Isaiah 60

Sunday Morning Bible Study

July 9, 2000

Introduction

Chapter 57 – an indictment against the sins of the people.  If a person is broken and contrite, they will find forgiveness, but if they remain in their wickedness, they will find no peace.

Chapter 58 – a warning against the religious people who feel that God ought to be paying attention to them because of their fasting.  Fasting is good, but not if it isn’t accompanied by a heart that is obedient to the Lord.  Correct fasting brings healing, protection, and answered prayers.

Chapter 59 – The reason God doesn’t hear the prayers of the people is because their sin has broken off their communication with God.  Because the situation with mankind looked hopeless, God decides to step in and send a Redeemer.  The Spirit of the Lord will battle against the enemy.  The chapter ends with a promise of God’s Spirit and His Word being on the people continually.

Last week we saw how our sin breaks off our relationship with God.  Because we are hopeless by ourselves, God stepped in and sent a Redeemer, someone to take care of our sin.  What we see this morning is what happens when the Redeemer shows up.

:1-8

:1  Arise, shine; for thy light is come …

Arisequwm – to rise, arise, stand, rise up, stand up

shine ‘owr – to be or become light, shine

light ‘owr – light (from the verb “shine”)

is risenzarach – to rise, come forth, break out, arise, rise up, shine

Because of God’s redeeming work (Isa. 59:20), God’s light will fall on Israel.

:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth

darknesschoshek – darkness, obscurity

gross darkness ‘araphel – cloud, heavy or dark cloud, darkness, gross darkness, thick darkness

(Amos 5:18 KJV)  Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

This is talking about how the world will be coming out of the darkness of the Tribulation period.  God’s light will be pouring out of the nation of Israel into a dark world.

:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light

, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

risingzerach – dawning, shining

The Gentile world will be drawn to Jerusalem when Jesus comes. For now, we too can be a light in a dark world (Mat. 5:14-16).

(Mat 5:14-16 NLT)  You are the light of the world--like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. {15} Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. {16} In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

:4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see:

lift upnasa’ – to lift, bear up, carry, take

Jerusalem is being pictured as a woman whose eyes are aimed at the ground in grief, and then told to look up and see what’s coming toward her.

Lesson

Lifted eyes

Jesus told the disciples to lift up their eyes too.  It happened after an appointment He had with a woman in Samaria.

(John 4:7-35; 39-42 KJV)  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. {8} (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) {9} Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
Jesus was acting odd to this woman.  She was someone He shouldn’t be talking to, yet He was.  She was someone He shouldn’t be paying attention to, but He was.
{10} Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
In that culture, “living water” was water that came from a spring as opposed to rain water that had been collected in a musty old cistern.  It was good water.  It was the best water.
{11} The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? {12} Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? {13} Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: {14} But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
We know that Jesus isn’t talking about real water.  He’s talking about spiritual things.  But He’s also doing something that is VERY important.  He’s pointing out to this woman that she’s been trying to satisfy her “thirst” with the wrong thing.  The only way to truly satisfy your soul’s thirst is to take what Jesus has for you.
{15} The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. {16} Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
Jesus is being a little sneaky, but He’s doing something else here that’s very important.  He’s going to gently remind the woman that she’s needy, and He’s going to point out to her just what kinds of things she’s been trying to do to satisfy her “thirst”.  For her, she’s been trying to satisfy her “thirst” through relationships.
{17} The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: {18} For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. {19} The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
She’s beginning to realize that Jesus is talking about spiritual things.
{20} Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. {21} Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. {22} Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. {23} But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. {24} God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. {25} The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
She’ll later say that Jesus told her “all things”.  I think she’s hinting that she might be thinking that Jesus is the Messiah.
{26} Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. {27} And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? {28} The woman then left her waterpot,
In a way, John is mentioning this to show that the woman has taken a step.  She is no longer dependant upon “Jacob’s well”, upon the old life.  Jesus has satisfied her thirst.  She no longer needs a waterpot.
and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, {29} Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? {30} Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. {31} In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. {32} But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. {33} Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? {34} Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. {35} Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
As the men are pouring out of the city, probably wearing the customary light colored clothing, I think Jesus is referring to these men looking for answers as the “harvest”.
…{39} And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. {40} So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. {41} And many more believed because of his own word; {42} And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
Our part in the “harvest” is simply to do what the woman did.  Point people to Jesus.  We don’t have to have all the answers to their life’s questions.  We just need to get them to Jesus.
But first we need to “lift up our eyes”.  We need to realize that there is a world out there that needs Jesus.
Are you watching?  Do you see the fields?  Do you see the need?

:5  thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged

enlargedrachab – to be or grow wide, be or grow large

(2 Cor 6:11-13 KJV)  O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. {12} Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. {13} Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

(2 Cor 6:11-13 NKJV)  O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. {12} You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. {13} Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

Perhaps “enlarged” with love for the Lord at His coming.  But also perhaps to be “enlarged” to love those who are coming to the Lord.

:5  because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee

abundancehamown   crowd, multitude; great number, abundance; abundance, wealth

convertedhaphak – to turn (Niphal) to turn oneself, turn, turn back; to be turned, be turned over, be changed, be turned against

Some suggest the “wealth of the seas”.  Others have suggested it refers to sailors coming to the Lord (Gill).

:5  the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

forceschayil – strength, might, wealth, army.  also in vs. 11

:6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee …

coverkacah – (Piel) to cover, clothe; to cover, conceal; to cover (for protection); to cover over, spread over; to cover, overwhelm

The idea is that there are many camels coming to Jerusalem to bring gifts.

Midian … Ephah … Sheba … - all parts of Arabia

Midian – the area east of the Red Sea, stretching up towards .  see map

Ephah – part of Midian, east of the Dead Sea.  see map

Sheba – the southern part of Arabia, known for gold and incense (Ps 72:15 Jer 6:20).  see map

:7 All the flocks of Kedar … of Nebaioth

Kedar … Nebaioth – also in Arabia

Kedar – a son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13).  An area in Arabia.

Nebaioth – same as Kedar, a son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13), also an area in Arabia.

see map

:7  they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar,

It might simply be that this is talking about people from these areas bringing their animals to sacrifice, but if you look closely, the words sound as if the flocks themselves are coming up to Jerusalem to offer themselves as sacrifices.  And they are accepted by the Lord.

One of the ancient scholars (Vitringa) writes,  “They, waiting for no priest, go and freely offer themselves to the glory and sanctification of the sacred name.”

In a way, it reminds me of,

(Rom 12:1 KJV)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

:7  and I will glorify the house of my glory.

The temple.

:8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?

windows ‘arubbah – lattice, window, sluice

(Isa 60:8 NLT)  "And what do I see flying like clouds to Israel, like doves to their nests?

A very cryptic phrase.  Some commentators say this is simply speaking of the “haste” in which people will come to Jerusalem, like doves flying in.  Just a strange picture.  New people approaching Jerusalem like a cloud, like flying doves. 

If this is taking place during the Millennium as we suppose, there will be actual people able to fly around, who will be wearing white clothing.  Us.  Just a thought.

:9-14

:9  the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far

Tarshish – usually thought to have been in the south of Spain.  Considered the farthest place on the earth from Jerusalem. Jonah ran to Tarshish.  These folks will run home from Tarshish.

The places farthest will come first to present their presents to the Lord. I wonder about the Jewish folks coming from New York (largest population of Jews outside Israel), and all the wealth they’ll bring with them.

:10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls,

strangersnekar – foreign, alien, foreignness, that which is foreign

Could that be us Gentiles?

Zec 6:15  And they [that are] far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And [this] shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.

:10  and their kings shall minister unto thee

ministersharath   (Piel) to minister, serve, minister to

This is the same word used in verse 7, describing how the flocks will come and give themselves to the Lord.

The kings will also come and give themselves to the Lord.

:10  for in my wrath I smote thee …

wrathqetseph – wrath, anger

smotenakah – (Hiphil) to smite, chastise, send judgment upon, punish, destroy

favourratsown – pleasure, delight, favour, goodwill, acceptance, will

mercyracham – to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion

Israel walked away from the Lord and had experienced God’s wrath, but will one day totally experience God’s compassionate love.

:11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually

God’s city is open 24 hours a day.

:11  that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.

forceschayil – strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army.  Same as in verse 5.

broughtnahag – to drive, lead, guide, conduct

Some will probably be led in willingly, but others may be led in forcefully, as captives to Jesus.

:12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish

They will come partly out of fear for what will happen if they don’t come.

Zec 14:17  And it shall be, [that] whoso will not come up of [all] the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

Here’s how I believe things will be laid out in the future.  Very soon, there will be an event we know as the Rapture.  This is when those of us who believe in Jesus and are still alive, will be snatched away to be with Jesus.  It is some time after this that the world will go through a time of God’s wrath, known as the Tribulation.  This is when the antichrist will rule the world and have the world thinking that he is the messiah.  There will still be a chance for people to believe in Jesus, though people who do will be persecuted greatly.  At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will return, along with those of us who were Raptured and will have our glorified bodies.  Jesus will throw the antichrist into the Lake of Fire, have Satan bound in a pit, and rule on the earth for a thousand years, a time known as the Millennium.  All those who do not follow Jesus will also be put to death at this time.  But there will be people who became believers during the Tribulation, who missed the Rapture of the church, who survived the Tribulation without losing their lives, and these people will enter into the Millennial kingdom in their old bodies.  These same people will live incredibly long lives, have children, many children, all in regular, natural bodies.  These children will be following Jesus because they have to, not because they’ve chosen to.  It’s these children that will make up the nations, some of which may choose to not follow the Lord from time to time.  It’s these nations that will be punished if they choose to not follow the Lord.  It’s also these nations that will one day rise up and rebel against Jesus when Satan is released for one last time to deceive the nations and give them their last chance to make a real choice of following Jesus.  It is after this that Satan is thrown into the Lake of Fire forever, and those who follow Jesus will enter into the “Eternal State”, forever with Jesus in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

:13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee

Lebanese wood will be imported just as in Solomon’s day, to beautify the temple.

:13  the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary;

Lebanon was known for it’s beautiful forests.  The “cedars of Lebanon” were famous as wood that was imported for king’s palaces.  Solomon built the first temple using cedar (1Ki. 6:9).

fir[email protected] – cypress, fir, juniper, pine

pinetidhar – a species of hardwood tree; perhaps boxwood, elm

box[email protected]’ashshuwr – a species of tree; box tree-a small evergreen tree; perhaps cypress or cedar

The “place of my sanctuary” is the temple in Jerusalem.  During the Millennium, the temple will be made beautiful.

:13  and I will make the place of my feet glorious.

The Ark of the Covenant was considered God’s “footstool”. (1Chr. 28:2)

(1 Chr 28:2 KJV)  Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:

:14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending

Think of all the various peoples that have afflicted and hated the Jews throughout the centuries.  There is nothing new about people hating the Jews.  Skinheads and people who just hate are nothing new.  Yet they and their children will one day come to Jerusalem and bow before the Lord.

:15-22

:15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee

Jerusalem would twice be leveled by its enemies. Keep in mind, Isaiah is writing this before Jerusalem was wiped out by either the Babylonians or the Romans.

:15  I will make thee an eternal excellency

Instead of an empty wasteland, Jerusalem will be made a place of prosperity and joy.

eternal ‘owlam – long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world; everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

excellencyga’own – exaltation; majesty, exaltation, excellence

joymasows – exultation, joy, rejoicing

many generations – or, “from generation to generation”

:16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles

suckyanaq – to suckle, nurse, suck

milkchalab – milk, sour milk, cheese

Jerusalem will be fed from the wealth and substance of the Gentiles.

:17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver …

Everything is going to be upgraded.

This is a little like what it was like in Solomon’s time:

1Ki 10:27  And the king made silver [to be] in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he [to be] as the sycomore trees that [are] in the vale, for abundance.

:17  I will also make thy officers peace …

officers[email protected] – oversight, care, custody, mustering, visitation, store; oversight, charge, office, overseer, class of officers

peaceshalowm – completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

“Peace officers”

exactorsnagas – to press, drive, oppress, exact, exert demanding pressure; driver, taskmaster, ruler, oppressor, tyrant, lord, exactor of tribute (participle)

righteousness[email protected] – justice, righteousness

(NIV) I will make peace your governor and righteousness your ruler.

After Jesus comes back, there will still be a system of leadership in place.  There will still be those in authority to follow after, but in contrast to the flawed human leadership we have today, the leadership in the future will be perfect – peace and righteousness.

:18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders;

violencechamac – violence, wrong, cruelty, injustice

wastingshod – havoc, violence, destruction, devastation, ruin

destructionsheber – breaking, fracture, crushing, breach, crash, ruin, shattering

You won’t be afraid to go out at night.

:18  but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.

Salvation[email protected]‘ah – salvation, deliverance

Praise[email protected] – praise, song or hymn of praise

Some thoughts …

If you are a city like Jerusalem,

Walls are the things that protect you from your enemies.
We are protected by our salvation.  The enemy may accuse and condemn us, but Jesus has saved us.
The city gates are the entrance.
You enter in by way of Praise.
The city gates are also where the rulers, the elders hang out.
Real leaders hang out where God is praised.

:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day …

This will look a lot like what we call the “eternal state”, the “new heavens and new earth” (Rev. 21-22), but we’re really not there quite yet.  This seems to still be the time of the Millennium, when Jesus rules from Jerusalem on this present earth.

:20  and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

When Jesus returns, there will be no more sadness. 

This was described in –

Isa 35:10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

:21 Thy people also shall be all righteous:

The people that will enter into Jesus’ kingdom on earth will be righteous.  There will not be a single person alive who does not believe in Jesus, at least not at the beginning.

Jesus talked about this:

(Mat 13:24-30 KJV)  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: {25} But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. {26} But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. {27} So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? {28} He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? {29} But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. {30} Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Right now though, there are times when things can be pretty confusing, even at church.
It looks like there are “bad guys” and “good guys”.  Sometimes there really might be “bad guys” and “good guys”, sometimes there aren’t.  But it’s really hard to tell them apart.  Sometimes the good guys look like bad guys and the bad guys look like good guys.

Right now, it’s not our job to tell the “wheat” from the “tares”, or at least to try and separate the two.  Only God knows which is really which.

But there will be a time when we won’t have to worry about it at all.  Everyone in heaven will be “wheat”.

:21  they shall inherit the land for ever,

In the Old Testament, the promise for the people always was towards “inheriting the land”.  This was seen as the family plot, the piece of property inside the Promised Land that would be passed down from generation to generation.  But the idea of inheriting it “for ever” goes beyond the family plot.  It speaks of eternity.  It speaks of heaven.

:21  the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

The people will be known as God’s work.  They are a result of what God has done.

:22 A little one shall become a thousand …

little oneqatan – young, small, insignificant, unimportant

small onetsa‘iyr – little, insignificant, young

I think of the song, “Meet us here”

We are few but we are strong

When You surround us

God can do a lot with just a little.

:22  I the LORD will hasten it in his time.

hastenchuwsh – to haste, make haste, hurry

When God decides that it is time for this to happen, it will happen quickly.  But it will happen when He’s ready. Are you ready?

:16  and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour

(2 Sam 5:11-12 KJV)  And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house. {12} And David perceived (knew) that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.

David knew that God had really made him king over Israel.  He had long been promised that he was to be king (1Sam. 16:12,13), but it wasn’t until the nation had finally asked him to be king, and until Hiram built David a house that he knew he was king.

For Israel, it will be when they see God’s restoration and great blessings on them that they will really know that Yahweh is their Savior.

Lesson

God wants you to know.

God wants you to know that He is your Savior.
(1 John 5:9-13 KJV)  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. {10} He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. {11} And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. {12} He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. {13} These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Many people go through life wondering and hoping that they are saved.  Many people are plagued with doubts that they will one day make it to heaven.  God doesn’t want you wondering.  He wants you to know.
It all boils down to this.  Eternal life is found in Jesus.
It is your sins that will keep you from heaven.  Only Jesus has paid the price that will take care of your sins.   If you have asked Jesus to pay for you, if you have asked Jesus into your life, then you have eternal life.  It’s no longer a matter of whether you’ve been good enough.  It’s a matter of whether Jesus is good enough.  It’s a matter of whether you are trusting in Jesus to pay for your sins.
Illustration
Believe me, the life of grace is no dead level; it is not a marsh country, a vast flat. There are mountains, and there are valleys. There are tribes of Christians who live in the lowlands, like the poor Swiss of Valais, who live between the lofty ranges of mountains in the midst of the smoke (miasma), where the air is stagnant and fever has its lair and the human frame grows languid and enfeebled. Such dwellers in the lowlands of unbelief are forever doubting, fearing, troubled about their interest in Christ, and tossed to and fro; but there are other believers, who, by God's grace, have climbed the mountain of full assurance and near communion. Their place is with the eagle (in his eyrie), high aloft; they are like the strong mountaineer who has trodden the virgin snow, who has breathed the fresh, free air of the Alpine regions, and therefore his sinews are braced, and his limbs are vigorous. These are they who do great exploits, being mighty men, men of renown.

-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)

For some of you, you’ve struggled for too long, wondering if you’re really a Christian or not.  You don’t have to struggle any longer.  You can settle the matter today.
Today you can make a decision to turn from your sins and turn to Jesus.  Today you can decide to trust in Jesus to pay for you sins.  All of your sins.  Past, present, even future.  You can choose today to open your heart to Jesus, and He will come into your life.  You can choose today to KNOW that you are saved.