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Summary: We Christians anticipate the return of Jesus the Christ. We are not always clear on what will occur when He returns. The message is a consideration of His purpose in coming again.

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“Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,

and his arm rules for him;

behold, his reward is with him,

and his recompense before him.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;

he will gather the lambs in his arms;

he will carry them in his bosom,

and gently lead those that are with young.”

During the Advent Season just passed, I focused attention on Isaiah’s prophecy provided in the fortieth chapter of the book that bears his name. The passage prophesies the ministry of the Baptist, encourages the people of God to look to the Word of the LORD, and cautions against growing depend upon the transience of the flesh. Following this, Isaiah points to the message that God will be with His people. In this final message from the series, we witness Isaiah speaking of God as the Shepherd of Israel, detailing the purpose of His coming.

When speaking of Christ’s return, we who stand in the sacred desk often focus on the comfort of His coming. To be certain, His return does mean comfort for the child of God. However, what is often neglected is the fact that the comfort we shall receive arises from the fact that He is mighty, and with strength He will scatter His enemies and those who oppose us.

Establish one essential truth—Isaiah anticipates the advent of God’s Shepherd! Isaiah’s language makes it clear that it is “the Lord GOD” who will come, and His coming will be with might! Some are startled to realise that Isaiah identifies the Shepherd that is coming as God Himself! Since we know Jesus as the Shepherd of God, this prophecy becomes a powerful statement extolling His deity. Before His birth, Mary was informed that His birth would herald “God with us” [see MATTHEW 1:23]. Those who anticipated Messiah’s presence would declare Him to be Immanuel, because they would know that He is “God with us.”

At His return, it will not be the gentle Jesus meek and mild, but the Judge of all the earth. Though the Master was humiliated and buried in weakness, He was raised in power. Now, He is the ascended Lord of Glory who will shortly come to Judge the earth. When He returns, He will repay with affliction those who afflict His people and to grant relief to those who are afflicted. He will come “with His mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who neither know God nor obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus” [see 1 THESSALONIANS 1:6-10].

There is within the verses before us more than a suggestion that Isaiah anticipated both the First and the Second Advent of Jesus the Messiah. Careful exploration of the verses will reveal this truth. As we draw out this exciting aspect of God’s promise to His people, we will discover as well an important facet of Messiah our Saviour. Open your Bibles, then, to Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Messiah’s presence among His people.

GOD’S SHEPHERD COMES WITH MIGHT —

“Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,

and his arm rules for him;

behold, his reward is with him,

and his recompense before him.”

There was nothing particularly awe-inspiring in the First Advent of our Saviour. He was born in humble surroundings to a teenage couple of no particular significance in the eyes of the people of Israel or in the estimate of their Greek and Roman rulers. Go back in your mind to a night many years before this one.


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