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In my previous message, I gave you an explanation of historical background. The Northern Israel say with pride and arrogance of heart (9:9), as a result, Arameans and Philistines have devoured Israel with open mouth (9:12), and they were destroyed by Assyria. Isaiah 9:13 explains that it was because the people have not returned to him, nor have they sought the LORD Almighty. Moreover, Isaiah prophesied that even Assyria was going to be struck and destroyed by God. (10: 24,25) The Bible’s point of view is clear. God temporarily used Assyria to judge Northern Israel, for never returning to God. God was also going to judge Assyria for their pridefulness.
On the other hand, what about Southern Judah? They could learn from the Northern Israel the reason why they were destroyed. In southern Judah, they still had a place like Jerusalem, in which they were able to worship the true God, and the prophet like Isaiah was sent to them. Therefore, I believe what God wanted from them was the attitude of seeking the Lord Almighty. I believe that the path they should have chosen was to come back to the promise of God, and seek the Lord Almighty. For Southern Judah, the promise that God made with David was given to them. The covenant God made with David is written in 2 Samuel 7: 12-16. In particular, verse 16 says,「Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ ”」(2 Samuel 7:16 NIV) This promise will come true with the birth of Jesus. Isaiah prophesies that the Savior Jesus is the one who is called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Isaiah points out that our problem will not be resolved until we meet such a Savior.
The chapter we learn today, chapter 11 contains the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. In addition, Chapter 12 contains the song of praise and gratitude which comes out of the birth of the Messiah. Isaiah 11:1 says,「A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.」Jesse is the name of King David’s father, and a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse. Even if the people have lost their faith in God, the stump still remains and sprouts grow from it. It is also said that a Branch will bear fruit. The sprout here refers to the Messiah. It is a prophecy that the Messiah will bear fruit from the roots of Jesse and the roots of his son, King David. In verse two, it is written that “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him. (The Messiah)“ (Reference; John 1:33-34.) It is the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is poured upon Jesus, who acts as the Savior on this earth. The work of Jesus, in which the Holy Spirit is poured and does the work of God, is beautifully prophesied. In verses 6-9, it is prophesied that the birth of the Messiah will bring absolute peace. Verse 9 says,「…for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.」(Isaiah 11:9 NIV)
Isaiah prophesies that when those who truly believe in Jesus fill this earth, the prayers and works of believers will bring absolute peace to this earth. I believe that we believers can also be involved in the prophecy that the restoration of the fallen creation and the restoration of peace in the created world will come.
In Isaiah 11:11-16, the prophecies of the return of the rest, the scattered people, are written. It is prophesied that He will gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Not only that, it is said they will be reconciled that Northern Israel and Southern Judah will be gathered together as friends, as on that day of Exodus. Isaiah also mentions the work of God, which is expressed as “redeemed”. (Reference; Exodus 15:13, Isaiah 43: 1.)
Chapter 12 contains songs of gratitude and praise. It is a song that is appropriate as the conclusion of the first part of the book. As we have received Jesus as our Savior, we can relate to this song of praise and gratitude. Please read verses 1-6 slowly while tasting the word. In verse five, it says,「Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.」(Isaiah 12:5 NIV)
This passage reminds us of the Great Commission of Jesus, which is commanded to His disciples to go out to the whole world and preach the gospel. (Reference; Matthew 28:18-20.) We also want to be the ones who meet the Savior Jesus and convey the song of gratitude and praise to the people around us.