Summary: The Messianic representations embrace equally Israel and the Gentile nations, starting with the restoration of Israel and then including the nations. We are going to explore that concept.
Isaiah 2:2-5 The Big Picture in Isaiah
10/8/00e D. Marion Clark
I felt this morning like I was on The Hulk roller coaster that shoots you forth and never slows up until you come to the end. We will try to slow down a bit this evening, keeping with the book of Isaiah.
There are two primary commentators I use in my studies of Isaiah – E. J. Young and Alec Motyer. Motyer is especially useful in putting forth a structure to the book. He divides Isaiah into three parts according to the manner in which the Messiah is portrayed. Chapters 1-37 portray him as the King; chapters 38-55 depict him the Servant; and chapters 56-66 as the Anointed Conqueror.
He points out that in each section that the Messianic representations embrace equally Israel and the Gentile nations, starting with the restoration of Israel and then including the nations. We are going to explore that concept this evening. We are not so much interested in the designations of King, Servant, and Anointed Conqueror, as we are in relation between Israel and the nations.
Chapter 1:26-27 is the first passage that presents a restored Israel as represented by Jerusalem:
26 I will restore your judges as in days of old,
your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
the City of Righteousness,
the Faithful City.”
27 Zion will be redeemed with justice,
her penitent ones with righteousness.
That is soon followed by the procession of the nations to the city in chapter 2:
2 In the last days
the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established
as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore (2-4).
In chapter 9 a child is born who will reign on David’s throne and establish the kingdom in righteousness:
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
Chapter 11 reveals that this king will be a banner for the nations:
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea.
12 He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
from the four quarters of the earth.
Turn to chapter 48:20ff:
20 Leave Babylon,
flee from the Babylonians!
Announce this with shouts of joy
and proclaim it.
Send it out to the ends of the earth;
say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob.”
21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock
and water gushed out.
Here we have the redemption of Israel from exile. But Isaiah goes on to make clear that the redemption is far greater than the deliverance of Judah from Babylon. It is a redemption for all the nations.
5 And now the LORD says—
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD
and my God has been my strength—
6 he says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,