Dr. S. Lewis Johnson gives exposition on Isaiah the Prophet's words concerning the ultimate judgment of the Messiah upon those who have and have not believed in him.
[Message] The subject for tonight is “The Salvation of Jehovah” and we’re turning to Isaiah chapter 11 and I would like to spend a little bit of time on some parts of chapter 11 particularly near the beginning of it and then also consider briefly chapter 12 because that brief chapter of only six verses really belongs to chapter 11 as one general prophecy. So we’re going to look at chapters 11 and 12. For those of you who have been here, you will remember in the past few times that we have studied that we have been saying that a new phase in Judah’s history had come with King Ahaz who began to rule in seven hundred and thirty-five B.C. He is the king that we have called the king of no faith because he did not respond in faith to the challenge of his day. He lived when Syria and Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom which had been separated from the Southern Kingdom, Judah, were attempting to depose Ahaz, the Davidic king of Judah. And instead of appealing to God as Ahaz should have done and as he was warned to do by God and by the prophet, he appealed to Assyria and over the protests of the prophet who gave the protests of God Ahaz leaned on the Assyrian king for help in the struggle with Syria and with Israel to the north. And remember the prophet had said to him, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. And so as it always goes when we do not trust in the Lord and in his promises, Ahaz is going to suffer and as a result of the fact that he is the Davidic king and stands for the nation in that special sense, the nation too Judah, is going to suffer as well. So judgment from Assyria is to come.
The problem with Ahaz, we have been saying is that he carried a secret in his heart meaning more to him then the promises of God, and that secret was, put very simply, trust in Asher, or in Assyria. So often we fail in just that way, not willing to trust God, we trust our schemes, we trust our own wisdom, we trust the advice of others instead of leaning upon the arm of the Lord and we discover that ultimately we shall have to suffer often the discipline of God for our failure to really trust him.
Now having said this and set it out in Isaiah chapter 9, the prophet turned to private ministry. And he has been by God given three signs which are to guide him and his disciples amid these difficult times of the peril from the nation Assyria. The first sign was the sign of a son of the prophet whose name was Mahershalalhashbaz, one of the great names of the Bible which means something like, hasten booty, hurry spoil. And the son’s name, hasten booty, hurry spoil, is designed simply to illustrate the fact that faithlessness brings judgment. So he was told to give the child that name in order that it might be a sign of disciplinary judgment to the nation.
Another son was named Shearjashub. Now shear is the word that means a remnant, and jashub is a form of the verb shub which means to return, and so this particular sign, this son, this second son, Shearjashub, a remnant shall return was meant to teach that there would be a deliverance for some in the nation. A return from the captivity and especially looking on into the distant future, Isaiah prophesies that there shall ultimately again come to pass the restoration of the Nation Israel.
And finally, there was the son that was to be born of the virgin, and the son was named Emmanuel. Now Emmanuel of course is the sign that ultimately looks off to the Lord Jesus Christ and so Isaiah is invited to lift his eyes to the far off day and the ultimate issue which is the salvation of Jehovah. And that would be accomplished by the son that was to be born of the virgin.
Of course Isaiah himself stood as a sign, because his own name means the salvation of Jehovah. So the third great theme of this book of Emmanuel has finished. We have Mahershalalhashbaz, we have Shearjashub, and we have Emmanuel. Now I know that many of you may not remember this, because we’re not studying for a course in theological seminary, but you may remember that when we began chapter 7 I commented upon the fact that this section from chapter 7 through chapter 12 has been called by students of Isaiah the Book of Emmanuel because these chapters belong together, these six chapters. And you will see how they belong together if you will think for a moment about what is said concerning this Son. In chapter 7 it is said that this Son whose name shall be called Emmanuel shall be born of a virgin and then in our last study, we looked at the prophecy in chapter 9 verse 6 and verse 7 where we have further information concerning the Son,
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth forever. (And then the climactic words) the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform it.”
So we have the Son in chapter 7 that is to be born, then in chapter 9 we have the Son born and now in chapter 11 and verse 10, we will see the Son reigning, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse. (Remember Jesse was the father of David and so this one is the son of David.) Which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it (that is to that ensign) shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glory.” So you can see the progression, he’s to be born of a virgin, he’s to be given because he’s the eternal Son, born a child, but given by God and to be given the Davidic throne, an eternal throne. And then now, we have the picture in chapter 11 of this one born of a virgin, this given child, the Davidic king to be and now we see him exercising his rule and authority.
Now it would be nice if we had time to discuss the intervening section, because it would I think, heighten the impact of verse 1 of chapter 11 where we read, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Because one gets the picture there of just a little branch out of an oak tree and that this branch shall grow out of the roots of a tree that evidently has been cut down. Now if you’ll read the 10th chapter, Isaiah by the Lord is given a magnificent description of the ultimate overthrow of the Assyrian. Now let me just read a few of the verses at the end of the 10th chapter. And remember that Isaiah is describing in vivid poetic language the way in which the Assyrian is going to come down into the land he’s already said in the 8th chapter that he’s going to come down and he’s going to by the flood and the reason that the Assyrian is likened to a flood coming in is because remember the Tigris and the Euphrates River were there and all Israel has is just the little Jordan stream. And so he likens it to a flood of water coming down and Judah is likened to a man and the water rises and finally the water rises as high as the throat or the neck and deliverance will come at the last moment.
Well he now in the latter part of the 10th chapter has another picture and this time it’s the picture of a mighty force coming down, a mighty army and it’s almost as if he’s describing the particular places at which the army comes and they’re going to come right down to the land. We read for example in verse 30,
“Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. (Because the Assyrian is coming down,) Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: (That is he’s going to rest for a day with his army) he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. (And so he’s right at Mount Zion now, the Assyrian and his army, and we read in verse 33,) Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.”
In other words, just as the Assyrian comes down to the land to take it, then likening the Assyrian to a giant forest of cedar, Isaiah is by the Lord told to say, “The Lord shall lop down the giant cedar tree and Lebanon, (like the forest of Lebanon with its cedar trees) shall fall by a mighty one.” Now the mighty one of course is the Lord Jehovah.
Now, having said that we read, “And there shall come forth a rod (Just a little stick, a little twig.) Out of the stem of Jesse and branch shall grow out of his roots.” In other words, it’s a mighty picture of the overthrow of the vast and great empire of Assyria; the forest has crashed with a deafening roar by a mighty one. And now as we listen to the prophet, he says, “There’s a twig, just a little twig, and it’s a twig out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Now of course, the statement, “A rod out of the stem of Jesse” is a reference to the Davidic line because Jesse was the father of David. In fact, it’s almost as if the prophet wishes to express the down trodden condition of Judah so vigorously that he will not say a rod shall come out of the stem of David but rod shall come out of the stem of Jesse, the father of David. So that the picture is of Judah and Israel they are in disobedience, they are under divine discipline, they have had catastrophic experiences, they are practically wiped off the face of the earth, they are scattered to the four corners of the earth and there is a rod out of the stem of Jesse. So David’s house is reduced to a stump, and the reduction to a stump is caused by their apostasy. They have turned away from the Lord God and instead of trusting in him, they are trusting in Asher, they’re trusting in their own wisdom, they’re trusting in expediency, all of the kinds of things that lead to the disciplinary judgment of God, a stump from the stem of Jesse.
Now a branch shall grow out of his roots. So the house of David is at a future time to renew its youth, in a time of humiliation and ruin, the Messiah shall come. Now of course, there is a sense in which at the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ we have this, because, Israel was in a very very poor condition, they were downtrodden and under the Romans, and it is at that time that the Lord Jesus Christ has come. One of the striking things about this figure is this; I don’t know whether you know this or not, but when you cut down a cedar tree, you will never have any shoots from the ground. Characteristic of the cedar tree is that it never puts up shoots. But if you ever cut down an oak tree you will discover that it will put up shoots. Now that is the picture. Assyria is likened to the cedar and when Assyria is finally cut down, or when the opposing forces of the people of God are finally cut down in the future, there is no return of them. Their ultimate destruction is final. But in the case of Israel and Judah, there is always the promise of God sustaining them and there will always come that remnant from which the great things of the future will grow. So there shall come forth the rod out of the stem of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
Now the anointing of this king is described in verse 2, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” Characteristic of the Messiah is his anointing. In fact, as you well know, the very term Messiah means anointed one. Now contrary to the priests and prophets and the kings of the Old Testament who were anointed with oil, this Messiah is to be anointed with the Holy Spirit and so we read in verse one, The Spirit” I’m sorry, I should have told you to turn to chapter 61 where we have the anointing of the Messiah prophesied of, and this by the way while you’re finding chapter 61 and verse 1 is the passage on which the anointing of the Lord Jesus Christ is built in the New Testament times. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek.” So the time is coming when the king who is a rod out of the stem of Jesse is to be anointed. Remember how Peter when he preaches says that the Lord God anointed Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit and he went about preaching the good news. This anointing took place at the baptism of the Lord Jesus when the Holy Spirit came and abode upon him. Beginning his Messianic ministry at his baptism, he began the ministry that ultimately culminated in the cross and the ratification of the Davidic promises of the Old Testament.
Now the anointing is described particularly in the clauses that follow, the reference to the Spirit of the Lord. Now the Spirit of the Lord is going to rest upon him, but he is the spirit of wisdom and understanding that touches the intellectual life of the Messianic King. And then his practical life, the spirit of counsel and might. And finally, that that has to do with his spiritual life, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. All together emphasize the fact that he is Emmanuel or God with us, anointed by the Spirit of God, with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Remember in the tabernacle, the seven branched candlestick? Well that seven branched candlestick was designed to reflect the Lord Jesus Christ and his light giving authority and power. Well here is a seven fold description of the Messianic King, and one thinks of that seven branched candlestick of the tabernacle.
Then Isaiah describes the rule of this king in verse 3 through verse 5. Let me read these verses,
“And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”
Now that expression by the way, the wicked, can be a reference to a collective group and thus the wicked ones, it is however a singular expression and while it may be taken in that collective sense, many feel that in this case the reference is to a singular person and so the wicked one is a reference ultimately to the Messiah by that interpretation. And to my mind, did I say to the Messiah? It’s a reference to the anti-Christ, I’m sorry. I’m glad I had some recall of that, but I was already thinking about the next thing that I was going to say and something said within me, “What did you just say?” [Laughter] I’ve been hearing voices recently, and I have some friends who’ve been hearing them too, and so I’m getting affected by them. But at any rate, when we read here, “With the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked,” we probably are to understand this as the wicked one a reference to the beast or to the anti-Christ.
Then the fifth verse concludes the description of his reign at this point, “And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” Now thinking about this for a moment, you will notice of course, there is one significant thing that is omitted. No reference is made to the suffering of the King, no reference is made to his atoning work by which he ratifies the Davidic Covenant and becomes the Davidic King. And you will also notice that no reference is made here specifically to the church, that is that body of believers who form part of the people of God with the barriers that were existent in Old Testament times broken down so that the Church and Israel inherit the promises of God as co-heirs and co, what shall I say, co-inheritors of the promise, co-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ, we don’t have that here. Because he is looking on beyond the present age to the consummation, that is the Second Advent of the Prince of Peace.
Now he describes the principle of his rule in verse 3 when he says, “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord. He shall really take delight in the fear of the Lord. Purity is the foundation of peace, and this king is the one king who is able to rule righteously because he is the only pure and holy king that this earth has ever or ever will see. In chapter 32, again the prophet speaks of this king and he says, “Behold a king shall reign in righteousness and princes shall rule in judgment and a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind and a cover from the tempest as rivers of water in a dry place as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” That is a reference to this same king. In verse 17 we read, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” So the principle of the rule of the Messianic King is the fear of the Lord.
The method by which he will rule is described in the next part of chapter 3 through the end of chapter 5. Now notice, he will not judge after his senses, that’s the basis of human judgment. But he will judge by obedience to the spiritual truths of the word of God he will not rule like a Nasser. I have a friend an elderly woman in Switzerland who is eighty years of age. I’ve often stayed in her home, she was married to a Swiss man, she is a Swiss lady, they lived in Cairo, they had two drug stores in the city of Cairo. And without going into great detail, they were there for a number of years, entertained a number of our soldiers from World War Two and the British soldiers and other Christians, even the Arab Christians too, entertained them in their home, ministered to them. But when Nasser came to power, he confiscated everything that they had and sent her home after her husband had died, with absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing. I think she had just enough, she may even had been given this money to buy a ticket back to Switzerland. Fortunately, she had some sisters and others in her family who were able to take care of her and she managed to get established a bit. But that is ruling not in the fear of the Lord. He will not rule like Nasser, he will not rule like Castro, he will not rule like Hitler, he will not rule like our presidents, though I’m not suggesting that our presidents are like Castro and Nasser, they’re not. But there are certain things about our rulers that are not absolutely in harmony with the word of God. This king is one who will “not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears, but with righteousness shall he judge the poor and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.”
And then “with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked one.” This is I believe the eschatological person, the anti-Christ, or the beast described in the Book of Revelation. And he concludes with another reference to “righteousness as the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”
In the 6th verse through the 9th verse Isaiah describes the realm of the king. He says,
“And the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
It is interesting how these verses have been taken by various commentators. For example, John Calvin and Martin Luther generally speaking took these as simply as symbolic reference to the future and some of the blessings that would come in Heaven as a result of the ministry of Jesus Christ. In other words, this is just a symbolic description of Heaven. Some of the moderns have taken these verses very literally, but they have regarded this as a beautiful dream or a beautiful wish on the part of the prophet which of course has not taken place. Still others have regarded this as literally fulfilled but have regarded the description here as a reference to the New Earth, that is Heaven itself. Where as others have taken it as a literal description of the Messianic kingdom which shall take place on the earth after the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ and the establishment of his Messianic kingdom and eternal kingdom because this kingdom is always described as an eternal kingdom. If that is true then this is undoubtedly the greatest illustration of the fulfillment of the prayer that the church has often prayed, “Thy kingdom come.”
Now I want you to notice, let’s assume that this is a reference to the Messianic kingdom, the earthly kingdom of the future after the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, an eternal kingdom, and let’s assume this is the golden age described in the Bible in this way. Now notice the stress on the animals. Now that is rather striking and I only offer a suggestion like this, it is very fitting I think that there should be a Messianic kingdom because it will demonstrate the ultimate issues of the blood that was shed on Calvary’s cross. Let us remember that when the Lord Jesus came he fulfilled the requirement of the ratification of the Abrahamic the Davidic and the New Covenant in his blood. These covenants were ratified and established by the blood that was shed. Our Lord Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, one can say that these kingdoms are in existence and the King is ruling upon his throne.
But the manifestation, the public manifestation of his kingdom awaits the future. And the blessings that are associated with the public manifestation of the King await his Second Advent. That I think is what is referred to here. And the redemption which has already taken place spiritually in the hearts of those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ which will take place physically in their bodily resurrection, also extends to the redemption of the created world. Because remember, when man sinned in the Garden of Eden, not only was man cursed and not only was Eve cursed, but the creation was cursed also. So we have seen the Lord Jesus in history shed his blood, the covenants established, redemption accomplished spiritually, it will be accomplished physically for the redeemed at his Second Advent and the resurrection and it will be established for the creation in the public manifestation of the effects of the atoning work of the Lord Jesus in the lifting of the curse upon the created word. This seems to me is what he probably is speaking about. In other words, this is an integral link in the predestined course of the history of salvation.
Now it’s striking that the stress here rests upon the animals because they’re part of the kingdom. And the fact that the curse is lifted upon the creation manifests itself in the way in which the animals have lost their ferociousness. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb; the leopard shall lie down with the kid. Woody Allen who is never noted for Scriptural wisdom and understanding and probably is noted for mixing up a few things that he understood that in the future that the lion and the lamb would lie down together. But he added, “In my opinion, the lamb will not get much sleep.” [Laughter] Well in that day, if the lion and the lamb lie down together, the lamb will be able to get some sleep. And he goes on to describe in very vivid language that fact.
Now the realm of mankind is described in the 9th verse. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” And so the universal knowledge of God will characterize that future day. I think that the holy mountain refers to all of the land of Palestine because the land of Palestine will be the place from which the King shall rule and reign.
Then in the 10th verse he goes on to describe something of the program of the King. You’ll notice a fourfold use of the expression, “In that day.” In verse 10 we read, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse.” And to him as an ensign or a banner of the peoples the gentiles shall come. In verse 11, “It shall come to pass in that day.” Then in chapter 12 verse 1, “And in that day thou shalt say oh Lord I will praise Thee.” And in verse 4, “And in that day shall ye say praise the Lord.” So this expression, “In that day,” points to the future as a description of some of the things that will happen when the King is ruling.
The rod referred to in the 10th verse is David’s son. The root referred to here is David’s Lord. I guess I should’ve made reference to the fact that the rod is verse 1, you may have forgotten that. In verse 1 we read, “The rod of the stem of Jesse.” And that lays stress upon the humanity of this King, whereas here he is the root of Jesse. That lays stress upon the fact that Jesse has his origin from him. And so he is not only the man the Messiah, but also the Lord God the Messiah, and his reign is the resting place of glory. And the program is further described in verses 11 through 16 as a special program that touches the Nation Israel. This answers the question, “How will it be possible for him to reign in the midst of a scattered nation?” Well he’s going to bring the nation back into the land. Listen to what he says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.” I’d like to say something here, occasionally commentators will say that the first time is a reference to Israel’s departure from the land of Egypt and the second time is the return after the captivity. But I’d like for you to notice that the second time that is referred to here is a return from the four corners of the earth. Notice the twelfth verse, “he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” And so the reference is not to any local return, limited return, the reference is ultimately to the final restoration of ethnic Israel into the land at the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ referred to in the New Testament in a number of places as for example in the Olivet Discourse and in other places. So the program for Israel is described in verses 11 through 16.
Verse 12, “he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” And notice the Gentile participation in this kingdom, for the Gentiles were included in the Abrahamic promises from the beginning. In the Old Testament, provision was made in the Abrahamic Covenant for Gentile salvation and then when the Davidic Covenant was given, special emphasis was placed upon the one who would rule in the Abrahamic promises as they were fulfilled. And the New Covenant laid the redemptive basis of the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants and when the Lord Jesus came, he came as the son of Abraham and seed and as the son of David and the Gentiles were included from the beginning.
And in the New Testament when Israel as the nation has its branches cut off the olive tree, although a remnant remains, and the Gentile unnatural branches are grafted in, that is a reference to the fact that they have the right to participate in the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenant blessings. And today, the middle wall of partition has been broken down. It is not necessary for a Gentile to become a member of the Jewish commonwealth in order to be saved. He belongs to the church, the body of Christ, the one body of believers from the beginning, inclusive of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ down through the ages, certain restrictions at some times, at a certain time in the Old Testament, now done away with. And Israel and the Gentiles who are saved partake of the root of the fatness of the olive tree as Paul describes it in Romans chapter 11. Great chapter, I suggest you read it and ponder it.
Now our time is almost up and we want to look just briefly at chapter 12. But let me finish reading chapter 11 verse 13,
“The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not envy Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: (Incidentally, these are things that did not take place at the return from the captivity.) they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”
This exodus will not be a limited exodus; it is an exodus from the four corners of the earth. Now then, with this mighty event taking place, the Second Advent and great disciplinary out pourings of divine wrath upon the lost described in the books of say Revelation, Joel, certain sections of Isaiah those catastrophic events that surround the second coming of the Lord Jesus and the preparation for the Messianic kingdom. It’s natural that those who participate should want to praise the Lord, and so redemption, the redemption of the Messianic kingdom issues in praise. Listen to the 1st verse of the 12th chapter,
“And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.”
This is of course, the praise of Israel first and then the fourth verse, the praise of the people as well. And it reflects the entrance into the blessings that are described here and you will notice that characteristic now is not the mood and disposition of Ahaz, this king of no trust. But now it is trust, “Thou shall say in that day, oh Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song.”
It’s terrible you know that Israel has to learn this lesson by the experience of a world wide dispersion. And Paul warns the Gentiles in Romans chapter 11 that they too face being cut off, if they do not respond to the message of the word of God. Now he’s talking about the Gentiles in the national sense, but that pertains to us as individuals. The reasons often that we suffer and do not enjoy the fullness of the blessing of the Lord is because we like Ahaz, deep down within we have a secret of trust in what may correspond to Asher in our lives.
And finally, notice the song and secret of faith the last two verses, “Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Did you notice that, the Holy One of Israel in the midst of Thee? Well faith looks on to the consummator who brings victory for he is Emmanuel. “Great is the Holy One in the midst of Thee.”
Now just let me tell you a little story that a Bible teaching friend of mine used to tell about a father who had to go off for a number of months. “And he had a little boy who was just three or four years of age and he knew it was difficult to explain to him where he was going, what he would be doing and the fact that it would be a long time coming back. And so he just put it to him this way, he said, “Son, when you see the leaves on the tree turn red and begin to fall, then I’m going to come.” And it was in the spring when he said that. And they were a fairly well to do home and the little boy used to go out with his nurse every day and take a walk. And of course he forgot all about what his father had said to him until September came and the end of September and suddenly some of the leaves began to change and the leaves got red. And some of them turned brown and then there came a tremendous storm, like we may have tonight. And this storm came and a result of the storm and wind, the next day when they went out to walk, the ground was just covered with these red and brown leaves. And he looked at it and he shouted up to his nurse, “Hurrah! Hurrah! Daddy’s coming!” In other words, there are some signs to which we can look. And we look at the signs in the word of God that do announce that the coming of the Lord may, may we must say, may not be too far off. There are things like apostasy in the church, various other kinds of conditions that one can look at and see in the light of the word of God and see the possibility of a relatively soon return of the Lord. Well may the Lord help us in our Christian life to live as if he may return soon. Let’s bow in a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for the ministry of Thy word from the Prophet Isaiah for this marvelous picture of the Messianic kingdom. We look forward to that day, we look forward to the consummation of the promises of God and we pray that Thou wilt in the mean time give …
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