Isaiah 60

Isaiah 60  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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Chapter 60 opens with a note of jubilation and triumph. The Redeemer having come to Zion, according to this prophetic strain, and God’s covenant, connected with His Spirit and His words, being established, what else could we expect? Two things will then mark the people of Israel. They will “arise”, since they have been sleeping in the dust of spiritual death among the nations. Further they will at last “shine” as a testimony for God, and their light be seen among the nations. This hitherto has never been the case. And, why not? Because the law of Moses, under which they have always lived, has only proved that they have no light in themselves. They will only shine when the light of God, concentrated as it is in their once-rejected Messiah, shines through them.
At His first advent Jesus came as the dawning of a new day, bringing light to those sitting in darkness, as we see in Luke 1:78-7978Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:78‑79). But the Jew rejected the light and as far as they were concerned they put it out. Consequently, as we saw in chapter 49, He was given for “a light to the Gentiles” to be “My salvation unto the end of the earth.” His second advent will be in “the day of Thy power” when “Thy people shall be willing”, according to Psalm 110. Then at last they will come into the full blaze of that light and reflect it, as the moon reflects the light of the sun.
This thought, that of reflected light, is clearly in the verses that open chapter 60. The earth will be filled with darkness of a very gross sort at the time when Christ comes again. This He Himself indicated when He said, “Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:88I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)). It will be rare and but little in evidence. During His absence there is no light save that connected with faith. When He comes, the glory of the Lord will be manifested, and it will be seen upon Israel, and so reflected on them and in them that the Gentiles shall come to the light that shines through them, and “kings to the brightness of thy rising.”
Again we have to say that in principle this applies to us who are of the church while we wait for Him. To Christians of Jewish extraction it is said that they had been brought out of darkness “into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:99But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:9)); and to those who were brought in from among the Gentiles it was said, “ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:88For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Ephesians 5:8)). To them the word was added, “walk as children of light”; that is, their light was to shine out as a testimony to all around. Spiritual light is to shine forth from the saints of today, who form the church, while we wait for the shining forth of the glory in a fashion that all can see.
In an earlier chapter we have read what God’s purpose as to the people of Israel was: “This people have I formed for Myself: they shall show forth My praise” (43:21). They have never yet done so in any proper sense, but in this coming day they will, and therefore they will become a center of attraction upon earth. First of all the attraction will be felt by those who are truly of the Israel of God. Those who can be called “thy sons” will come to Zion from afar, and those who are “thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.” This will be a regathering of the true Israel in the land of God’s choice that will altogether eclipse the migration of Jews to Palestine that we see still proceeding today. God will be behind the movement and the revelation of His glory in the once-rejected Servant, but now the mighty delivering Arm, will be the attractive force.
The effect of the revelation of the glory upon redeemed Israel is further shown in verse 5. True, it will not be essentially a matter of faith as it is with us today, for, says the prophet, “then thou shalt see”. The thing will be manifest before every eye, and the result will be threefold. They will “flow together”; so the drift will be in the direction of unity, and the old divisions that have marred the nation will disappear. Then they will fear, and experience how true it is that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:1010The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)). As a result of this they will “be enlarged.”
We venture to think that this enlargement will take place not only in material things but also in mind and heart. It will take place in a material way, as the rest of verse 5 indicates, but the enlargement is clearly stated to be of the heart. The verse mentions the “abundance of the sea”; and frequently that figure is used to indicate the masses of mankind. The statement does not mean that Israel will be well supplied with fish, but rather that though evil men, far away from God, are like the troubled sea that cannot rest, in the coming age the spared nations will be like a placid sea, yielding its abundant treasures and converting them more especially toward Israel. This is further emphasized by the words that close the verse, which according to the marginal reading would be “the wealth of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.”
And all this blessing, both material and spiritual, will be poured upon Israel when the Arm of the Lord is revealed in power and glory, and those who “turn from transgression in Jacob”, that is, the true Israel, born again and in the presence of their Redeemer, stand in the virtue of His work. That work He wrought when He was despised and rejected of their forefathers and being led as a lamb to the slaughter, He was wounded for their transgressions and bruised for their iniquities.
As Christians we are today blessed with “all spiritual blessings”, and that “in heavenly places in Christ”. When Israel is blessed in this way on earth, we shall be in the fullness of blessing in heaven.
Chapters 60:6-62:3