In Righteousness You Will Be Established,

Terror Will Be Far Removed

54: 9-17

   DIG: How would the messianic Kingdom be like the days of Noah for God? How can we be confident that Isaiah is prophesying about the millennial Kingdom and not the return from the Babylonian Captivity? Why is Isra'el safe from harm? What is the basis of the restoration of the relationship of the LORD to Isra'el?

   REFLECT: Have you ever felt the “ground” under your spiritual life quake? Can you trace God’s control of events in your own life, which seemed “out of control?” How do you keep yourself centered? Of the promises spoken of here, which one means the most to you now? Why? How does that hope make a difference in the way you live now?

    As a result of Isra'el’s national confession of sin at the end of the Great Tribulation, this is a far eschatological prophecy pointing to Isra'el’s national regeneration at the end, and life during the messianic Kingdom. God’s New Covenant of peace and mercy with Isra'el will be eternal, like the Covenant He made with mankind after the Flood in the days of Noah, more permanent than the apparently everlasting mountains and hills. The basis of the restoration of the relationship of Isra'el to ADONAI is the Covenant of peace or the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

    To Me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again (54:9). God promised in the Noahic Covenant that He would never again devastate the earth as punishment against mankind (see my commentary on Genesis Da – Never Again Will There Be a Flood to Destroy the Earth). Similarly here, the LORD promised that the Day was coming when He would never be angry, rebuke, or punish Isra'el again. Statements like this teach us that Isaiah was prophesying about the messianic Kingdom rather than the return from the Babylonian Captivity, for Isra'el suffered the anger of ADONAI many times since then.

    “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My Covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you (54:10). In the same way the New Covenant guarantees the end of wrath. Here ADONAI guarantees His unfailing love for Israel regardless of what may happen to the earth. This is not a love that is blind to our humanness, but it is the love that never fails of which Rabbi Sha'ul knew (First Corinthians 13:8). God is a Covenant keeper; we can be assured that what He says, will happen. So once that sixth stage is entered into (see Je – The Restoration of the Wife of the LORD), once there is a remarriage between the LORD and Isra'el, that remarriage will remain intact forever.

    Many passages in the TaNaKh speak of a yet future time of true peace and prosperity for the righteous followers of God under the benevolent physical rule of Jesus Christ on earth. Zechariah 14:9 says: ADONAI will be King over all the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and His name the only name. Then in Zechariah 14:16-21 we read about what the messianic (or Millennial) Kingdom will be like. But Ezekiel 39:21-48 presents the most detailed account of the Millennium found in Scripture. Other First Covenant passages on the messianic Kingdom include Psalm 2:6-9; Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:6-9; 65:18-23; Jeremiah 31:12-14, 31-37; Ezekiel 34:25-29; 37:1-6; and Chapters 40-48; Daniel 2:25; 713-14; Joel 2:21-27; Amos 9:13-14; Micah 4:1-7; and Zephaniah 3:9-20. These are only a few of the many prophetic passages that describe this Kingdom. The Renewed Covenant also speaks of the coming Millennial Kingdom in passages such as Matthew 5:1-20; 19:27-30; 26:27-29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18; First Corinthians 6:9-11. Interestingly, it’s not until we get to Revelation 20:1-6 that we are told the Messianic Kingdom will last a thousand years.228

    God starts out contrasting Israel’s past and future conditions. In her past she had been afflicted by Nebuchadnezzar and in her future by the antichrist. Needless to say, neither had comforted her. Isaiah lamented: O afflicted City, lashed by storms and in despair (54:11a). But ADONAI was not unaware of the suffering of either His City or His people. And if you are a believer today, who loves the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He is not unaware of your despair. On the one hand, the LORD does not lightly dismiss our brokenness and emotions surrounding our suffering, even when He tells us that those conditions are not permanent. But on the other hand, this description tells us that the blessed hope of the people of ADONAI are not given in ignorance of the realities of the situation. Hope is often dismissed as something that is possible only by denying hard facts of reality. If that is sometimes true, it is certainly not true here. It is precisely to the despairing, deficient and depressed Israel that these incredible promises will be made.

    But that is going to change once the nation repents and asks Messiah to return. Isaiah paints a word picture with the most glowing colors. He says that God build up Jerusalem with stones made of precious gems, symbolic of His care and esteem for the value of the City. I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels and all your walls of precious stones (54:11b-12). In the future, Israel will be glorified and that glorification is seen here in a figurative description of the restored Jerusalem (see my commentary on Revelation Fu – A Great High Wall with Twelve Gates).

    Our hope and the hope of Israel is not in her own inner resources. It is in ADONAI, the One who is both infinitely stronger and infinitely more trustworthy than anyone, or any man made god the world has ever known. We wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

    We now move to the interpretation of the preceding imagery. The means by which Israel will obtain this glorification is by God’s teaching. All your children will be taught by, or will be disciples of, the LORD, and great will be their peace. In righteousness you will be established (54:13-14a). Once again, this could not have been referring to the return of the Babylonian exiles because ADONAI did not teach all of Isra'el’s children after their return from Babylon; in fact, most did not return to the Land. Even today, Israel is generally a secular society. During the messianic Kingdom, however, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). The antichrist or Satan will not oppress them any longer; they will be free of tyranny and will have nothing to fear. God says that terror will be far removed from them; it will not come near them (54:14b).

    Never underestimate the ponderings of a believing parent. Never underestimate the power that comes when a parent pleads with ADONAI on behalf of a child. Who knows how many prayers are being answered right now because of the faithful prayers of a parent ten or twenty years ago? There is no set formula, but God listens to thoughtful parents. Praying for our children is a noble task. If what we are doing, in this fast-paced society, is taking us away from prayer time for our children, we’re too busy. There is nothing more special, more precious, than that time a parent spends struggling and pondering with the LORD on behalf of a child (from Walking with the Savior, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1993).

    Israel’s enemies will be totally defeated before the thousand years begins. The principle is this: If anyone does attack you, it will not be My doing, whoever attacks you will surrender to you (54:15). This cannot be the return of the Babylonian exiles because in 70 AD Titus the Roman general and his legions came and destroyed Jerusalem and killed about a million Jews. Surely they did not surrender to the Jews at that time. No, this is the gathering of all the nations of the world against Israel at the end of the Great Tribulation (see Kh – The Eight Stage Campaign of Armageddon). But when they do attack it will not be God’s doing because they will do so out of their own free will. They attack because they want to attack, not because the LORD makes them attack. James makes this principle very clear (James 1:13-15). Although the army of the antichrist will be destroyed in the Campaign of Armageddon, millions upon millions of Gentiles will surrender and enter the Millennial Kingdom (see my commentary on Revelation Fk – Gentiles in the Messianic Kingdom) for one last chance at salvation (see Kq – The Wolf and the Lamb Will Feed Together and the Lion Will Eat Straw Like the Ox).

    ADONAI controls human history. Maybe not every single little decision that we make, but the ultimate result. He will not violate our free will no matter how much He loves us; we can say no to the LORD and make it stick. He uses our fallen nature, and Satan’s evil desires to get the end result He wanted all along. Since God is the Creator who creates both the soldier (destroyer), and the weapon in his hand; and not only the weapon in his hand but the blacksmith who made the weapon, we should not worry that anything could come against us that would be contrary to the LORD’s purposes for our lives (Romans 8:28-39). See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc (54:16). No part of the universe is exempt from the purposes of God.

    This is the conclusion of the entire chapter. No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you (54:17a). Such it is in our own day. The thousand year Third Reich of Nazism, whose centerpiece was its “final solution” against Judaism, survived little more than ten years. And the main result of its vendetta was the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel, which had not existed for 2000 years previously. The antichrist will come closer to “the final solution” than Hitler ever did. Hitler’s persecution took place primarily in Germany, but the antichrist will kill Jews all over the world, but he still will not succeed. ADONAI’s people will survive long after the antichrist is gone. This is the unique heritage of the servants of the LORD, which is Isra'el. And this is their vindication from Me, declares the LORD (54:17b). It is comforting to know that Isra'el may fail Him, but because of the Covenant relationship that God has with her (Deuteronomy 29:1-29), He will not fail Isra'el, and because He will not fail her, He will not fail us.

    Look what happens when you combine verses 54:17a and 54:3. No weapon forged against you will prevail and your descendants will dispossess nations. How can this happen? It will happen because Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, will be ruling and reigning from His throne in Jerusalem (see Db – The Nine Missing Articles in Messiah’s Coming Temple). But for all the human effort, there will be no peace in Jerusalem until the King of Peace comes. When that happens, the opportunity for salvation will culminate during the messianic Kingdom.

 

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