In today’s Scripture, God describes a glorious future state of Israel when He will shine upon it as an everlasting light.
Isaiah Chapter 60
Lessons from the text
The Privilege of the Jew
With Christ’s sacrifice, the Mosaic law has been fulfilled. God no longer requires animal sacrifices. The Old Covenant with man has passed away and a New Covenant of the body and blood of Christ is enacted. When the Jews as a whole rejected Christ, God turned His attention to the Gentiles and is currently working on their salvation. But He has not forgotten the Jew.
As this chapter reveals, Israel is still the favored nation. God will elevate it above all other nations. As God’s chosen people, they have a special promise of redemption despite their sins. This promise is based on God’s mercy (v.10) and not on repentance. The remaining Jews of the end times will repent, but that is because God will make Himself manifested to them. Believers now repent on faith, not sight. The Jews will get to see God’s works.
That is the special privilege of the Jews: they are the witnesses of God’s works that lead to belief and salvation. Everyone else is to be grafted in, seeing the wonders of God and becoming heirs to God’s promises to the Jews after accepting Him on faith. Not every Jew is saved, but they are treated differently than all other peoples.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 God tells Israel to arise because a time of glory and light has arrived.
2 A time of great darkness will cover the earth before Israel receives its glory. This refers to the time of darkness when Christ was crucified as well as the coming darkness when the anti-christ reigns for seven years (Mt. 27:45). The glory of Christ was manifested in Jerusalem first, and His glory will rest on Israel when He returns to reign.
3-5 Many will come to the Light of Israel seeking salvation. While this is fulfilled in the present age by the church, this chapter is referring to the final state of Israel when God will gather together all of the saints to live with Him in New Jerusalem (Mt. 24:31).
6 In addition to the influx of believers, Israel will also receive much material goods. A dromedary is a one-hump camel, so the image is of goods flowing in on the backs of camels.
7 Continuing the list of nations from verse six, the Scriptures adds that all these goods and peoples are for a ministry to Israel. They are accepted by God, which has two implications; the people themselves have been accepted by God and the works of the people have been accepted. When Christ rules from Jerusalem, He will demand yearly worship from all the world. Some will believe and willingly offer a sacrifice that God will accept while others will rebel (Zec. 14:16-19). God’s acceptable sacrifice is faith and obedience (Heb. 11:4, Rom 12:1-2).
8-9 Coming swiftly, gently, and outstretched, the isles (Gentiles) will use their trading ships to return all the Jews back to Israel. Israel will be fully restored because God has chosen to glorify it.
10 Although Israel has been smitten by the Philistines, Syria, Babylon, and others, God will return, forgive them of their sins, and heal them. Only the nation of Israel has this promise of redemption. Individuals must choose to accept Christ to receive redemption.
11-12 Jerusalem will not have to be shut up to protect itself from enemies. Instead, its gates will be constantly open to allot for the in pouring of Gentiles, rulers, and goods. As Christ will be reigning from Jerusalem, all who refuse to serve Israel will be refusing to serve God and will thus perish in the final judgment.
13 All the nations’ goods will be available to Israel for use in building.
14 As Christ will be physically present in Jerusalem, even those who hate the Jews will be forced to recognize that they are the chosen people of God. During this time period, everyone will serve God even if they do not desire to do so (Rev. 19:15).
16 To “suck the milk” is to be fed from. Part of Israel’s restoration is the spiritual restoration of the knowledge of God.
17-22 The restoration of Israel brings about several changes.
God desires to hasten this time, which will be fulfilled in the new creation. Compare with Revelation 21:1-27.
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word.
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