The Book of Isaiah
THE FUTURE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL
Text: ISAIAH 62:1-12
1. This month, the nation of Israel is celebrating its 60th birthday. Of course, the history of Israel goes back much further than 60 years. It goes all the way back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (4,000 years).
2. God gave Jacob a new name, “Israel.” Which means “a prince of God.”
3. In Genesis 32:28, the Lord said to Jacob, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”
4. This is very interesting because in Isaiah 62:2 says, “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.”
5. Jeremiah 33:16 says, “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.”
6. We know these prophecies have yet to be fulfilled. But they certainly will be fulfilled (cf. Isaiah 59:20; Rom. 11:26).
7. The Bible teaches that there will be a restoration of Israel following the second coming of Christ. What we are witnessing today is significant but it is not a fulfillment of prophecy because Christ has not yet returned, and because the Jews are still in rebellion against God.
8. But soon Israel will repent. And soon Christ will return. And soon Israel will be gloriously restored. In fact, God says He will “not hold His peace” until Israel is restored (62:1).
I. PEACE IN ISRAEL (62:1)
1. The emphasis is on Zion/Jerusalem because Jerusalem will be the capital city of the restored Kingdom of Israel.
2. Psalm 2:6 says, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
3. Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”
4. When we pray the prayer of Psalm 122:6, we are praying for the Lord to return because there will be no true peace in Jerusalem until Christ, the Prince of Peace, returns.
5. At the same time President Bush was visiting Israel, and promising continued American support and friendship, UN Secretary-General Ban expressed sympathy for their Muslim neighbors, describing the birth of the Jewish state as a naqba, or catastrophe.
6. Israel’s Muslim enemies, and their friends and allies in the United Nations, will never be content until Israel is annihilated.
7. But God has promised that Israel will never be annihilated (cf. Jer. 31:31-37; Ezek. 36:24-28).
8. God promises that He will not hold His peace and He will not rest until Israel is restored (Isa. 62:1).
9. But this will not happen until Israel repents and turns to the Messiah (cf. Zech. 12:10; 13:1).
10. Therefore “righteousness” in Isaiah 62:1, 2 refers to the imputed righteousness of Christ, not to Israel’s self-righteousness in attempting to keep the law (cf. Rom. 10:1-4).
11. Remember Jeremiah 33:16 – “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.”
12. Just as it is now for every born again believer, “righteousness is reckoned by grace and manifested in character and conduct” (WE Vine, Isaiah).
13. “Righteousness” here corresponds with “salvation” (Isa. 62:1). Israel will have a glorious testimony for the Lord, like a bright “lamp that burneth” (62:1, 2).
14. The ISBE refers to the prophet Isaiah as a “poetical genius.”
15. “For versatility of expression and brilliancy of imagery Isaiah had no superior, nor even a rival. His style marks the climax of Hebrew literary art. Both his periods and descriptions are most finished and sublime. He is a perfect artist with words. Beauty and strength are characteristic of his entire book. Epigrams and metaphors, particularly of flood, storm and sound, interrogation and dialogue, antithesis and alliteration, hyperbole and parable, even…play upon words, characterize Isaiah’s book as the great masterpiece of Hebrew literature. He is also famous for his richness of vocabulary and synonyms” (ISBE).
16. I said all that to point out the beautiful figurative language of Isaiah 62 (cf. vss. 3—5).
17. We have here a combination of kingly and priestly authority (62:3; cf. 61:6).
II. JOY IN ISRAEL (62:4—7).
1. What can be more joyous than a wedding? Someone said that in Shakespeare’s tragedies everyone dies in the end, but in his comedies everyone gets married at the end.
2. The Bible has a happy ending too, and so it ends with a wedding. Some day (and it could be very soon) we will rejoice at the marriage supper of the Lamb (cf. Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; 22:17).
3. During the millennial kingdom, Jerusalem will no longer be termed “Forsaken,” and the land will no longer be called ‘Desolate” (Isa. 62:4).
4. In that day Jerusalem shall be called “Hephzibah” (“My delight is in her”), and the land “Beulah” (“married”).
5. There are a few songs about Beulah Land. Most people think of heaven when they sing them.
Beulah Land I'm longing for you,
6. But Isaiah 62 is speaking of the millennial kingdom here on earth.
reached the land of corn and wine,
O Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land,
Savior comes and walks with me,
7. Edgar Stiles was the old-fashioned Methodist who wrote those words. Here is his recollection: “It was in 1876 that I wrote ‘Beulah Land.’ I could write only two verses and the chorus, when I was overcome and fell on my face. That was one Sunday. On the following Sunday I wrote the third and fourth verses, and again I was so influenced by emotion that I could only pray and weep.”
8. There is another way to look at Isaiah 62:4 and 5. The proper interpretation is Israel in the millennium, but there is an application for the Christian in his spiritual union with Christ.
9. The apostle Paul says in Romans 7:4, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
10. That is the idea behind “Dwelling in Beulah Land.”
Far away the noise of strife upon my ear
I’m living on the mountain, underneath a
Far below the storm of doubt upon the
world is beating,
11. Looked at this way, the joy referred to here in Isaiah 62 can be experienced today by the Christian. We have seen on Wednesday nights that this is the theme of Paul’s epistle to the Philippians.
12. Our Lord said in John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
13. The apostle John wrote in I John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
14. And he wrote in II John 12, “Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.”
15. Returning to Isaiah 62, we read in verse 6 that God has stationed watchmen upon the walls of Jerusalem who pray for Israel day and night.
16. This is undoubtedly a symbolic reference to the importance of intercessory pray – “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
17. There is a great lesson here on the importance of intercessory prayer. God will certainly restore Israel. We have seen this week after week as we study the book of Isaiah.
18. Regarding the future restoration of Israel, Ezekiel 36:36 says, “I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.”
19. But then God says in the very next verse: “Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them” (Ezek. 36:37).
20. In other words, God says, “I will do it, but keep praying for it.”
21. The words in Isaiah 62:6 and 7, “shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish” indicate fervent intercessory prayer until God’s purposes are accomplished.
22. “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17).
23. Our Lord said in Luke 11, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
III. HOLINESS IN ISRAEL (62:9-12)
1. The “courts of my holiness” (62:9) refer to the courts of the millennial temple.
2. Isaiah 62:10 is more than a call to return from Babylon. The prophet Isaiah is looking beyond that return to the end times when Jews from all over the world will return to Israel.
3. Merrill Unger wrote, “Cyrus’s decree (Ezra 1:1) was a historical foreshadowing of the grand fulfillment in the final regathering from among the nations for Kingdom restoration (Isa. 11:12; 49:22; Ezek. 37:21-25; Matt. 24:31)” (Unger’s Commentary on the OT).
4. On the way to the courts of holiness, all stones and other stumbling blocks have to be removed (Isa. 62:10). Of course, there is a spiritual application here as well.
5. All obstacles on the road to holiness must be removed from our lives – all the rubbish (worldly associations, worldly amusements, worldly desires, etc.) must be cleared out of the way.
6. When Israel is back in her land – repentant, redeemed, regenerated, and restored – then the Gentiles will take notice. Then “they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD” (62:12).
7. Then Jerusalem shall be “Sought out, A city not forsaken” (62:12b).
8. But not until Christ returns. Today Jerusalem is under siege. Today Jerusalem is despised. Today Jerusalem has “gay pride” parades. Today God calls Jerusalem, “Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (Rev. 11:8; cf. Isa. 1:10).
9. But it will be much different when the people of Israel repent and receive Jesus as their Lord and their Messiah and their Saviour (62:11).
1. A missionary friend in Israel was recently passing out Gospel tracts with some of his church members. One of his members was on a city bus distributing a Chick tract called, “Love the Jewish People.” (The tract was in Hebrew.)
2. A religious Jew saw the Christian passing out these Chick tract and said, “May I help you pass them out?”
3. The Christian was shocked and frightened. He gave the Jew all the tracts he had and quickly got off the bus.
4. I suppose this is a vivid illustration of John 7:13. “Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.”
5. But someday – and it could be very, very soon – the Jews will turn to Christ and there will no longer be a fear of the Jews.
6. In that day, the Jews will be a blessing to the whole world (cf. Zech. 8:13, 23).