Thursday, July 21, 2016

Comfort My People: The Prophecies Of Isaiah, Day 30

Comfort My People:
The Prophecies Of Isaiah
Day 30

Today the Lord concludes this particular section regarding Assyria's punishment. Then He gives His people even better news: news of a King of the line of David.

The Assyrians march down from the north to the south on their way to Jerusalem. "They enter Aiath; they pass through Migron; they store supplies at Mikmash. They go over the pass, and say, 'We will camp overnight at Geba.' Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul flees. Cry out, Daughter Gallim! Listen, Laishah! Poor Anathoth! Madmenah is in flight; the people of Gebim take cover. This day they will halt at Nob; they will shake their fist at the mount of Daughter Zion, at the hill of Jerusalem." (Isaiah 10:28-32) With each city mentioned, the Assyrian army is growing closer until it halts outside the gates of Jerusalem, with King Sennacherib's field commander shouting insults against Judah's king and against her God in the days of Hezekiah. We looked at this event during our study of the kings and will revisit it later in the book of Isaiah. The Assyrians were at the very walls of the city but in one night the Lord defeated them with a plague of death.

"See, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will lop off the boughs with great power. The lofty trees will be felled, the tall ones will be brought low. He will cut down the forest thickets with an ax; Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One." (Isaiah 10:33-34) This verse may apply to both the Assyrians and the Judeans. The towering strength of Assyria will be broken, but so too will the stubborn and prideful citizens of Judah. God is about to cut down those who refuse His authority, who will not humble themselves before Almighty God.

Jerusalem won't fall to Assyria but about a hundred years later she will fall to Babylon. A remnant will return after Babylon falls to Persia, but the land of Judah will never regain her former prosperity until her true King reigns. Through Isaiah the Lord now comforts His people regarding how He has cut them low like trees. Out of a stump a fresh new Branch will sprout, a King of the tribe of Judah, a Son of the line of David, and now the Lord goes on to describe the kingdom under Christ. "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him---the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord---and He will delight in the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:1-3a)

The kingdom under Solomon was the largest and wealthiest it had ever been, but it pales in comparison to the glorious kingdom of Christ. Solomon was the wisest man on earth, but his wisdom doesn't even begin to compare with the wisdom of the Lord. Some of the kings have been men of God but they were all completely human, incapable of living a perfect life, prone to falling into temptation. This will not be true of the King of kings. He will be filled with the Spirit, having all wisdom and understanding, being perfect and incapable of sin. He will know every word ever spoken by God the Father and will delight in His laws. He will judge all matters according to God's infallible word and nobody will be oppressed or treated unfairly.

"He will not judge by what He sees with His eyes, or decide by what He hears with His ears;" (Isaiah 11:3b) This is of utmost importance. An ordinary human king can only go by what he sees and hears when cases are brought before him. Unfortunately, appearances can be deceiving. Plaintiffs coming before the king are capable of telling some very convincing lies. Unless a king is wholly led by the Spirit, he cannot have perfect discernment. But the Lord looks on the heart and judges by what He finds there. It is not possible to deceive Him.

"But with righteousness He will judge the needy, with justice He will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth; with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be His belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist." (Isaiah 11:4b-5) The world will be judged by the word of God. This is the only true standard of measure. This is the only righteous law and the Bible compares the word of God to a weapon here and also in the book of Revelation, when the Apostle John sees a vision of the Lord and "coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations". (Revelation 19:15a) The sharp sword in the mouth of Christ is symbolic of the word of God by which Jesus will judge the world. Both our passage of Isaiah today and this passage of Revelation regard the second advent of Christ when He returns to rule from David's throne. 

Not only will Christ judge by the word, but He is the Word. "His name is the Word of God." (Revelation 19:13b) "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) Because He is the embodiment of the entire word of God, and everything in the law, and has been with God from the beginning and has all wisdom and all knowledge, Christ is able to judge with fairness. He knows the word and He is the Word. There is no error in Him. There is no blemish in Him. He is, in every way, a perfect Messiah and King.

Tomorrow we will move on into the prophecy of a renewed earth and a redeemed creation, and will find that the animal kingdom and all nature itself will be transformed. Man will be at peace with man. Animals will be at peace with one another. No longer will anyone or anything hurt or destroy. The desert will bloom like the rose. No thorns will infest the ground. This old world will be made new.

Below is our worship song link for today.

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