The LORD will have Compassion on Jacob

14: 1-3

    DIG: What is the positive side and real purpose of this judgment? What is the basis for God acting on Israel’s behalf (see 40:1-2)? On the Gentiles behalf? Is this the near historical Babylon or the far eschatological Babylon? When will the Gentiles return Israel to the Land and serve as menservants and maidservants?

    REFLECT: What encourages you about the restoration of Israel? What does this prove about the trustworthiness of God? How does His faithfulness Jacob have to do with you? How do you feel about the Arab states turning to Jesus Christ? Why?

    Isaiah teaches us that the time of Babylon’s final destruction is also the time of Israel’s final restoration. He says: For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again He will chose Israel and will settle them in their own Land (14:1a). The prophet’s vision is not limited to Judah alone. No, ADONAI will remember His entire people, as the parallel use of Jacob and Israel indicates. For the purpose of Israel’s restoration, Babylon must be destroyed. But while God will reject Babylon, He will choose Israel and make good His promises to the house of Jacob because He is a promise keeper.

    A sub-theme here is that Israel will possess the Gentiles. Isaiah says three things. First, aliens, or the Gentiles will join them and unite with the house of Jacob (14:1b). Secondly, the choosing will bring Israel back to her own soil again. The nations, or the Gentiles, will help to bring the Jews back to their own place, or Land (14:2a). Thirdly, the Gentiles will serve the Jews as menservants and maidservants in the LORD’s Land (14:2b). The obvious question, is when does this happen?

    Isra'el’s role will be reversed; rather than Israel being exiled as captives to other nations, other nations will serve Isra'el. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors (14:2c). This never happened in Isaiah’s lifetime, in Jeremiah’s lifetime, or the lifetime of any of the prophets. The only place where this reversal of fortunes could possible happen is in the far eschatological future, where the tables will be turned. A united Isra'el will not be dependent upon the Gentiles, the Gentiles will be dependent upon Isra'el (2:3, 60:1-3, 61:5-7). When viewed from the context of all eternity, the pride of the Gentiles will be only passing. The Shechinah glory of Isra'el’s God, however, is eternal (see Ay – A Cloud of Smoke by Day and a Glow of Fire by Night). Marduk, Ba'al and Chemosh are long dead and gone, but ADONAI lives on. In like manner, the kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon have long since been gone, but the people of Isra'el live on.

    So Isaiah connects the far eschatological fall of Babylon with the final restoration of Israel, which is the message of Chapters 40 through 66 in a nutshell. Here Isaiah reminds his readers, both in his time and in future times, that any punishment that may come to God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6; Exodus 19:1-8; Isaiah 44:1-5) did not mean abandonment. He would choose Isra'el again. So it is with the Church made up of Jewish and Gentile believers. God’s purposes for it remain unchanging. But how the Church experiences the LORD in any generation will depend on the obedience of that generation of believers. This much is certain: whatever bondage the Church will fall into, God will choose His Bride once again (see my commentary on Revelation Fg – For the Wedding of the Lamb Has Come).

    On the day of the LORD will give Isra'el relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage (14:3). The analogy with the Exodus is very clear throughout these verses. As YHVH choose Isra'el before (Deuteronomy 4:37, 7:6-7; Psalm 135:4), He will choose her again (see Kg – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ). The LORD will give relief from the pain and suffering of slavery. Those who formally bowed down will stand over the fallen king of Babylon, once so mighty. While believers need to seek reconciliation with their enemies, we need not be sad when those who oppose ADONAI deny His Son, and destroy His people, are overthrown.

    So while on the one hand the Gentile nations will be subject to Jesus Christ; on the other hand they will also receive His justice (42:1). At that time, in a special way, He will become the light to the Gentiles (49:5-7). Those who are rightly related to the King will be able to worship at His Temple where the Shechinah glory will be seen by all (56:1-8). However, the lost souls of the unfaithful will be clearly visible throughout the Millennial Kingdom (65:20). As a result, for a thousand years God’s grace to the faithful and His judgment to the lost will be clearly seen (66:18-24).

    Another important part of this reversal that the Bible deals with, as far the Gentiles in the Millennial Kingdom is concerned, is the Arab states. The most important charge against them was their hatred of Israel. This hatred that characterized the descendants of Esau and Ishmael can be traced back as early as Numbers 20:14-21, all the way through the prophets until today. Psalm 83:1-8 summarizes their hateful attitude pretty well.

    The place of the Arab states will be determined by history of anti-Semitism and how closely they are related to Israel by blood. Peace will come between Israel and the various Arab states during the Millennial Kingdom, but it will come in one of three forms: conversion, occupation or destruction.

    Peace will come between Israel and Lebanon by means of occupation (Ezekiel 47:13 to 48:29). Lebanon was always part of the Promised Land, but it was the part that Israel never possessed. However, during the Kingdom, there will not be a country called Lebanon because it will be part of Millennial Israel.

    As for Moab, or present-day central Jordan, it, too, will suffer destruction, but it will not be total (Jeremiah 48:1-46). Those who survive will repent and a faithful remnant will live during the Kingdom (see Du – The Oracle Concerning Moab). So peace will come between Moab and Israel by means of a partial destruction that will lead to a national regeneration of Moab. There will be a saved nation called Moab during the Millennial Kingdom.

    Ammon, or modern northern Jordan, will also suffer partial destruction and become a possession of Israel (Jeremiah 49:1-2). But their destruction will not be total. A believing remnant will survive and believe that Jesus is the Messiah (Jeremiah 49:6). Consequently, peace will come between Israel and northern Jordan by the means of a partial destruction, followed by their conversion. There will be a saved nation in the Kingdom called Ammon.

    Therefore, peace will come between Israel and the three parts of modern Jordan by means of destruction, but not all to the same degree. Edom, in southern Jordan, will suffer complete destruction by the people of Israel (Ezekiel 25:12-14), and there will be no nation called Edom in the Millennial Kingdom (see Gi – Edom’s Streams Will Be Turned into Pitch). Founded by the descendants of Jacob’s twin brother Esau, it is especially condemned for their hatred of Israel (Jeremiah 49:7-13; Ezekiel 35:1-9; Obadiah 5-21). Edom’s sin against Israel is the greatest because she betrayed her family. Both Moab, or central modern Jordan, and Ammon, or northern modern Jordan, will suffer partial destruction but a believing remnant will survive in both countries. There will be a nation of Moab and a nation of Ammon in the Millennial Kingdom. Both of these nations are descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abraham, and therefore, are distantly related by blood.

    Peace will come between Israel and Egypt initially by means of destruction. Because of Egypt’s ancient hated of Israel, they will initially suffer the same fate as Edom and be desolate for the first forty years of the Millennial Kingdom (Ezekiel 29:1-16). But after that, they will be regathered and a national regeneration of Egypt will take place. So peace will eventually come between Israel and Egypt by means of conversion (see Ef – The LORD Will Make Himself Known to the Egyptians).

    Ancient Assyria is today encompasses northern Iraq, another ruthless enemy of Israel. But peace will come between Iraq and Israel by means of conversion (see Eg – Blessed Be Egypt, Assyria and Israel). There will be economic, religious and political unity because they all worship the same God.

    Like Edom, Babylon will become a desolate spot during the entire Millennial Kingdom (see Dk – Babylon, the Jewel of Kingdoms, will be Overthrown). While Egypt’s desolation will be limited to forty years, because of Babylon’s unique violence against Israel, her desolation will last for a thousand years. Throughout the Millennial Kingdom, while the entire earth will be beautiful and fruitful, Edom and Babylon will be places of continual burning. Smoke will rise and be visible for the entire thousand-year period. While Satan will be confined to the Abyss, his demons will be imprisoned in Edom and Babylon during the entire Millennial Kingdom period.442

 

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