Summary: God often works in layers, fulfilling His promises sometimes figuratively, then more literally, and then fully.
Drawn to the Light
1. Israel My Glory magazine documents how two journalists were treated in Paris and London when they walked around with a skull cap and prayer shawl.
2. Within 60- seconds, they were spit upon, cursed, threatened, people threw things at them, and they were told to get out of the neighborhood. Yet nearby were Muslims in traditional dress who were not bothered at all.
3. Antisemitism is on the rise, even in the US. Recent evangelical movements are either completely forsaking a belief in the special role of Israel in God’s plan for the future or reducing it from what we see in our text today.
4. Western (Greek) thinking: a passage has a definite single meaning. Biblical example: a passage has a main meaning but may contain multiple truths, some of which are masked (mystery). If we do not adjust, we misinterpret, replacing a part for the whole. It is more often both/and than either/or.
4. In our text, we see God will save Israel, give them light, share his glory with Israel, draw nations to God, bring Israelites back to Zion, bring the world’s richest gifts to Zion, will exalt Israel over the nations, and Israel will consistently exemplify God’s righteous character to the world.
5. This will happen because God is Faithful; he keeps his promises, as originally stated and understood. And this will happen because God is Sovereign; he has the power and will to determine the course of history, and he can soften the hardest hearts. It is a done deal.
Main Idea: God often works in layers, fulfilling His promises sometimes figuratively, then more literally, and then fully.
I. Israel Will Experience Spiritual and Physical EXALTATION (1-17)
When I was in high school, I had a friend who looked funny. He leaned forward as he walked, he had a baby face, and he was simply slow to mature, and sometimes mocked (not badly); he was also very smart.
When I saw him at our 20th class reunion 20 years ago, he was the most handsome man there. Shortly afterward, he married a psychologist and they have, I think, 3 children and a happy life. So it will be with the nation of Israel, and with us.
A. God’s glory is what is IMPRESSIVE and ADMIRABLE about Him, but also the SON
Hebrews 1:3, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”
1. We need to understand that, even today, Jesus has a draw
2. At the same time, people are offended at the true Jesus
3. Jesus believed the OT Law and Prophets and empowered apostles
4. You cannot separate Jesus from the rest of the Bible — all light/glory
B. The background: the DARKNESS of the Tribulation in contrast to Israel’s light
• Hebrews in land of Goshen: dark throughout Egypt except land of Goshen.
• IMO, entering into a dark age (Isis/Gay/Atheism), but we still have the light
• In the end times, the world will experience 7 years of disaster and misery
C. Gentile leaders will make a pilgrimage to Israel, drawn by the LIGHT
• in the process they bring dispersed Jews and great wealth
• Godliness and good works come as a by-product of following the light
D. Less literal fulfillment: JESUS first coming; more literal, His SECOND
1. Nations coming to the light is both the CHURCH and the future KINGDOM
2. layers of truth; see “Double Fulfillment” paper on back
3. The Wise men (6) foreshadow the future world’s leaders
4. God is the God of the appetizer…
E. The Return: Less literal fulfillments in Israel’s HISTORY and FINAL
1. The return under CYRUS (538 BC)
2. The CURRENT return beginning in the late 1800’s
3. The future return during the MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
4. God’s FAITHFULNESS is why Israel and a future — and why we do, too!
“The earthiness of this setting seems to preclude assigning it to heaven.” (Gleason Archer)
God often works in layers, fulfilling His promises sometimes figuratively, then more literally, and then fully
II. The Description of Israel’s Earthly Exaltation And the Millennium Are MIXED Together (17-22)
A. Common phenomenon in prophecy, as in the two COMINGS of Messiah
1. Revelation sorts out the elements below and organizes them into sequence
2. Some of this prophecy is earthly and refers to the Millennium
3. Some of this prophecy is heavenly and refers to the Eternal State
B. Our text moves between earthly renewed Jerusalem to the NEW JERUSALEM
• The mysterious connection (vertical space) between the two Jerusalems
C. Only peace, righteousness, praise, and SALVATION