Tuesday, July 23. Isaiah 61 – 63

Remember to keep the context of this section of Isaiah in mind as you read. With these wonderful promises being made about Jerusalem, it’s tempting to see them as being made to seventh century B.C. Jews about something to happen in their lifetime. Indeed, those who first read this book would have legitimately thought they were for them. But they never came true in their day, nor any day near them. They cannot come true until the coming of the Lord’s servant who atones for the sins of the world with his suffering.

And so, these promises to Israel are really promises to God’s covenant people, made up of all people of the world – note the proclamation is to the “ends of the earth,” which would include gentiles, and a banner is raised for the “nations.” The promise of exaltation is made to Christians.

That being true, we might well wonder precisely when the Church will be so exalted, when the world will see our righteousness and that God’s delight is in us.

Perhaps the key is in a text alluded to in the New Testament, but not quoted – indeed, though much of Isaiah 62 sounds like New Testament, there is not one quote found there. That passage is 62:5, echoed in Revelation 21:1-2, the bride (Church) presented to the bridegroom (Christ).

Two lessons come to mind: First, we should be confident that the blessing God promises will indeed come to pass. It will not, however, as we’ve written often previously, just come to pass. God will never delight in a people who continue to spurn His ways. He will never rejoice over those who continue to bring Him shame. We are an active participant in the glorious promise of the Lord when we live according to His will.

Second, until that day comes, we should look expectantly for it, and pray for its arrival, never being silent in prayer day or night and giving God no rest ‘till he makes His Church the “praise of the earth.”