2 But your iniquities [avonot] have separated between you and your Elohim, and your sins [chattot] have hid [concealed] His face from you, that He will not hear.
In view of the terrible iniquities evident in the ecclesia of Isaiah's time, and expressed in chs. 57-58, it is understandable that the prophet must have felt distressed at the attitude of the people. Why does Yahweh not respond to the desperate needs of the people? Because He will not countenance nor compromise with sin and iniquity. Such a situation separates the people from their God. He is close at hand (ch. 55), but not for those who refuse His goodness. To such wickedness, Yahweh will never hear...They sought no repentance, no forgiveness, and therefore none was possible. *
14 And judgment [mishpat (justice)] is turned away backward, and justice [tzedakah (righteousness)] standeth afar off: for truth [emes] is fallen in the street [ rechov], and equity [nacho'ach (honesty)] cannot enter.
15 Yea, truth [emes] faileth; and he that departeth from evil [rah] maketh himself a prey: and Yahweh saw it, and it displeased him [was displeasing in His sight] that there was no judgment [mishpat (justice)].
How appropriate are vv. 14-15 to the present environment of the Truth! We live in an age of complete abandonment of morality; when mankind ignores the very basic principles of true justice. And unfortunately, there is a danger that the attitudes seen in society about us, can be manifested, even to a lesser extent, among the brotherhood!
Certainly the ecclesia of Isaiah was rife with such characteristics. They may not have been so aware of the iniquity (as we might not be today), but the record of the divine examination is very evident in the words of the prophet. It is for us to read, remember, and renew our lives accordingly to the character of the Intercessor (v. 19). - GEM. *
17 For He put on righteousness [ tzedakah] as a breastplate [armour], and an helmet of salvation [Yeshuah (Saving Power)] upon His head [rosh]; and He put on the garments of vengeance [bigdei nakam] for clothing [a uniform], and was clad with zeal [kinah] as a cloke [ me'il (mantle)].
Zeal (enlightened zeal) inevitably leads to happiness and peace of mind. Zeal is the conviction that there is a glorious and worthwhile work to be done, and an intense, irresistible enthusiasm to do it -- to throw oneself totally into it. Zeal is positive and constructive and upbuilding. It has no room for doubt and discouragement, nor lazy wallowing in self-pity.
Human failure does not daunt zeal, for its roots are deeper. Zeal knows with sorrow that narrow is the Way, and few there be that find it. Zeal necessarily grieves at this unnecessary folly: but it knows too that glorious salvation is freely offered and available to all who have the wisdom and the gumption to cut themselves free from the bonds of the flesh and fly to divine heights on the wings of zeal.
God calls us to Him. Who will hear?
- Bro Growcott
19 So shall they fear the name [Shem] of Yahweh from the west [ma'arav], and His glory [kavod] from the rising of the sun [shemesh]. When the enemy shall come in like a flood [nahar], the spirit [Ruach (Hakodesh)] of Yahweh shall lift up a standard against him.
Before the Lamb can enter Zion with the 144,000, it will be necessary for him to expel the enemy. He comes to redeem Zion from the power of the foreigners, who have "come in like a flood", and afflicted her with "desolation and destruction, and the famine, and the sword". At this crisis of Zion's history, coeval with "darkness covering the earth, and gross darkness the people," Yahweh inquires through the prophet, "What have I here that My people is taken away for naught? They who rule over them make them to howl, saith Yahweh; and My Name continually every day is blasphemed". "They have scattered Israel among the nations, and they have parted My land;" and "the king of the north hath planted the tents of his entrenched camp between the seas to the mountain of the glory of the Holy One" (Isa. 59:19; 52:5; Joel 3:2; Dan. 11:45).
Such are Zion's relations, domestic and foreign, social, civil, and spiritual, at the crisis immediately preceding the appearance of the Lamb and his company within her walls. Being assembled in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and having laid successful siege to Jerusalem, they rifle its houses, ravish its women, and send half of its population into captivity, many of whom they sell to the Greeks for slaves at the vilest prices (Zech. 14:2; Joel 3:3).
This prostrates Jerusalem in the dust, and fastens bands around the neck of the captive daughter of Zion. The uncircumcised and the unclean, then in possession of Tyre and Zidon, and the coasts of Palestine, are in high feather over their success. This will be truly the day of Jacob's trouble, in which there will be none to help, nor any to uphold (Isa. 63:5; Jer. 30:7). But, Zion's extremity is her Redeemer's opportunity. "When," saith Moses, "he seeth that their power is gone, he will repent himself for his servants;" and saith Joel, "He will then be jealous for his land, and pity his people, who shall no more be made a reproach among the nations" (ch. 2:18,19; Deut. 32:36).
"The Harvest of the Earth," according to Joel, and John's angel that comes out of the nave, hath been ripened; "for their wickedness is great". The harvest is composed of vast multitudes of ripened wickedness in the plain, or valley of judgment, unconsciously awaiting a terrible overthrow. Joel in vision saw them all assembled there, as expressed in the words, "Multitudes, multitudes (hamonim, hamonim) in the valley of the judgment; for the Day of Yahweh is near in the valley of the judgment" (ch. 3:14). These hamonim are the hamon-gog of Ezekiel 39:11 - the multitude of Gog, which is buried in the valley of the judgment executed; and gives name to an adjacent city, called Hamonah, that is, Multitude.
This and the preceding chapter of Ezekiel are parallel with Joel 3, and John's vision of the reaping. The prophet is indignant at their wickedness. He does not pray for their conversion, nor for their salvation; but for their sudden and complete overthrow, in the words, "Thither cause to come down with violence thy mighty ones, 0 Yahweh!" Nor will Joel's prayer be in vain; for, referring to the same crisis, Zechariah says, "Yahweh Elohim shall come in, and all the Saints with thee" (ch. 14:5).
This coming in to Jerusalem will be with violence, and a terrific outpouring of wrath upon the multitudes in arms. In the words of Ezek. 38:18, "Adonai Yahweh saith, my fury shall come up in My face: for in my jealousy and in the fire of My wrath have I spoken, surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.... and all the men that are upon the face of the land shall shake AT MY PRESENCE, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the towers shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
And I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all my mountains saith Adonai Yahweh: every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him and upon his bands and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone".
Thus, Yahweh goes forth and fights against these multitudes, as in the days of old (Zech.14:3).
20 And the Redeemer [Go'el] shall come to [Tziyon], and unto them that turn [make teshuva from transgression in Jacob [peysha (rebellion) in Ya'akov], saith Yahweh.
cp Rom 11:26
In the period of Zion's rising out of present darkness into future light and glory, she is manifested as the metropolis, or Mother City, of a rising world, styled in the English Version, "the world to come;" but in the original, he oikoumene he mellousa, the future inhabited (earth) or, habitable. This New Constitution of Things, which was the great burden of Paul's discourse, (Heb. 2:5) will comprise the "NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH" to be created by the Eternal Spirit, through Christ Jesus arid his Brethren, in the development of which, He will "create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy" (Isa. 65:17) - a New Government, and a New civil, ecclesiastical, and social Organization of the nations of the earth.
Concerning this new government, or "Economy of the fullness of the times (Eph. 1:10), it is written in Psa. 19:1-6, "The heavens declare the glory of AlL (the Invisible Power), and the work of his hands the firmament shews. Day unto day will utter speech; and night unto night will shew knowledge. There is no language, nor any words, where their voice is not heard.
Their line hath gone out in all the earth; and their words to the ends of the world. In them he hath set a tabernacle for the Sun; who as a Bridegroom coming out of his covering or place where he was hid from view), will rejoice as a mighty man to run a course. His going forth is from the end of the heavens, and his circuit unto the ends thereof; and there is nothing hidden from his heat".
This Sun is the great illuminator, who "enlightens the earth with his glory" (Apoc. 10:1; 18:1; 21:23); and who, in the days of his flesh, said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the Light (or Sun) of the world" - a Light which shone into the darkness, but was not comprehended by it (John 9:5; 1:5). It is this "Great Light;" once seen by them "who sat in the region and shadow of death", which is styled in Mal. 4:2, "THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS," who arises with genial influences upon all who fear the Name of Yahweh Elohim; but with intensely scorching effect also upon the wicked who serve him not.