47. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 52
When Israel became a sovereign state in 1948, the time began when Gentile rulers would no longer control the nation’s destiny. We are living in the time, when the scene is being set for Israel’s full restoration. Our expository study enters into Messianic chapters of prophecy that extend far beyond Isaiah’s time into the future to the first and second advent of Christ. Any fulfillment of this prophecy after the Babylonian captivity is only partial. The promise that the uncircumcised and unclean would no more enter into Zion can only belong to the Millennium.
“Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean” (v.1). In chapter 51:9, we first see God awakening to revival, a renewal of a demonstration of His power over Israel’s enemies. In 51:17, we have the call to Jerusalem to awaken to His work of comfort and restoration. Then, as we studied, we saw the severe results of God’s anger, often symbolized in the Bible as wine. Israel had drunken to the full and reeled uncontrollably without any human help possible. It is from this state that God calls, and the call is repeated, as our chapter begins. The time has come, prophetically speaking, for Israel to put off its weakness and the drunken rags and be clothed with divine strength and beautiful garments.
Friday, February 17, 2017 | 0 Comments
46. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 50 and 51
Jesus, speaking on behalf of His Father, showed that divorce was never a divine consideration (Mt.19:3-6). Isaiah is going back in time to the calling of God upon His people (in referring to “the mother”), to assure the Jew of his day and in the future that there is no breaking of the marriage contract at any point. Paul enforces the divine principle: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself” (2 Ti.2:13). Divorce is contrary to His nature of endless faithfulness, though His offspring may be severely disciplined or cut off for a time: “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce, with which I sent her away?” In what way have I reneged on My responsibility towards you?
Due to extreme poverty and an inability to pay a debt, children were sometimes taken from their parents in payment. We have a case during Elisha’s ministry in 2 Kings 4:1-7. Here, God continues to reason with the Jew, “Which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?” Any concept of poverty or faithlessness on God’s part are equally ludicrous. Whatever the people may suffer, being carried away captive from their own land into another, is strictly a result of their sins (v.1). Sin results in separation and indebtedness towards God.
Monday, February 13, 2017 | 0 Comments
Due to travels, it has been a while since I wrote the commentary on the last chapter 48. Finally, I've gotten the chance to continue with chapter 49. I hope you will find it worth the wait. It's a beautiful picture of the Messiah and the Jews coming into the Millennium. I especially find the care of the Jewish children during the Tribulation a wonderful part.
45. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 49
The calling of the Christ
“Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar.” Isaiah again sends his call to distant lands, to those outside the commonwealth of Israel. All creation is obligated to hear the word of the Lord and submit to the consequences, if they do not. Their refusal is voluntary, so ignorance is not taken into account, and in all cases they will be judged for the word that God has uttered. No excuse is granted. We face the same situation in these times, for Jesus proclaimed, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (Jn.12:48).
“The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name” (v.1). The sinner is conceived in sin and the only remedy is the Messiah, the Lamb of God from all eternity, spotlessly conceived in the womb of a virgin. He is the Christ, the only hope of the world. He is named from the body of His mother: “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt.1:21).
Saturday, February 11, 2017 | 0 Comments
44. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 48
I am more convinced every day that Christians need to come under the influence of expository teaching of the Bible. Once again, I invite anyone, who chances to read this article, to join us in this verse-by-verse study of the book of Isaiah. I am learning and I am sure that you will learn, as well.
Jacob and Israel
One thing that we must do in an expository study is to define the terms that are used. Generally, the people in Bible times understood these terms, but often, we might look in a very different way than that, which was intended by the inspired writers. We dare not interpret them in “our way”! For example, Isaiah in verse 1 addresses the house of Jacob. Early in the book, in chapter seven, we read about the house of David and saw that this phrase referred to the descendants of David. Simply then, the house of Jacob refers, in a natural and general sense, to the descendants of Jacob.
However, when Isaiah writes, “who are called by the name of Israel”, he is being more specific and spiritual. This clause reminds us of a crisis experience in Jacob’s life, when God worked a transformation in him and called him by a new name, which meant prince of God. His name is included in Israel’s. God expects that Jacob’s descendants be a transformed and spiritual people, representing His own nature. There is another term that requires an explanation… who came from the waters of Judah. This is more specific yet and denotes a fountain, as a source from which waters flow.
The southern kingdom took its name from Judah to distinguish itself from the northern tribes. Their people intended to be more loyal and faithful to Jehovah, the ones “who swear by the name of the Lord and confess the God of Israel.” It is the ministry of Isaiah to uncover superficial claims and discover the heart. Their confession, he writes, is “not in truth or right”. These two necessary qualities… truth and righteousness… must be present in order for a claim to be genuine.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 | 0 Comments
43. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 46-47
A good portion of the earlier chapters of Isaiah had to do with Assyrian history and prophecy. Several of the last chapters project into the future and concern Babylon and its downfall at the hand of Cyrus of Persia. Babylon’s idolatrous religion had an effect upon the world of its day and some of its aspects live on to our day. The Romans associated Bel to Jupiter and Nebo to Mercury.
Bel and Nebo are Babylonian gods. Bel is an alternate spelling of Baal and we know the part that Baal played among the Israelites. Baal-worship reached into Phoenicia and we studied about its influence upon Queen Jezebel, wife of Ahab, the king of northern Israel. Nebo is found in the root of some of the names of Babylon’s kings, including Nebuchadnezzar. Bel is also: Bel-shazzar, the king, but also Nebuchadnezzar named Daniel after the name of his god… Bel-teshazzar (Dn.4:8).
A point that is made in the first verse is that the images of these gods are a burden to the people and to the beasts that have to carry them. They cannot defend the city and they do not escape the invasion of Persia, but the idols are carried away, along with the people, who worshipped them (v.1-2). The defeat of Babylon was a defeat of its gods. They did not bear the people, but are carried on the backs of beasts of burden. I noticed this comment in Wikipedia, concerning a superstitious action by the father of Bel-shazzar: “Nabonidus had ordered cult statues from outlying Babylonian cities to be brought into the capital.”
Friday, January 06, 2017 | 0 Comments