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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Is. 60:19-22

5/31/13 V. 19, Rev 21:23 and 22:5 obviously draw on this verse. And this is clearly dealing with the new earth and not OT Israel. The verse doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no sun or moon and that the entire planet will be bathed in constant light all of the time. It could easily be referring to the New Jerusalem in particular, where the light of God will make the sun and the moon inconsequential. The brightness of the glory of the Lord will be brighter than the sun and will continually light the city. But since Eden will be restored to its past glory, it seems reasonable to believe that day and night will continue for the earth. After all, somehow our days will continue to be marked because we will continue to keep the Sabbath (Is 66:23).

V. 20, In this verse it’s also possible that our sun not setting nor the moon waning is a figure of speech for “the days of your mourning will be over.” In other words, since God will wipe away every tear (Rev 7:15-17) and sorrow and mourning will be no more (Rev 21:4) that is like constant light of day in our souls. Both the Old and New Testament constantly uses light in spiritual applications, so this isn’t attempting to explain away the possibility of a physical reality. But given the spiritual nature of light in scripture, that makes it a distinct possibility that light should be understood, at least to some degree, as spiritual in nature. The idea of no physical darkness in the New Jerusalem, however, does seem to be a fact.

V. 21, Everyone who will be a part of this glorious new order on earth will be righteous people, kings and priests of our God (Rev 5:10). And for eternity, the promised land will be ours. And because of what God has done for us and in us we shall be a continual witness to the universe of the love of God. He will be eternally glorified through us because of what he did to save us.

V. 22, We don’t know a fraction of what God has in store. At least in an earthly fulfillment of this prophecy God intended for the nation of Israel to grow and become a mighty nation. Since Israel didn’t fulfill the covenant not all of the promises were fulfilled and are awaiting a future fulfillment in the new earth.

How does this work with Jesus’ statement that we will be like the angels, not marrying and giving in marriage (Mt 22:30)? Does this mean that procreation will not continue? If that’s the case how will clans and nation increase? Perhaps it’s a gospel-related growth, which is happening now. After all, John saw a multitude that couldn’t be numbered standing before the throne (Rev 7:9).

It’s a question to be answered later. Whatever God’s plan, though, it’s sure to be greater than our wildest imaginings.

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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 60:15-18

5/30/13 V. 15, For thousands of years those loyal to God have lived as strangers and wonderers on the earth, forsaken and hated by the sinful world. But God will change that situation completely. We will be the pride and joy of the universe forever. The story of the two witnesses in Rev 11:2-17 seems to parallel this idea.

V. 16, The picture of a nursing infant illustrates our situation in the new creation. Every good thing that a mother can give her child she willingly and joyfully gives. So the beings of the universe will do for us, their pride and joy. And as we receive such glory we will not be tempted to think that anything in us caused us to deserve what we have received. Instead, we will know that our Lord has saved us and given us everything out of the riches of his grace.

V. 17, God will give us not just adequately but extravagantly. Instead of bronze, gold. Instead of iron, silver. And so on. Anything that we need we will receive the best. And best of all, we will be governed by peace and righteousness. The LXX says that our princes will be peaceful and our overseers will be righteous, which also works.

V. 18, Violence will be unheard of in the universe again. War, destruction, devastation will be a thing of forgotten history. Our lives will be marked by salvation and praise.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 60:13-14

5/29/13 V. 13, The glory of Lebanon, I think, is a figure of speech for beauty and fertility, which bears out in the second part of the couplet and the next couplet. Even today Lebanon is called the bread basket of the Middle East. The picture is that the fruitfulness of the re-created promised land will be the inheritance of God’s people.

This land will also become the place of God’s sanctuary when he will dwell among his people (Rev 21:3). God is going to ensure that the place where he lives will be a glorious paradise, and we will share that paradise with him.

V. 14, Again, as in v. 12, those who worked against God’s faithful people, persecuting us and causing suffering, they will come bowing to us. Rev 3:9-12 says that they will acknowledge that God has loved us. God’s people are vindicated even by the wicked. They will call us “the city of the Lord,” which is also what Revelation calls us. In Rev 21:9 John is told that he will be shown the bride, the wife of the Lamb. When he is shown in Rev 21:10 he sees the New Jerusalem, the city of the Lord, which is actually the city which contains us. The city is the trappings, the adorning of the bride of Christ. We are “the Zion of the Holy one of Israel” (Rev 14:1).

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 60:10-12

5/28/13 V. 10, Again, since the nation of Israel did not live up to the plan God had for it, this prophecy will find its fulfillment in the the new earth. The allusions in Rev 21 are unmistakable in this section. Therefore, some of the images portrayed take on an illustrative effect instead of being literal. For instance, foreigners building up the walls of Jerusalem would probably be better understood as God’s people not needing to build their own city. Others, in this case God himself, has done that (Rev 21:24).

The rulers of other parts of God’s universe will serve us, as we shall serve them. God’s government is founded on such principles.

Even though it’s true that God punishes and disciplines his people, he also has compassion on us and has great things planned for us.

V. 11, There will be no security concerns in the New Jerusalem. The gates of the city will always be open. They won’t close at night even, because there will be no night in the city (Rev 21:25). The nations, in the context of the new earth, refer to sons of God around the universe (Job 1:6). The picture is of beings from other parts of God’s creation coming in procession to the New Jerusalem bringing gifts to the human beings God has placed as kings and priests in his holy city (Rev 5:10).

V. 12, Not that it will be a big problem for the rest of eternity, but if anyone ever decides that they will not submit to us, as Satan once did with God, then they will perish and be ruined (Rev 2:26-27). While we may assign an OT context to Isaiah, Revelation is clearly dealing with a post-sin situation. So those who pitted themselves against us while on earth will face the punishment of God for their rebellion. But beyond that, this is interesting evidence that God will continue to allow complete freedom in his universe, and therefore, the possibility to sin will remain. However, sin will never again be allowed to reign as it did on earth. The universe has been through that and God will be at liberty to destroy those who rebel against his government without his creation living in fear of him.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 60:6-9

5/27/13 V. 6, The abundance of wealth and prosperity to be given over to the people of God is illustrated in terms of the wealth of Isaiah’s day: camels, gold, frankincense, flocks and herds of animals. And everyone will talk of the good news of God’s salvation and sing their praises to the Lord (Rev 5:9-10, 7:9-12).

V. 7, In an OT setting masses of sheep for sacrifices at the temple were a symbol of prosperity and gratitude to God for that prosperity. For instance, the number of sacrifices made by Solomon at the dedication of the temple were specifically counted and noted because of the greatness of the gift to the Lord. In a NT this doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a reinstatement of the sacrifices, but it still serves as a literary device to illustrate the worship that will be directed to God.

V. 8, Those who have been loyal to the Lord will come together like a great flock of birds in number (Rev 7:9). Perhaps this is even a hint of being able to fly in the new earth?

V. 9, The islands (a symbol of God’s people) wait for their deliverance (LXX: have waited). The ships of Tarshish would likely represent the bearers of the wealth of the nations that has been promised to the redeemed. And the first to be brought will be the sons from afar (see v. 4). And thus God will glorify his redeemed people. We who have been humbled will finally be exalted, just as God promised.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 60:1-5

5/26/13 V. 1, The call goes out to rejoice because our light has come. That light, according to the second of the couplet is the glory of the Lord. Rev 21:23 and 22:5 both describe God as the light of his domain.

V. 2, Although spiritual darkness has been in force over the inhabitants of the earth for so long (Rev 16:10), it won’t be that way for ever because the Lord will come to save his people.

V. 3, Those who have been light-bearers during this time of darkness and who have been persecuted because of it, will suddenly become heros. The nations and their kings will flock to them. There are a couple of things going on here. In the earthly fulfillment that God had planned for the nation of Israel the nations would have been the other nations of the world, like when  kings and queens came to Solomon.

However, the nation of Israel refused to carry out its intended purpose so God’s plans will be fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The nations will be expanded not only to the nations of the world but the nations of the universe. When this planet becomes the capital of God’s kingdom all will flock to us here (Rev 11:15, 21:24).

V. 4, This verse also can be understood in at least a couple of different ways. As these nations come together to us they will also include our sons and daughters. Perhaps this includes the reclaiming of our children who strayed away from the faith in fulfillment of the promise in Prov 22:6. Perhaps is also refers to the resurrection, when families will be reunited with angels bringing them together.

V. 5, Of course all of this will be cause for great rejoicing. The abundance of the sea will come God’s people. The sea is a constant symbol in the Bible for the masses of people (Rev 17:15) and composed mostly if not entirely of the wicked. Everything of wealth, power, prosperity, etc. that the wicked had claimed for themselves will belong to the people of God (Rev 21:26).

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 59:18-21

5/25/13 V. 18, As the righteous and holy judge he will repay each of us according to our deeds (Rev 20:12-13). He comes as a conquering king to destroy his enemies and avenge his people (Rev 16:19, 19:15). And the islands, which seem to symbolize his people (cf Is 11:11 and comments on Is 41:1), who are surrounded by the sea, which symbolizes the masses of those in rebellion against God, will receive recompense. In other words, those faithful to God will have judgment in their favor and be repaid for their losses.

V. 19, And so everyone from west to east will fear God’s name (Rev 11:15, 12:10-17). He will come quickly and unexpectedly, like a flash flood driven before the wind of God.

V. 20, When our Lord returns he is coming to redeem his people, those who turn away from transgression (keep his commandments, Rev 12:17). This is our part of keeping the covenant. The next verse makes clear that this is the new covenant to which God is referring because it is the covenant of his Spirit in us (Jer 31:31-34).

V. 21, God’s part of the covenant is that he will put his Spirit within us. We will speak only his words forever and always, and the same with our children and all who come after us. We won’t have to each our neighbors and brothers saying, “Know the Lord,” because all will know him. It’s incredibly significant that God’s law continues to be in force today. The commandments still apply and always will. By them we will be judged.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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