I Will Extend Peace to Her Like a River, and the Wealth of the Nations Like a Flooding Stream

66: 10-14

   DIG: Who is God talking to here? At the end of the Great Tribulation, who were the three groups that would mourn over what Jerusalem had become? Who is portrayed as a nursing mother? Who is not? Why? To what extent will the holiness of Jerusalem and Judah be seen? How will His hand of blessing or His fist of fury be evident?

   REFLECT: How do you see yourself in this picture of the future? Which of the three groups who would mourn do you identify with the most? Why? If only God can completely supply all the needs of His people, how has He supplied your needs? Does His ability to supply all your needs mean that all of your needs have to be met by Him? Why or why not? Who is the potter and who is the clay (Isaiah 29:16; Jeremiah 18:1-6; Romans 9:20-21)?

    In God’s continuing answer to the cries of forgiveness and salvation from the believing remnant in Chapter 64:1-12, the LORD continues to answer. After making it crystal clear in the last segment that all His promises and purposes concerning Isra'el were to be fulfilled, ADONAI now gives the faithful remnant a vision of her new life in the messianic Kingdom.

    The Holy Spirit declares: Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her (66:10). At the end of the Great Tribulation there would only be three groups who would mourn over what Jerusalem had become – the religious capital of the world for the antichrist. The first group would be the believing remnant; the second group would be the 144,000 Jews who will preach the Gospel, seemingly for the entire seven years (see my commentary on Revelation Cr – Then I Heard the Number of Those Who Were Sealed, 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel); and the third group would be the sheep Gentiles who help the Jews survive during the second half of the Great Tribulation (see my commentary on Revelation Fc – The Sheep and the Goats). What will be the cause of rejoicing?

    The people of Israel will delight in Jerusalem as an infant delights in her mother’s sustenance. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance, literally, the nipple of her glory (66:11). It is important to understand that ADONAI is not being compared to a nursing mother - Zion is. Their beloved City will be restored and then provide for all their needs. Jerusalem had seen far to much heartbreak. But, the prophet says, the day has come when such tragedy will merely be a distant thought of the past. We can see the deeply contented expression of a mother who has more than enough milk for her baby, and we can also see the perfectly satisfied look on the face of a nursing baby. This will be the joy of Jerusalem during the Messianic Kingdom, every need will be supplied. Zion’s abundance will be the source of strength and courage for the believing remnant, the 144,000 and the sheep Gentiles. The mother’s milk will provide everything that her children may need to live strong and stable lives.

    Ultimately, only God can completely supply all the needs of His people. If Zion will be able to supply her children’s needs, it is only because God is there (see Db – The Nine Missing Articles in Messiah’s Coming Temple). ADONAI’s promises rest on the sole guarantee of His word. For this is what the LORD says: I will extend peace to her like a river (66:12a). Throughout the book of Isaiah, shalom has been presented as the integration of all parts of life that constitutes the ultimate blessing of a true relationship with the suffering Servant (53:1), Yeshua Messiah. And the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees (66:12b). She will receive the wealth of the nations (60:5, 11 and 61:6). She will receive peace (48:18 and 55:12) like a river and the Gentiles will carry the inhabitants of the City to the Land like a child is carried on her mother’s arm.

    As a man (ish) comforted by his mother, I will comfort you; in Jerusalem you will be comforted (66:13 CJB). The fact that the Holy Spirit uses the phrase, like someone comforted by, shows this is merely an analogy. In this analogy, God is compared to a mother who embraces her grown son, the Hebrew word ish, means a man, in an hour when his need is much greater than the need he had as an infant at her breasts. The adult son, this man is a picture of Isra'el and the need is not physical but spiritual, as he faces grief, failure and loss. Undoubtedly, this careful distancing of God from the nursing motif is the same reason that the LORD is never said to give birth. The Bible goes to great pains to protect the truth of the transcendence of God. He is fundamentally different than we are. He is not an extension of us; however, all that is personally and spiritually true of both mothers and fathers is also true of ADONAI.

    Although Isaiah is the primary prophet describing Jerusalem in the Millennium, Jeremiah has much to say regarding her comfort. He describes the reestablishment of the throne of David, making it the center of Gentile attention. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of ADONAI. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts (Jeremiah 3:17). The increased size of Zion, its holiness, and indestructibility are pointed out in Jeremiah 31:38-40. God Himself will dwell there (Zechariah 2:10-12 and Joel 3:17) and rule over a regathered Israel (Micah 4:4-8 and Zephaniah 3:14-17).

    Zion will be comforted and will rejoice both inwardly with the heart and outwardly. She will prosper and flourish like grass (Psalm 35:10, 51:8; Isaiah 58:11). The hand of the Lord will be made known to the believing remnant, but His fury will be shown to His foes (Second Thessalonians 1:7-10). In a positive, holy sense, God has always had a special jealousy for Jerusalem that will cause Him to return to her and dwell in her midst. I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her and I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. This Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth and the mountain of the LORD of heaven’s angelic armies will be called the Holy Mountain (Zechariah 8:2-3).

    Finally, the holiness that will characterize Jerusalem will extend to the bells upon the horses, and to the cooking pots in the kitchen. When that day comes, this will be written on the bells worn by the horses: Holy to ADONAI; and the cooking pots in the house of ADONAI will be [as holy] as the sprinkling bowls before the altar. Yes, every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD of heaven’s angelic armies. Everyone who offers sacrifices will come, take them and use them to stew the meat. When that day comes, there will no longer be merchants in the house of the LORD of heaven’s angelic armies (Zechariah 14:20-21 CJB).258 God promises that He will reveal Himself to those who seek Him. And those who call themselves the children of God can lay claim to that promise both now and in the golden age of Jerusalem yet to come.

    When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to His servants (66:14), but His fury will be shown to His enemies (63:1-6). God’s generous treatment of Jerusalem and her children at the end of the Great Tribulation will clearly show the difference between His servants and His enemies. For far to long, the distinction has not been clear in this world. People ask, and rightly so, what good is it to live a godly life when the wrongdoers seem to get off the hook (Psalm 37 and 73; Malachi 3:13-15). It seems as though someone is asleep at the switch. When Yeshua Messiah returns a second time His hand of blessing will be evident from the blessed condition of His servants, but His devastating fist of fury will strike His enemies (see my commentary on Revelation Fo – The Great White Throne Judgment).

 

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