The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 61 Part 2

Isaiah

Our last reading for this week is Isaiah 61:4-11

v4: Note: There is going to be a restoration. These places had been destroyed by the enemies of G-d. They had not wanted Israel to thrive. The sinfulness of G-d’s people allowed the enemy access to them and to their lands. In the last days, a rebuilding, and a restoration, is going to take place in the land of Israel (this has been happening since 1948, after a 2000-year period of desolation). 

v5: Strangers: Foreigners. Those who at one time did not have a covenantal relationship with G-d (ie Gentiles)

  • Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks: This change that happens to Israel is going to have an impact on not only the Jewish people but also on those within the nations. 
  • Plowmen: Farmers.
  • The sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen…: Many from the nations are going to go to Israel to participate in G-d’s restoration and reestablishment of the land. Jews and Gentiles (who are going to be of the same faith) are going to work together for the same purpose. The remnant of the nations also undergoes a change. Instead of wanting to tear Israel down they are going to want to build her up. The nations are going to catch the vision that G-d reveals in this passage.

v6: You: Referring to Israel, the Jewish people, the sons and daughters of Jacob.

  • You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles: Israel being blessed is a covenantal obligation (Gen 12:3). When Israel gets right with G-d, a change is going to happen within the nations. Instead of wanting to destroy Israel, they are going to bring their resources to her.  They are going to want to see her (the people and the land) built up. 

v7: Your: Referring to Israel.

  • They: Referring to the remnant of the nations.

Note: G-d is saying that a time is going to come whereby the remnant of the nations are going to minister to the Jewish people. This remnant is going to minister to, bless, help and participate in what G-d’s doing – this restoration of the land of Israel and the Jewish people. Israel is going to be blessed with a double portion, but those who bless Israel are themselves going to be blessed (Gen 3:12). With the measure the nations use to bless, it will be measured back to them as a double portion (Matt 7:2). 

  • Everlasting joy shall be theirs: Those from the nations who participate in the will and purposes of G-d are going to inherit eternal, Kingdom, gladness. 

v8: I hate robbery for burnt offering: This person feels that they can afford to intentionally sin. They have enough money to buy the animals for a burnt offering to pay for their sin. They feel that because they are able to pay for the offering they are justified in their sinning. This is heresy and it is displeasing to G-d. This is not the heart of G-d, and nor should it be the heart of a true believer. 

  • I will direct their work in truth: This is talking about the Gentiles. G-d is going to make a change in Israel, but He is also going to make a change in the nations. G-d is going to set the behaviour of the nations in truth. Why? Because He is going to make an eternal covenant with them. As they embrace the things of G-d, they are going to be prepared by Him to enter into a covenantal relationship with Him (which is not brought about through human works of righteousness)

v9: Their descendants: The next generation. This is still speaking about the Gentiles. 

  • Known among the Gentiles: The children of the (believing) Gentiles (the future generations) are going to have an influence upon the nations. Even though they are of the nations they can never-the-less influence the nations. Believing Gentiles have had an influence on the nations for the past few hundred years, and this is going to become more dramatic in the last days. 
  • All who see them shall acknowledge them: They are seen because of the blessing that the L-rd has placed upon them. The remnant of the Gentiles is going to go through their own transformation, and they are going to have their own ministry among the nations. They are going to be known and recognized as the heritage of the L-rd, as those who have been blessed by G-d.

v10: Note: It is possible that Isaiah, in this verse, makes this revelation personal to himself. He gives us a glimpse into how these events relate to himself and how he responds to them. 

  • He has clothed me with the garments of salvation: This is a Kingdom outcome.
  • The robe (cloak) of righteousness: Righteousness is such an important component of the Kingdom of G-d (Matt 6:33). 
  • Salvation…righteousness: These are parallel concepts. The message for us is very simple: salvation produces righteousness. When we are saved, we are declared righteous by faith. We have the righteousness of Messiah imputed to us. Once we have been saved, and although we have been declared righteous, G-d works to bring about a change in our lives whereby we begin to behave in a way to demonstrate righteousness (declarative righteousness leads to demonstrated righteousness). 
  • As a bride adorns herself with her jewels: A bride beautifies herself with her jewels – in a physical or discernible way. This is how righteousness should be for us – like jewels it should be physical and discernible in our lives after salvation. When G-d works in our lives there should be visible evidence of it. 

v11: Bud: Sprout. Produce 

  • The L-rd G-D will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations: Righteousness and rejoicing are a powerful and visible testimony to the nations of the work that G-d does in our lives. Righteousness and rejoicing are chief characteristics in the Kingdom. We have the privilege, as the body of Messiah, to work the Kingdom work today, to do the things that demonstrate the Kingdom’s power and reality that is in our lives. This is what we are called to do. 

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