Prophecies of Isaiah, Pt 2

August 4, 2017 at 6:03 PM 1 comment

In our first installment of this series – Prophecies of Isaiah, Pt 1 – we introduced the fact that we wanted to highlight aspects of the book of Isaiah. We briefly noted the contents of chapters leading up to Isaiah 7 and then focused on parts of Isaiah 7 where we learn God’s plan and promise to bring a Messiah/Savior into the world as the means of receiving salvation. It would be through this Messiah/Savior – Jesus – that the pathway to God through faith would be opened, once and for all.

As we know, originally, the nation of Israel was created by God to be an extension of His grace to all nations. Israel failed, miserably, time and time again. Even today, Israel is far from God, but throughout God’s Word, He makes it plain that He yet has a purpose for Israel and that nation will one day fulfill her God-given role. That time will come in what conservative Bible scholars call the Millennial Kingdom, over which Jesus will personally and physically reign for 1,000 years. Of course, it is not as if He does not reign/rule now. He most certainly does, and this at the right hand of His Father’s throne (Hebrews 1:3). However, many prophecies in Scripture point to a time when this same Jesus will occupy His earthly father’s throne (King David) and will reign from Jerusalem (Psalm 132:11-12, 13, 17; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 17:25; Jeremiah 22:2,4, 30; 33:15-16; Ezekiel 37:24-25, etc.). The only way to get around the clear meaning of these verses is to allegorize them to mean something else.

One of the interesting things about the book of Isaiah is the fact that, under God’s direction, the prophet constantly goes back and forth between the rebellious nature of Israel and the future of Israel when they will fulfill their created destiny of being a true light to all nations. Because of Israel’s hard-hearted nature, rebelliousness, and sinful attitudes, the nation has reaped what she has sown. For most of Israel’s history, nations have plotted against her and she has often been overcome with many Israelites taken into captivity and dispersed throughout the world. This, of course, has been allowed by God for His ultimate glory. In fact, that is why He does anything, not only related to Israel, but related to all people throughout the world.

If anything, Isaiah constantly places God’s sovereignty on display. It is a major theme of the prophet’s book. God is sovereign and nothing defeats His sovereignty. This is a big reason that God issues prophecies through one prophet or another. In fact, God says so early on in the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 14:26-27; 16:14; 30:8-9; 37; etc). Prophecy is given to us in order that we might know that God is God. There is no other. He tells the end from the beginning. He defines the path for humanity. He brings His promises to fruition. In all this, He stoops to us because He knows our frame.

As we mentioned, Isaiah is filled to overflowing with prophecy after prophecy and many have come to pass in history. Others wait to be fulfilled. Because of all these prophecies, humanity is without excuse. We either believe or not. But in our believing or in our unbelieving, we do not change God’s plans or opinions. Many today refuse to accept the existence of God and to their own eternal peril. They eventually get to a point where they are convinced within themselves that no God exists. This gives them a false sense of security and even arrogance. They begin to pity people who believe in God and eventually, most atheists become virulently opposed to the very concept of God. They don’t want anyone talking about God. They want all references of God removed from public venues, including money. This anger toward those who believe in God seems to know no bounds and appears to critically thinking people as a bit dubious. Yet, it is the natural progression of wanting to cut one’s self off from God (Romans 1).

The book of Isaiah – as most of the Bible itself – assumes God exists. After all, the Bible is literally “God’s Word” to us. It is the book He wrote using roughly 40 human authors over a period of 1,600 to 2,000 years. He did this to prove His existence, omniscience, and sovereignty. Yet people still balk at the idea of God and reject the notion that God exists, that He is a personal Being, and that He has set all the ground rules. It is His Creation. He rules. He decrees. He brings things to pass all for the sake of His glory.

Isaiah 9 is a very well know section of the Bible. In it, God tells us about His plans to bring a Messiah/Savior into this world.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)

We usually hear these verses in some sort of theatrical production around Christmas time each year. Of course, the above passage speaks of Jesus and His eventually physical and personal rule over the entire planet of earth. These verses look ahead not only to His glorious birth, but to the end of time during the final 1,000 years when Jesus will rule with complete perfection over all nations. The center of the earth at that time will be recognized by all humanity as Jerusalem and that will be where Jesus will sit on King David’s earthly throne. As a descendant of David, Jesus will continue to kingly line of David to the end of time.

The verses tell us that Jesus will establish peace and righteousness without end (to the end of time). Jesus will reign with perfect justice. What will accomplish this? The “zeal” of the Lord will bring this to pass.

Interesting are the references to the birth of Jesus, as well as His life on earth, His death, and His ultimate glorification as reigning monarch over all the earth. To read some passages would cause one to think that these verses are allegorical in nature, but this is not the case. There are too many of them to be allegorical and when all the dots are connected, the only conclusion to come to is that God will bring these things about personally and as stated. Jesus will reign. That time is coming.

We know that Jesus was born, that He lived, and that He died a criminal’s death, though He Himself was without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Aspects of the Old Testament give us insight into His death and resurrection, but numerous passages like Zechariah 9:9-10.

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

The first verse above highlights the time when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey. He did this during what is called the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem when the crowds of people cried out “Hosanna!” and placed palm branches in front of Jesus’ path. Only a few days later, He was crucified.

Verse 10 highlights a time when Jesus will reign and there will be peace. We know there has been a “gap” between the fulfillment of these two verses. Verse 9 occurred literally within humanity’s timeline and we can be assured that verse 10 will also be fulfilled literally as well. The time is not yet and those of the Old Testament times did not realize there would be a gap of any sort between these two verses. They assumed when Messiah came, He would immediately set up His Kingdom and reign. This is why the apostles asked Jesus when He was going to set up His Kingdom. They were not aware of any gap, but looking back, we know the gap exists and we are still in that gap, awaiting the return of our Lord to fulfill verse 10.

Until we meet again, may the Lord open your eyes to show you how blessed you are in Him.

 

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming, temple mount. Tags: .

Prophecies of Isaiah, Pt 1 Today’s Prophet Who Comes with Signs and Wonders

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