number of converts was very small; very few believed the Gospel, very few professed Christ and submitted to His ordinances. The number of the disciples were but a hundred and twenty (Acts 1:15).
Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child . . . there were few instances of conversion, hardly any begotten and born again of incorruptible seed by the Word of God, and no signs of such. But now it was different, and multitudes being converted both in Judea and in the Gentile world, the church and its members are called upon to express their joy aloud in songs of praise, setting forth the glory of effectual grace, in the regeneration of men; this being a matter of joy to the angels of God (Lk.15:10), as well as the saints on Earth.
For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD . . . many more souls were born again (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8), and added to the church AFTER the death of Christ, when she was in a desolate condition, like a woman deprived of her husband, and in a widowhood state, then there were while Christ was here on Earth, personally present with His people, and preaching the Gospel Himself to men. Three thousand were converted in one sermon by Peter (Acts 2:41), and great numbers afterwards were added, so that the church at Jerusalem was in a much more flourishing condition AFTER the death of Christ than before He died. The Jews understand this prophecy of their deliverance from their present condition by the Messiah; and of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and the prosperity of it.
*****The first word after the crucifixion in chapter 53 is Sing. It truly is a call to Israel to sing, but the Jews are not singing in their land today. In the past Israel has been like a barren wife, but somewhere out in the future, her struggle will be over. But her future is glorious because she will have many children in the future. Multitudes were converted in the past from idols to the living God. Those were the church's children that were born again, and were partakers of a new and divine nature, by the Word. More were the children of the desolate than of the married wife; there were more good people found in the Gentile church (when that was set up) that had long been a-far off, and without God in the world, than ever were found in the Jewish church. God's sealed ones out of the tribes of Israel are numbered (Rev.7:4).
Isaiah 54:2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; (KJV)
Enlarge the place of thy tent . . . the tent is a symbol of the church, because of its uncertain and movable condition, being sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another; and because of its outward unkindness and weakness, as well as its small extent. Now it is suggested that it should be enlarged, and room be made for access of the inhabitants to it. The Gospel church should not be confined to Jerusalem, but should be accessible in other parts of Judea, and in Galilee, and in Samaria (Acts 9:31).
And let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitation . . . referring to the curtains of which tents or tabernacles were made, which were stretched out on poles or stakes, in order to make more room, and hold more people. This may respect the spreading of the Gospel by the apostles, and the success of it, especially among the Gentiles.
Spare not . . . at any cost or pains, to spread the Gospel, amplify the interest of Christ, and increase His church and people.
Lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes . . . for curtains to be stretched out, it was necessary the cords, to which they were fastened, must be lengthened, that they might reach further. The wider the tent is made by such means, the stronger the poles had to be, and the more deeply they had to be driven into the Earth, to hold the cords with the curtains bound to them. This seems to be symbolic to express the growth of the church in the Gentile world, by means of the Gospel ministry and discipline.
Isaiah 54:3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. (KJV)
Thou shalt break forth . . . burst forth with increase; their offspring shall grow, answering to thy seed in the following clause. This shalt bring forth a multitude of children; for this word is commonly used of any great and extraordinary spread of living creatures, whether beasts or men (Gen.30:30; Ex.1:12; Ps.105:24).
On the right hand and on the left . . . on every side, in all the parts of the world.
And thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles . . . shall bring the Gentile world to the church, and to the obedience of the faith, being prospered to the conversion of many souls, through the power of the LORD’S divine grace. This seems to have been true in the first ages of Christianity, especially in Constantine's time; and will be much more fully fulfilled in the last days, when the fulness of the Gentiles (Rom.11:25) shall be brought in. Thy seed; either, #1. The spiritual seed, the church of the New Testament, which is accounted as Abraham's seed, or children (Gal.3:7-9, 26-29). Or, #2. Thy natural seed, Christ and His apostles, and other ministers, who were Jews, by whom this work was first and most eminently done.
And make the desolate cities to be inhabited . . . such cities as were totally deprived of the knowledge of Christ and His salvation, and of all the blessings of the LORD’S divine and spiritual things shall now be imbedded in all those who believe in Christ and gratefully profess His Name. Desolate cities are those cities and countries which in a spiritual sense had deserted and forsaken God (Isa.44:26; 61:4). When a person, city or nation forsakes God, He shall in return forsake them! BEWARE!!! (Ps.2:5; 18:7; 21:9; 89:38; Isa.13:9, 13; 63:6; Jn.3:18, 36; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom.1:18; 2:5, 8; 1 Cor.6:9-10; Gal.5:19-21; Eph.5:3-6; Col.3:6; Heb.2:3; 10:26-29; 12:14, 25; Rev.17:4-5; 20:15; 21:27; 22:14-15).
*****This may be granted a main reference to the welfare and prosperity of the Jewish church after their return out of Babylon, which (as other things that happened to them) was typical of the glorious liberty of the children of God, which through Christ alone we are brought into . . . but I believe it also looks forward to the last days, to the Gospel church, into which the Gentiles were to be admitted (Rev.7:9, 13-14).
Isaiah 54:4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. (KJV)
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed . . . for the barrenness and widowhood, which once was the cause of their grief and shame, because now they shall be delivered from it, and God will own them for His wife, and beget children of them. Fear not . . . the fulfilment of these things; no matter how unlikely and doubtful they may seem, for the LORD was able to perform them; and for that reason they should not have fear, doubt and an unbelieving heart.
Neither be thou confounded . . . this further confirms that she need not and that she should not be put to shame and confusion.
For thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth . . . it shall be forgotten both by them and others: they shall not be rebuked for their former barrenness in their youthful state, nor confused and tormented with the remembrance of it. Possibly the small number of converts at the first preaching of the Gospel; or that there were so few of the wise and learned, the rich and noble, that embraced it (Mat.19:23-25; Mk.10:23-27; 1 Cor.1:26-27; Jam.2:5-7; 5:1-6).
And shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more . . . which indicates much the same as before, the seeming desolate state of the church upon the Death of Christ; when she seemed to be deprived of her husband, and forsaken by him, and left as a widow, and without children, barren and unfruitful; which was reckoned reproachful with the Jews (Lk.1:25).
Isaiah 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (KJV)
For thy Maker is thine Husband . . . thy Maker is He who made them out of nothing (Jn.1:3; Col.1:16-17; Heb.11:3), and therefore can easily fulfil all these Promises. Therefore He will not nor utterly forsake them. Thine Husband, meaning that Christ is the Husband of the church, and of every true believer, for He has secretly betrothed them to Himself in eternity, Him having asked of His Father; and, being given to Him (Jn.10:29), He embraces them in conversion, one by one, as a chaste virgin (2 Cor.11:2); which He will do more publicly in the last day, when the marriage of the Lamb will take place (Rev.19:7- 9), when He will appear as the Bridegroom of His people. http://lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_marriage_supper_of_the_lamb.htm
The LORD of hosts is his name . . . the LORD God is in total control of armies above in Heaven below in Earth. How great this awesome Husband is! He advances us to honor and dignity that we cannot imagine! How safe are those under the wing of His protection! There shall be no need to fear any enemy (Ps.17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7).
Thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel . . . He, Who is the church's Husband is her Redeemer; and He is the only One fit to redeem her from sin, Satan, the law and every enemy! This majestic Redeemer dearly loves Israel, and is well able to save her, and us! For this purpose He is the ONLY One in the Universe who is qualified to redeem Israel and us (Isa.43:1-3).
The God of the whole earth shall he be called . . . not of Israel only, but of all the nations of the world, of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews (Gal.3:26-29). The heavens and Earth was made by Him (Ps.33:6; 102:25; Isa.45:12; Jn.1:3; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16-17; Heb.1:2-3). The world and all that are in it are His. He is the Governor among the nations; and in the last days He will appear as the King over all the Earth, and will finally be owned as King (Ps.72:11; Rev.17:14; 19:16).
The Prosperity of the Church B.C.706
Isaiah 54:6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. (KJV)
For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit . . . the Lord hath called thee, to return and come again to Him. Like a woman forsaken, as forsaken by her husband, who had divorced her. Grieved in spirit, for losing her husband's favor and love.
And a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God . . . a wife of youth, as readily and affectionately as a husband recalls his wife which he had married her in his own youth (Pro.5:18), whom although he might through a sudden and violent passion put away, yet he soon repents of it, and his affections work towards her, and he invites her to return to him.
When thou wast refused, when you were in a desolate estate, and had been for some time rejected by Him, then He recalled her.
*****Even though Christ Jesus was refused, or dismissed, or despised by Israel, yet the LORD had mercy on them and freely offered redemption to them. Israel today is like a wife that has been divorced for adultery. That is the figure of speech that is used in this verse. But their God; who will once again be their God, and will show Himself to be their God, and will renew His Covenant with them.
The seasonable comfort and relief which God sent to His captives in Babylon, when they had a discharge from their bondage there, are here foretold, and are as a symbol and type of all those comforts of God which are treasured up for the church in general and all believers in particular, in the covenant of grace. It would be a blessing to Israel (and us) if they/we would look back to former troubles, and compare them with God's favors to His people.
Isaiah 54:7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. (KJV)
For a small moment have I forsaken thee . . . a small moment, a few years, as seventy years in Babylon, and some such intervals, which may well be called a small moment in comparison of God's everlasting kindness mentioned in the next verse. The people of God seem to be forsaken by Him when He hides His Face from them (Deut.31:17; 32:20; 32:29). When they are in distress, and He does not appear immediately for them, they are afflicted in body and mind, even though these afflictions are but for a moment, they are not really forsaken by Him, not in things temporal or spiritual. God never forsakes the work of His own Hands, nor His people, not for ever, not that they shall perish. Small moment: (Isa.26:20; 60:10; Ps.30:5; 2 Cor.4:17).
But with great mercies will I gather thee . . . great mercies are most precious and sweet and of much value. Will I gather thee, from all the places where thou art dispersed, from all the parts of the world. Gather thee: (Isa.11:10-12; Jer.Ch.31 & 32; Eze.Ch.37).
Isaiah 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (KJV)
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment . . . some think little wrath should be great wrath, or overflowing wrath, or heat of wrath, and the intensity of it; which would bear witness to Christ Jesus’ despicable suffering, such a scene of bloody persecutions to attend the first ages of Christianity. I hid my face means that the LORD removed the means and pledges of His Presence and His kindness.
But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer . . . all the dealings of God with His people, however dark and dismal they are, whatever appearances there are in them of wrath and displeasure, they all agree with, and do not contradict His everlasting love. The LORD may turn His Face for a moment . . . but His everlasting kindness will always come through in just the right time for His people.
Isaiah 54:9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. (KJV)
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me . . . this covenant of grace and peace made with them shall be as certain and perpetual as that which the LORD made with Noah, that there should never be another flood of waters to drown the world (Gen.9:11).
For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth . . . He gave His Word for it, which is as firm as His Oath (Gen.9:9; 12:1-3; 26:3; 50:24). He made a covenant with Noah, and confirmed it by a rainbow, that the waters should no more go over the Earth as they had, and that the world would be no more destroyed by a flood (Gen.9:11).
So have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee . . . for although the LORD'S people are by nature children of wrath, as others, He has not appointed them to it, nor will He allow it to fall on them, but saves them from it through the righteousness of Christ (Rom.3:22; 8:10; 10:4; 1 Cor.1:30), who has borne it for them; and even though He rebukes them (and us) by His Spirit, by His Word and by His providences, yet not in wrath, but in love; and of this He has given the strongest assurances; He has not only said it, but swore to it in covenant (Ps.89:3). The Jews refer this prophecy to the times of the Messiah.
***** Looking forward to future dangers, and in defiance of them God's favors to His people seem very constant, and His everlasting kindness. It is as the Promise to Noah that is that Promise He made concerning the Flood that there should never be another like it again. God then had struggled with the world in great wrath (Gen.6:5-7), and for a full year, and yet at length returned in mercy, everlasting mercy; for He gave His Word, which was as unbreakable as His Oath, that Noah's flood would never return, that he would never drown the world again (Gen.8:21-22; 9:11). And God has since kept His Word, even though the world has been very provoking; and He will keep it to the end . . . for the world that now is now, is reserved unto fire (2 Pet.3:7). And so too unbreakable is the covenant of grace: He has sworn that He would not be angry with them, as He had been, and rebuke them, as He had done. He will not be as angry with them as to cast them off and break His covenant with them (Ps.89:34), nor rebuke them as He has rebuked the heathen, to destroy them, and put out their name for ever and ever (Ps.9:5).
Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. (KJV)
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed . . . which has been confirmed in some mountains and hills, that by earthquakes or otherwise, have been removed from their places. This kind of expression is often misunderstood (Isa.51:6), and so the sense is, the mountains would sooner depart from their places, than the LORD’S kindness would depart from them. When it is said, I desired mercy, and not sacrifice (Hos.6:6), it means, I desired mercy more than sacrifice. Also consider, the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places (Rev.6:14), could well mean that mountains may be interpreted as the kings of the nations (Rev.6:15-17).
But my kindness shall not depart from thee . . . the love of God to His people is an everlasting love (Jn.3:16; Rom.5:8, 10; 8:32; 2 Cor.5:19-21; 1 Jn.4:9-10). It always has and always will continue; it never did, nor ever will depart, in spite of their depraved state by nature, their actual sins and transgressions, their many rebellions and backslidings. Even though the LORD may hide His Face from them (and us), and afflict them, He still loves them. Many things may depart from them, but His kindness shall not depart! Even though riches may flee from them, friends stand aloof off from them, health may be taken away, and life itself, yet the love of God is always the same; and so, whatever provisions may attend His church and interest in any period of time, He has the same paternal care for it, and the same kindness for His people, as He ever has.
Neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed . . . the covenant where He had made peace and friendship with them, and had promised them all manner of happiness (Ps.89:33-34). The sense is, that God will not ever cast off His TRUE church, as He did cast off the church of the Jews; and that the New Covenant is established upon better and surer promises than the old (Heb.8:6-13).
Saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee . . . everything springs from the mercy of God, and not the merits of men; and so the fulfilment of the Covenant and Promises may be depended upon.
Isaiah 54:11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. (KJV)
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempests, and not comforted . . . or, O thou poor church; for the first Christian churches mainly consisted of poor people, not many mighty and noble being called (1 Cor.1:26), and which were greatly afflicted with false teachers, who presented errors and heresies, and made divisions among them. The church was tossed with tempests like a ship at sea; or stormed with the rage and fury of violent persecutors, such as the Roman emperors, and not comforted, having none to administer any external comfort or relief to them. Not comforted . . . by anyone; none gave her help or comfort. What comfort they had was internal and spiritual; coming from Christ and His Spirit, and by the Holy Word and decrees.
Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours . . . or, with paint, such as women used to paint their faces or eyes with (2 Ki.9:30). One version is, behold, I will lay with paint the stones of thy pavement. Lay... with fair colours or rather, lay... in cement of vermilion. The Hebrew for fair colors means stibium, the paint with which Eastern women painted their eyelids and eyelashes. The very cement shall be of the most beautiful color (Rev.21:18-21).
And lay thy foundations with sapphires . . . one versions says: with precious stones. This may refer to Christ, the sure foundation God has laid in Zion, the Foundation of the apostles and prophets; the One and Only Foundation of the church of Christ, and all true believers, who is more precious than sapphires, or all the most precious stones; He has always been the TRUE Foundation of His church in all ages; but the meaning is, that He shall now appear most clearly and manifestly to be the Foundation, and to be a firm, rich and glorious one (Ex.24:10). http://www.godcannotlie.org/rev_ch21.htm
Isaiah 54:12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. (KJV)
And I will make thy windows of agates . . . some sort of stones, that were valued for their clearness like glass; but the agate is not clear and lucid enough to make windows of. One version renders it of jasper, a stone more fit for that purpose; and it is interpreted jasper in the Talmud. So the light of the New Jerusalem is said to be like unto the jasper stone (Rev.21:11). Some think the crystal to be meant, which suits well with windows. One commentator says that windows is battlements (walls); and agates is instead rubies; literally the sun applied to walls form a radiated appearance.
And thy gates of carbuncles . . . carbuncles is literally, sparkling gems; the carbuncle when held to the sun becomes like a burning coal, meaning the rays and light of the sun are let into a house, and illuminate it; and these in a symbolic sense may mean the ministers of the Gospel, who are the lights of the world, especially of the church; and the Word and Ordinances administered by them, by means of which the light of spiritual knowledge, joy and comfort, is let into the churches, and into the souls of men, from Christ, the sun of righteousness. The gates of the New Jerusalem are said to be twelve pearls (Rev.21:21), which there, as here, indicate the entrance into the church of God, which is through Christ Jesus alone, who is the ONLY Door into it, by faith in Him, which works by love; these gates will be open continually in the last days to receive many, who will come in great numbers (Isa.60:11-12), which will be expressed in praises of very warm and lively love and affection, of which the carbuncle may be a symbol.
And all thy borders of pleasant stones . . . TRUE believers are called lively stones (1 Pet.2:5), and they are pleasant in the sight of God and Christ, and take pleasure in one another (Ps.1-2:14). One version says thy wall, which agree with (Rev.21:18), where the wall of the New Jerusalem is said to be of jasper.
*****There is one thing in particular about verses 11 & 12. That make me sit up and take notice . . . that being the wealth of this world, and those things of it that are accounted most precious by the people within it in today’s world, shall be despised and scorned by all the TRUE members of the church, as having no value, no glory, in comparison with that which far excels . . . that being JESUS! In today’s world, people greedily lay up among their treasures, and far too often in their hearts . . . while in the last days, the children of God shall walk on a street of pure gold (Rev.21:21). What a great difference there shall be! Riches in eternity will NOT have the same meaning or result on people as they do today!
Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (KJV)
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord . . . not only outwardly by His Word, which was made known to all the Jews under the Old Testament (Deut.6:5-9; 11:18-21), but inwardly by His Spirit, which is poured out under the New Testament (Jn.14:26; 16:13; 1 Jn..2:20, 27; Rev.3:13, 22), both upon a far greater number of persons, and in a far higher measure, and with much more effectiveness and success, than it was under the Old.
And great shall be the peace of thy children . . . the inward peace of mind in and from Christ, arising from a view of their justification by His righteousness (Rom.3:24; 5:1). I think this is much better understood of all the children of the church, the TRUE Israel of God, whether Jews or Gentiles (Gal.3:26-29), learning the Gospel of Christ. The peace is inward peace of mind or conscience being cleared; discovering the LORD’S love and appeasement to us, brought by the Spirit of adoption (Rom.8:15, 23), which is more abundantly given to believers under the Gospel, whereas the spirit of bondage was more common and widespread under the law. Outward peace, safety and happiness, is more fully promised in the following verses, and which the LORD, when He sees fit, will set up upon His church.
Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. (KJV)
In righteousness shalt thou be established . . . in the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30), from where flows the peace spoken of before, and which is the stability of the Gospel church of Christ, and the security of it and its members from condemnation. The doctrine of justification by Christ's righteousness is the main article of the church . . . it either is held fast or neglected; stands firm or falls. It is established in exercising righteousness, doing justice and judgment, for it is the support and establishment of a Coming Kingdom and state, and too of the church, for if purity of holiness and righteousness are neglected, a church soon decays; for such will be the holiness of the professors of religion in the last days, that every pot and vessel in it shall be holiness to the LORD (Zec.14:20-21).
Thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shall not fear . . . either by your own rulers, or by foreign powers, so far from it, that you will not be in the least afraid, neither from within nor from without; not from false teachers that oppress the mind with legal doctrine; nor from persecutors that oppress and injure the person and their property. The church will then be free from the oppression and control of Rome (mystical Babylon, Rev.17), which will now fall, and from the persecution of the anti-Christian state of affairs, on whom the vials of God's wrath (Rev.15:7; 16:1; 17:1), will be poured out, and so the church then will no more be afraid of them, for there shall be no more reason to fear.
And from terror; it shall not come near thee . . . the terror of the anti-Christian beast (the Antichrist) and his powers, which shall be no more, after he is taken out of the way by the KING of kings (Rev.19:16, 20-21).
***** While she now lay in danger, the LORD promises that there would be protection and security in the future. Although in the day of her distress, there were fightings without and fears within, then she shall be safe from both. Thou shalt be far from oppression for those that have oppressed them would be removed, those that wanted to oppress them shall be restrained, so they had no reason to fear, but could look upon it as a Promise from God. They shall be far from terror, not only from evil, but from the fear of evil, for it shall not come near them so as to do them any harm or to put them in any fear. They are far from terror if they are far from being oppressed; because it is as great a terror as can fall on a people to have the rod of government turned into the serpent of oppression, because against this there is no fence, nor is there any flight from it. The Kingdom of Christ shall be a wonderful time indeed!
Isaiah 54:15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. (KJV)
Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me . . . the idea in this verse is, that the enemies of the people of God would indeed form alliances and compacts against them, but it would NOT be under the LORD’S divine direction, and they would not be able to prevail against the church. Alliances would be formed; contracts would be entered into; leagues would be made by the enemies of the people of God, and they would be assembled to destroy the church . . . this has often been done. Terrible confederations have been entered into for the purpose, and deep-laid plans have been devised to destroy the friends of the Most High (Ps.2:2). The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD, and against His Anointed. Much of history is a record of the combinations and alliances which have been entered into for the purpose of driving the TRUE religion from the world. But not by me . . . not under the LORD’S direction, or by His command, as they do this without any order from God, as Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar had (Isa.10:6-7; Jer.25:9), so they shall not have His help in it, and without which all their endeavors will be vain and unsuccessful.
Whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake . . . as is manifest from the following words, of which kind of gathering this word is used (Ps.140:2). Shall fall for thy sake, for that respect and love which I bear for them. The phrase seems to mean that they would fall to them, that is, that they would lay aside their opposition, break up their alliances against the church, and come over to it. This looks to the future conversion of the enemies of the church to the TRUE faith. It has, no doubt, been partially fulfilled in the conversion of nations that have been leagued against the Gospel of the Redeemer. There was a striking fulfillment in the times that succeeded the persecutions of Christians in the Roman Empire. After all the power of the empire had been enlisted in ten successive persecutions to destroy the church, the very empire that had thus opposed the church was converted to the Christian faith. In a still more signal manner, this will be fulfilled when all the powers of the Earth now leagued against the Gospel shall be brought under the influences of the TRUE religion in the last days.
***** Even though attempts would be made upon them to insult them, to invade their country, or besiege their towns, they would all be in vain, and none of them succeed. They shall surely gather together against them; they must expect it. The confederate force of Hell and Earth will be renewing their assaults. As long as there is a devil, and he persecutes God's people, they must expect frequent alarms; but, #1. God will not own them, #2. will not give them commands; #3. they gather together, hand joins in hand, but it is not by the LORD! God gave them no such order as He did to Sennacherib, to take the spoil, and to take the prey (Isa.10:6). And therefore, their attempt will end in their own ruin (Ps.27:2). Whoever shall gather together against them, be they ever so many and mighty, they shall not only be baffled, but they shall fall for their sake. God will make them to fall for the sake of the love that He bears for His church and the care He has for it. Their enemies shall fall, that the church may stand.
Isaiah 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. (KJV)
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire . . . into which the smith puts his iron to soften it, that he may beat it, and form it into whatever shape he desires. This clause is added to show that it is a blacksmith that is intended, and to distinguish him from the carpenter and mason, of whom this word is also used, who deal, the one in wood, and the other in stone, and neither of which requires fire. Behold, I have created the smith, the sense of this verse is, everything that can affect your welfare is under the LORD’S control. The smith who makes the instruments of war or of torture is under the LORD. His life, his strength, his skill, are all in the Hands of God, and the workman can do nothing which He shall not think it best to permit him to do. So too, with the enemy of the church, the one who destroys; he is totally under God’s control and at Almighty God’s removal. Some understand this of Satan, the greatest enemy of mankind; and others of a council of war, that forms the design, blows up the coals of contention, and brings forth the plan of operation in war, who are under control of the wicked devil.
And that bringeth forth an instrument for his work . . . who takes the iron out of the fire which he blows, and which he forms into a military weapon, an arrow, a sword, a spear or shield. The idea is, that he produces an instrument as the result of his work.
And I have created the waster to destroy . . . the LORD has also created military men, soldiers that use the above weapons of destruction for that purpose; these are God's creatures, and He can destroy or disappoint them, so that their hands CANNOT perform their intents, their plans. Some understand this also of the devil, who is by way of reputation the waster of mankind; while others think it of oppressive rulers. It seems to me that it is very possible that it is the Roman Antichrist, that waster and destroyer of the souls of men, and of the anti-Christian states that destroy the Earth, and shall be destroyed themselves. The locust, whose king is called Apollyon and Abaddon (Rev.9), which signifies a waster and a destroyer, these are said to be created by the LORD, not only because they are His creatures, the work of His Hands, but because they are raised up by His providence, according to His secret purpose, as Pharaoh was, to show His power in them; and are permitted by Him to continue for a while to fulfil His will, being entirely dependent upon Him, and totally subject to His influence, direction and overruling providence; and therefore His people had no reason to be afraid of them.
*****The LORD has formed every man who is engaged in spreading desolation by wars, and He has every such man under His complete control (Isa.10:5-7; 37:26-29; 46:1-6). The idea here is that as God had all such conquerors under His control, they could NOT accomplish any more than He allowed them to do.
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. (KJV)
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper . . . all weapons of war which are made with a plan to hurt and destroy the people of God, shall be totally useless; not one of them shall succeed, nor to hurt, ruin and destroy the saints of God. Shall prosper (Isa.52:13), it may seem for a time to appear to prosper as persecutors and oppressors; but there would be NO final and complete success.
And every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment . . . no one shall be able to injure you by words and accusations. If a disagreement shall arise; if others reproach you and accuse you of deception and deceit, you will be able to convince them of error, and, by expressing the truth, to condemn them (Isa.41:1).
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD . . . this, with all that is said in this chapter, is the part, portion and privilege, that such shall enjoy who serve the LORD Jesus Christ, and NOT the Antichrist. They shall be treated as sons instead of servants, and have an inheritance assigned them (Mat.25:34; Jn.14:1-6; Ep.1:11, 14, 18; Col.1:12; 3:24; Heb.1:4; 9:15; 1 Pet.1:3-5); not only protection from all enemies, and pardon from all charges, but they shall receive the reward of the inheritance in Heaven, that which is incorruptible and undefiled, and reserved there, since they serve the Lord Christ. 1 Peter 1:4-5 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (KJV) . . . All God’s TRUE children have their mansion (home in Heaven) reserved in Heaven for them. It has your name on it! No one can take it away from you! http://www.godcannotlie.org/1_peter_ch.1.htm http://www.godcannotlie.org/john_commentary_ch14.html
And their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD . . . the proof of their righteousness, of their cause, and of their character; meaning all the righteousness and true holiness that is in them, and the righteousness (1 Cor.1:30) which is credited to them, by which they are justified (Rom.3:24; 5:1), are from the LORD; by which they are shielded from all the charges of law and justice, and from all the accusations of men and devils, and which will answer for them in a time to come, and set free them at the bar of God before men and angels (Rom.8:30-33).
The power of God over the church's enemies is declared. The Truth is they have absolutely no power except what is given to them from the LORD above, and He that gave them their power can limit and restrain the power. Only as far as He allows, they shall go, and no further.
#1. They cannot carry on their plan without arms and weapons of war; and the smith (workman) that makes those weapons is God's creature, and it is God alone that gave him his ability to work in iron and brass (Ex.31:3-5), and mainly to make proper instruments for purposes of war.
The smith blows the coals in the fire, to make the iron flexible, to soften it first, so that it could be that it then may be hardened into steel, and so he may bring forth an instrument proper for the work of those that seek to destroy. But since God created the smith, therefore He can tie his hands, so that the project of the enemy shall go amiss, as many a project has done before, for want of arms and ammunition. The smith that forges the weapons is maybe put here for the council of war that forms the design, blows the coals of contention, and brings forth the plan of the war; but NO one can do a thing more than God will let them do.
#2. They cannot carry it on without men, they must have soldiers, and it is God that created the waster to destroy. Military men value themselves upon their great offices and grand titles, and the common soldiers even call themselves gentlemen . . . but God calls them wasters made to destroy, for wasting and destruction are their business. They think their own cleverness, labor and experience made them soldiers; but it was Almighty God that created them, and gave them strength and spirit for that hazardous employment; and therefore He not only can restrain them, but will serve His own purposes and designs by them.
The Promise of God concerning the church's safety is seriously laid down, as the heritage of the servants of the LORD, as that which they may depend upon and be confident of, that God will protect them from their adversaries. (a) From their adversaries, that think to destroy them by force and violence, and of sword:, even though ever so skillfully managed by the waster that seeks to destroy, shall prosper; it shall not prove strong enough to do any harm to the people of God, and it shall miss its mark, or maybe recoil in the face of him that uses it against them. It is the joy of the church that NO weapons formed against it shall prosper very long, and so the stupidity of its enemies will at length be made clear to all, for they are simply making instruments of ruin for themselves. (b) When the weapons of war do not prosper there are tongues that shall rise in judgment. All shall be directed to the gates of Hell that seek to destroy the church. The tongues that rise in judgment against the church are those that either demand a dominion over it, as if God's children were their lawful captives, or those that misrepresent them, and falsely accuse them, and by insults and slanders attempting to make them hateful to the people and unbearable to the government. This the enemies of the Jews did, to incense the kings of Persia against them (Ezra 4:12-13; Est.3:8-11). But these insulting threatening tongues the LORD shall condemn; they shall have to answer their disrespectful demands, and to put to silence their malicious thoughts. They shall do it by well-doing (1 Pet.2:15), by doing that which will make them clear in the consciences of even their adversaries, that they are not what they are represented to be. The LORD God shall condemn the enemies for them. He shall bring forth their righteousness as the light (Ps.37:6). He shall condemn them as Noah condemned the old world that reproached him, by building the ark, and so saving his house, in contempt of their contempt (Gen.6:8 thru Gen.8:19; 1 Pet.3:20).
The day is coming when God will reckon with the wicked men for all their hard speeches which they have spoken against Him (Jude 1:15). This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD. His servants are His sons, for He has provided an inheritance for them, rich, sure and not able to be lost, annulled or overturned. God's Promises are their heritage for ever (Ps.119:111); and their righteousness is of the Righteous Servant, saith the LORD. God will make very clear the righteousness of their cause before men. The reward for their righteousness, and for all that which they have suffered unrighteously, is of God, that very God who judges the Earth, and with whom verily there is a reward for the righteous. Their righteousness itself, all that in them which is good and right, is of God, who works it in them; it is Christ who is made righteousness to them (1 Cor.1:30). In those for whom God plans an inheritance in the hereafter, He will work righteousness now. Thank You Jesus!
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
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Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
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