This Word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem is recorded in the Book of Isaiah chapter 2 and verse 2. From our text, we see it is yet to be, in the latter days, or Acharit Ha Yammim
. The vision is a cheering one, given the sorrows we have passed through as a people for over two thousand seven hundred years since that promise was given. Truly, as Moses wrote in his prayer to GOD, Psalm 90, and verse 4:
For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.
GOD’s delays are not denials, and it may be sooner than we think, that this promise will be fulfilled. The vision is that of the Temple of GOD on Mount Zion, which has become the center of worship for all the nations of the world. The following verse describes the eagerness of the worshippers to learn the Word and the ways of GOD, verse 3:
Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the GOD of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
It is a further fulfilment of the prophecy of Noah, recorded for us in Genesis 9, verse 27:
May GOD enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem. Japheth was the ancestor of the Indo-European nations, and Shem was the ancestor of the Hebrews in particular. The prophecy meant that the nations would come to worship in the Temple that the Hebrews built for the worship and service of GOD. The result of such a situation is that there will be peace on this earth. Any nation that defies GOD in those days, and that seeks to make war, will incur His displeasure. Verse 4:
He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. We are constantly hearing of wars and rumours of war, and are longing for peace on this earth, but that cannot happen until this promise is fulfilled, and even then, the LORD will have to use His authority before the people who delight in war, lay down their arms.
The identity of this King is revealed to us in Chapter 11, verses 1 and 5:
There shall come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips, He shall slay the wicked. Messiah, the Prince,descended from the family of David, will reign one day in Jerusalem. His title is, the Branch; and to make it certain that we understand Him to be Divine as well as human, GOD has combined the title with His most exalted Name, which we dare not pronounce lightly.
Jeremiah 23, verses 5 and 6:
‘Behold the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will raise to David a Branch of Righteousness. A King shall reign and prosper and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days, Judah will be saved and dwell in the earth safely. Now this is His Name by which He will be called; the LORD our righteousness, (Adonai Tzidkenu)’. We have to do with a Messiah that is more than a mere human being. In the words of the Prophet, He is ‘Emmanuel, GOD with us.’ On no other terms would it be proper for the nations to worship Him, and to call Him ‘the GOD of Jacob’ as it stands in our text from Isaiah, Chapter 2. Nor is the call to seek Him just an invitation to other people. They have already said,
He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. (Verse 3). It seems from our text that they were the first to say so, and that it was necessary to exhort our people to follow suit. Verse 5:
O, house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
What a strange spectacle to see others more ready to worship the GOD of Jacob, than the house of Jacob! What is the reason for such reluctance? Why so backward in coming forward? The answer is provided for us in the following verses. Briefly, they describe the waywardness of Jacob’s household:
- They were found dabbling in occult practices.
- They were concerned with material possessions.
- They trusted in their military power instead of GOD.
In verses 6 and 7:
For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with eastern ways, their land is also full of silver and gold; and there is no end to their chariots. What the Prophet describes in these verses is that there is a false mysticism, and overt materialism, and a growing militarism in the nation.
We who are so close to the end of the Last Days, cannot deny that these things are happening before our very eyes. For example, do we not witness a wholesale defection to the mystics and the gurus of the East? Are not our young people learning to chant like the heathen? Has not the alarm been sounded over the disastrous assimilation that is rampant in our communities? No wonder the call has gone out,
O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the LORD. Israel is meant to be a light to the nations, but as our sages have said, ‘Messiah will come when Israel is wholly righteous, or wholly wicked.’ The choice is ours; may we choose the better option!
Lastly, we read in the 2nd Chapter of Isaiah about the events that will take place at the coming of the King Messiah; verse 19:
They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His Majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily. All the boasted power and glory of men will melt away at His presence, and the LORD alone, will be exalted in That Day. Are we ready? Have we made our peace with Him? Or are we still the members of the opposition? Judgment will soon fall, and then it will be known who are truly His own. We have been talking of the Messiah, the One Who is designated to be King of all the earth!
The reason He has yet not been installed as King, is because we are still not ready for Him. But come He will, and at such a time of crisis in our nation, that it will be only in the nick of time. Zechariah, Chapter 12, verses 9 and 10:
It shall be in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem, and I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication. Then they will look on Me, whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him, as one grieves for a firstborn.
Dear friends, our Messiah was pierced for our sins! It is fitting that we should mourn because of this; and that we should thank GOD for making Him our sin-bearer and substitute. Shalom.