TODAY’S READING: ISAIAH 60-66
OVERVIEW: The exaltation of Jerusalem in the day of the Lord (60:1-22); the mission of the Messiah in His first coming (61:1-2a) ; the mission of the Messiah in His second coming (61:2b-11); the restoration of Zion (62:1-63:6); the petition of Israel (63:7-64:12); God’s response to Israel’s prayer (65:1-25); the blessing of God in the Millennial Kingdom (66:1-24).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
All the way through the Book of Isaiah, God has been pointing us through the prophet to that incredible day when the Lord Jesus Christ will establish His rule and reign in His Millennial Kingdom.
Once again, that is the theme and focal point in the chapters in today’s reading (60-66). When the remnant of Israel returned into their homeland following the Babylonian captivity, the city, with its walls, gates, and temple was in shambles, (“laidwaste” – 64:10-11) and anything but glorious. But Isaiah looks down through the years to a time when the Lord Jesus Christ has stepped in and changed all of that. Interestingly, the word “glory,” or one of its forms (glorify, glorified, glorious) is found 23 times in these seven chapters of Isaiah alone.
We are presently living in a biblical “nighttime.” The “night” began in Acts 1:9 when Jesus ascended back to the right hand of His Father, because Jesus had clearly said in John 9:5 – “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” At that point, the “Sun” went down, so to speak, and it became night as far as God is concerned (Rom. 13:12; I Thess. 5:5-7; Phil 2:15). We now await the glorious day when the “Sun (Mal. 4:1-2 – note, capital S-U-N, not S-O-N!!!) of righteousness” will “arise” and the light will again shine on this planet and it will be “the DAY of the Lord”! This is exactly what Isaiah is prophesying in 60:1-2 “Arise, shine; for the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” In that day, as Isaiah goes on to explain in verses 3-9, the Gentile nations will be coming in peace to Jerusalem, offering gifts to “th!
e Holy One of Israel,” the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. At that time, as Isaiah describes in verses 10-22, the walls of the nation will be rebuilt (60:10), and the “gate shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night” (60:11), implying that there will no longer be the threat of an invading nation or nations (also, see 60:18).
Verses 1 and 2 of chapter 61 were read by the Lord Jesus Christ in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21). Jesus concluded the reading by saying, “this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears,” letting us know that Isaiah 60:1-2 refers to Him, if there could be any doubt of that in anyone’s mind. It is quite interesting to note that when Jesus read those verses, He very purposely and calculatedly stopped in the middle of verse 2, before reading “and the day of vengeance of our God.” We now know that the reason He didn’t read it, was because the fulfillment of the prophecy was dependent upon what the Nation of Israel would do with their opportunity to receive her King. When Israel refused her final offer of the Kingdom at the stoning of Stephen, God inserted a parenthesis we call the Church Age, and now “the day of vengeance of our God” (i.e. Tribulation/Second Coming) will not kick in until God’s plan for the church has been accomplished. Because “the day of veng!
eance of our God” has not yet started, it lets us know that we are still presently living in what God calls “the acceptable year of the Lord”! We must “redeem the time” making sure that we “walk in wisdom toward them that are without” (Col. 4:5). Notice in Isaiah 61:2, that following the Tribulation and Second Coming (“the day of vengeance”), the Lord will “comfort all that mourn” (Millennium), and will flip-flop Israel’s suffering and affliction into blessing and rejoicing.
Though Israel in Isaiah’s day was God’s “forsaken” wife (62:4) and had been left “desolate” because of her whoredoms, when the Lord Jesus Christ establishes His kingdom, Israel will be called “Hephzibah” (“my delight is in her”), and “Beulah” (“married”), as once again, she will be “married” to Jehovah, and He will “delight” in her (Hos. 2:16-17). (Remember, Israel is the bride of the Father, we (the church) are the bride of Christ.)
Chapter 63 pictures Christ as a bloody warrior. At His first coming, His enemies stained Him with His own blood. When Isaiah sees Him here at His Second Coming, once again, He will be stained with blood. This time, however, it is not His own blood, but the blood of His enemies (63:1-4)! Never lose sight of the fact that He who is (was) the “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6) in His first coming, will be a “Man of War” (Ex. 15:3) at His second coming!
Chapter 65 records the Lord’s response to the prayer of His remnant, and chapter 66 describes the true worship of the Messiah in His Millennial Kingdom. As we conclude the Book of Isaiah, what we have called “a microcosm of the Bible,” note that chapter 66 covers the same ground as the Book of Revelation (Tribulation, Second Coming, Millennium, New Heaven and New Earth).
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
60:1 – “the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”
60:2 – “the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”
60:7 – “I will glorify the house of my glory.”
60:13 – “I will make the place of my feet glorious”
60:20 – “the days of thy mourning shall be ended”
61:2 – “the day of vengeance of our God”
63:4 – “the day of vengeance”
63:4 – “the year of my redeemed”
66:15 – “the Lord will come with fire”
66:18 – “I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the ANOINTED ONE PREACHING GOOD TIDINGS – Isa. 61:1 (Luke 4:16-22).
As the CREATOR OF NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH – Isa. 65:17; 66:2 (John 1:1-3; II Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).
As the ONE WHOSE GLORY WILL BE WITNESSED BY ALL NATIONS – Isa. 66:18-19 (Rev. 5:12-13).