2000-12-09 - God's Command to His Church
Messiah His Final Call To Israel, Part 16
Here and there throughout Scripture you will find reference to what you and I can do to bring a message of good news to Israel. In a land which I believe truly seeks peace (but does not find it), is it not most important that the Bible is opened and the truth contained within its pages are not poured out for Israel? And if this is true then what vessel would be used to pour out this truth? I believe this is where God's Church has a call from Him to bring forth glad tidings to the Jewish people. The "Final Call Series" of devotionals deals primarily with real peace in the Middle East, how that peace will be established, and what you and I can do to cooperate with God's plan as outlined in the Bible. I believe truth, when presented in sincere love to one who can see you are a friend, will be heard. I know that Israel, according to many passages of Scripture, faces a terrible storm from which only the Lord can deliver the individual and the nation. I hope that this series will inspire you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and share the Gospel with Jewish friends. Let us begin our devotional with two passages of Scripture:
Romans 10:14-17 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? Even as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!" But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings. For Isaiah saith, "Lord, who hath believed our report?" So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Isaiah 52:7-10 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, "Thy God reigneth!" The voice of thy watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah returneth to Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. Jehovah hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
It is most probable that Isaiah the Prophet borrowed the imagery set forth in this passage from the local situation. Speaking in modern terms, one would call him the court preacher at Jerusalem. His ministry fell in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. - kings of Judah. Jerusalem is located in the mountains in the state of Israel. It, of course, was a walled and fortified city. On its walls and in its towers were watchmen who sounded an alarm at the approach of an enemy. These watchmen were part of the king's intelligence service. They therefore passed on any information which they considered of vital importance to the welfare of the kingdom.
In this vision, the Prophet sees a messenger approaching the city and exclaims, "How beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" One has tersely said, "The beauty seen is partly in him who sees it." Being especially interested in everything that pertains to Jerusalem and the Jewish people and seeing the messenger who proclaims deliverence and salvation for the Chosen People, Isaiah, in his thinking, clothes the approaching herald of good news with the garments of beauty.
Isaiah pictures himself as being on the scene and hearing the good tidings delivered by the messenger. In a state of ecstasy, he calls upon the waste places of Jerusalem to burst forth into singing and praise. Having seen the overall picture of this prophecy, one should examine the message more minutely.
In verse 7, the Prophet sees and hears the herald of good tidings proclaiming his message to Jerusalem. This herald announces a message of salvation and assures Zion that "Thy God reigneth!" The term salvation means deliverance. The thing from which or the person from whom the deliverance is made must be determined by the context, or from the knowledge of the general situation as gleaned from parrallel and related passages. Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage. Many a person has been delivered from physical dangers in which he has become involved. This messenger publishes salvation in that he says to Zion, "Thy God reigneth!" Since the Prophet is talking about the time when Jehovah returns to Zion, it is clear that he is speaking of the end of the present age.
The walled city which the Prophet sees in this vision is Jerusalem. The watchman on the walls are the leaders of the nation. The herald bringing glad tidings represents the people of God who bring the Gospel message of redemption to the Jewish people.
The watchman on the walls--the leaders of the Jewish people--believe and receive the message; then they burst forth in song, "for they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah returneth to Zion." What is the significance of the expression "returneth?" As mentioned in a previous devotional of this series, a person can return to the places only where he has been before. Since Jehovah is going to return to Zion, the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the facts is that he has already been to Zion, and that He has gone away from it. But, according to this prophecy, He will yet return to Zion. This interpretation is in perfect alignment with other passages pertaining to this subject. Jehovah the Son came to Zion in the person of Jesus of Nazareth over nineteen hundred years ago. Being rejected, He departed and went back to glory. when the message of redemption through His shed blood is given to the People of Israel and is received by them, He will return--in fulfillment of this prophecy.
Having learned about His returning to Zion, they rejoice in the fact that they "shall see eye to eye" when Jehovah Jesus returns. Moreover, they will be convinced by the heralds of the Gospel that Jehovah's return will occur in their day, "for they shall see eye to eye when Jehovah returneth to Zion." "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, . . . Even so, Amen (Revelation 1:7)." Who sends this herald of good tidings, to proclaim the message of redemption to Israel? There can be but one answer: Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel.
I hope that you see the importance of helping to proclaim the truth to Israel. Prayer changes things. I hope you will pray for someone you know who is bringing glad tidings to Israel. If you would be so led, I would be blessed if you join us in prayer for Pastor Bradley Antolovich of Calvary Chapel of Jerusalem, who endeavors night and day to bring the Gospel to both Jew and Gentile. Thank you.
In His Service,