You Will Be Called Sought After,

the City No Longer Deserted

62: 10-12

   DIG: What time period is the prophet writing about here? How is the concept of a highway used in the book? What does Isaiah mean when he says that exiles of Isra'el from the four corners of the earth? How are the people prepared? Why is a proclamation necessary? What will be the reward for faithfulness? What will be the judgment for rebellion? How will Zion be different? What words are used to picture a restored relationship?

   REFLECT: Some people think God’s wrath is an idea from the TaNaKh. How would you respond to that idea in light of Revelation 19:11-16? How do you feel about this as a description of Jesus Christ (see Romans 2:5-9; 2nd Thess 1:6-10)? Do you have a personal relationship with Yeshua Messiah (see Jd – Yet It Was the LORD’s Will to Crush Him and Cause Him to Suffer).

    Given the certainty of the promises of ADONAI in 62:1-9, what should the people do? They needed to act on their faith and get ready. The prophet calls for preparation to be made for the return of the King at the beginning of the messianic Kingdom. This has been the theme of the book, especially from 40:1 onward. The image of the highway serves this point very well (11:16, 35:8, 49:11). It has been the means by which the Israelites return home from the four corners of the earth. In 11:11-12, the Hebrew word for corners in this phrase is kanaph. It is translated in a variety of ways; however, it generally means extremity. It is translated borders in Numbers 15:38. In Ezekiel 7:2 it is translated four corners, while in Job 37:3 and 38:13 it is translated ends. There are many ways in which God the Holy Spirit could have inspired the human author Isaiah to say corner: pinoh is used in reference to cornerstones; paioh means a geometric corner; ziovyoh means right angle; krnouth refers to a projecting corner; and lastly, if the LORD wanted to convey the idea of a square, four-cornered earth, the Hebrew word paamouth could have been used. But he didn't. He used kanaph.

    It is doubtful than any observant Jew would ever have misunderstood the true meaning of kanaph. For about 2,000 years, religious Jews have faced the city of Jerusalem three times daily and chanted the following prayer: Sound the great shofar for our freedom, raise the banner for gathering our exiles, and gather us together from the four corners (kanaph) of the earth in our own Land.

    At the beginning of the messianic Kingdom, there will be four results of this return home. First, there is a preparation for the return of the Jews. Whenever Isaiah gets excited about something he uses the doubling because it conveys a sense of urgency. Pass through, pass through the gates (62:10a)! Isaiah has used this literary device several times from Chapter 40 onward (40:1, 51:9 and 17, 52:1 and 11, 57:14, and here in 62:10 and 65:1). Quickly the people are to prepare themselves for His coming. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones or any other hindrances. Raise the banner, for the Gentile nations are to be informed that King Messiah is coming to Zion (62:10b). Isaiah has used the concept of the banner before in Chapter 11. There, Isaiah dealt with Messiah’s relationship with the Gentile nations during the millennial Kingdom (see my commentary on Revelation Fk – Gentiles in the Messianic Kingdom). The prophet said that Jesus will be the center of Gentile attraction: In that day, the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the Gentile nations . . . and gather the exiles of Isra'el from the four corners of the earth (11:10 and 12).

    Secondly, a proclamation is given to the Gentile nations. When the LORD arrives a proclamation will be given throughout the ends of the earth that He is Israel’s Savior (63:11a). They are to hear of what God has done for Zion so they can send her children back to her. As they were once called to raise a banner to attack Israel (5:26), so at the end of the age the coming of Jesus Christ will again be a banner. See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up My banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders (49:22). But during the Kingdom period, instead of hostility they will bring gifts (see Jv – The Attraction of the Gentiles).

    Thirdly, salvation comes to the nation of Israel. Say to the Daughter of Zion, “See, your salvation comes! The salvation pledged in 56:1 is imminent. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense, or the fruit of His ministry, accompanies Him” (63:11b). The Hebrew word for salvation is Yeshua. He is salvation itself, and when He comes the Gentile nations will know that Messiah is present in Zion. Hence, God the Father is announcing the coming of God the Son. For the believers there will be reward, which will be the garments of salvation (61:10), but for the unbelievers there will be only judgment (see my commentary on Revelation Fo – The Great White Throne Judgment). At that time, the Daughter of Zion will no longer have to pretend to be something great (3:16-23), for ADONAI will give her His beauty as a gift in the sight of all the Gentile nations.

    Fourthly, the result will be a restored relationship. The Israelites will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted (62:12). All four of the terms used here – Holy People, Redeemed of the LORD, Sought After and the City No Longer Deserted – are terms pointing to a relationship. He will have a restored relationship with the people of Zion first, and consequently, a restored relationship with the Gentile nations because the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jews, then for the Gentile (Romans 1:16).

    The people of Isra'el cannot be called holy today. Only a small believing remnant is redeemed. Jerusalem is a forsaken city right now, but a day will come when things are different. The experience of God’s salvation will transform Isra'el spiritually and the Promised Land physically. At that time the people will be called holy and the Land will be greatly desired. What a glorious future it will be!

 

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