Our holy and glorious temple, where our fathers praised you, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins.
For the Israelites their treasures were in the temple – not just gold and silver, but the places of worship, the tools, the rituals of sacrifice for sin and the history of praise within. The Temple was the gift of God where His Name dwelt among them. It was a reminder of His Holiness and His Presence among them. When it burned, they truly felt their treasure was in ruins. For us, the treasure is in our hearts – the Spirit of God, the gift of salvation, the Holy Presence of the love of Christ. The destruction of our bodies in death does not leave our treasure in ruins. Death is the door that opens our treasure to its promise and fulfillment.
He said, “Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me”; and so he became their Savior. In all their distress he too was distressed and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Whether applying the truth of these verses to the children of God – Christians – or to the nation of Israel, the truth remains: we are His people. He is our Saviour. He redeemed us, not because we earned it, but because of His great love and mercy. Don’t miss the fact, that when we are in distress, He, too, is distressed. In all of this, the truth for us as Christians is that God saw our distress and affliction. He reached out from Perfect Love and HE redeemed us.
The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth; “Say to the Daughter of Zion, See, your Saviour comes. See, his reward is with him and his recompense accompanies him.”
When I read these verses, a question came to mind, “Who is the daughter of Zion to whom the Lord says these precious things? I thought originally it must be the nation of Israel. I looked it up in my Bible Dictionary, and it says the word “daughter” here means “worshippers of the true God”. So, if we add that definition, the verse says, “Say to the worshippers of the true God who are of Zion, see, your Saviour comes”. While Isaiah is speaking specifically to the Jewish nation, we are now worshippers of the true God by the blood of Christ. We are redeemed of the Lord. The rest of this verse is word for word what Jesus says about His end time coming. Revelation 22:12
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…
In both Matthew and Luke Jesus refers to this verse when answering John the Baptist’s question, “Are you the one?” It was an incredible concept in the time of Jesus, and a fulfillment of this prophecy. In those days, the good news was for the rich, the religious, those who held themselves up as “better” than others. Jesus came and said, the good news is for the poor, for those who are broken in spirit. Notice also, there is to be a release from darkness. Jesus bought freedom from the darkness of sin through the sacrifice of his life. If one knows the Saviour, His light shines in every time of our lives, providing help and hope.
The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the pine, the fir and the cypress together, to adorn the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place of my feet.
When God glorifies a place for His feet, that ground becomes sacred. I Timothy 6:15 and 16, says “God lives in unapproachable light.” He is Holy, and the places where He dwells are sacred. Because of Christ, we can approach Him, we can tread in the Holy places. We bring our requests, ask for wisdom, receive instruction, find forgiveness and rest in His peace. Truly, we are the most blessed of people.
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Several times over the years I have heard someone say, “Well, God and I really aren’t getting along right now.” If the arm of the Lord is plenty long enough, and His ears are tuned to our cries and prayers, then how can we not be getting along? God has not changed His commitment, His faithfulness or His goodness. It is our sin that separates us. The sin we commit and do not confess, has hidden His face. We jump into something we know is not right, we suffer, and then we cry out to God for help, but feel He is not there. Oh, He is there, but the deceitfulness of our sin has blinded us. Repentance is the way back from blindness to fellowship (I John 4:9)
Instructions to God’s people: vs. 7..Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? vs. 9b If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk vs. 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The reward for this?, vs. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring, whose waters never fail.
For this is what the high and lofty One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy; “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.“
This verse contains beauty and holiness and incredible comfort for the believer. God is enthroned above the heavens in majesty and glory few have witnessed. Yet this same God Who appears to be surrounded by an emerald rainbow (Rev. 4:3), Who has myriad of angels singing “Holy, Holy, Holy”, this God also lives with those who are humble and contrite. If we clearly understand this, wouldn’t we gladly give up our “rights” to certain things in order to be humble? Wouldn’t we run to Him for forgiveness with contrite hearts? There, in the presence of the Most Holy God, we would experience revival.
This is what the LORD says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this..
Personally, I long for the blessings of the Lord, so when I see a words like those in verse 2, I want to do what it says in order to have the blessing. The blessing comes from obeying the commands in verse 1 – maintain justice and do what is right. This is not justice or what is right in the world’s eyes, but that which is right and just according to God’s Word, and His instructions. This reminds me of our instructions in Micah 6:8. He has shown you, O Man, what is good. And what the does the LORD require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.