Scripture Text – Isaiah 7-12
“Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel From the LORD of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion.” – Isaiah 8:18.
This statement by the Prophet Isaiah is a key to understanding the meaning of the events and prophecies we are going to cover in this lesson. Four symbolic names are involved in Isaiah’s messages, each of them with a very special meaning: Immanuel, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, Shear-jashub, and Isaiah. We’ve discussed Immanuel, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, and Shear-jashub, we will conclude with the lesson.
Shear-jashub: A Promise of Mercy – Continued
Please read Isaiah 9:1-11:16 for the background to this section.
The Lord will restore His people (Isaiah 11:1–16) – continued. From our last lesson; His kingdom will involve righteous rule because the Son of God and the Spirit of God will administer its affairs justly. When the Messiah-King speaks the word, it is with power. His kingdom will also mean a restored creation because nature will once again enjoy the harmony it enjoyed before sin entered in. “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” – Isaiah 11:9.
The nucleus of the kingdom will be a regathered and reunited Jewish nation. The “Root” will become a “banner” for the rallying of the people as the Lord reaches out and gathers His people from the nations where they have been exiled (Isaiah 43:5–6). It will be like a “second exodus” as God opens the way for His people to return to their land. In a limited sense, this promise was fulfilled after the Assyrian conquest and when the Jews left Babylonian Captivity; but the ultimate fulfillment will be at the end of the age when Messiah regathers His people (Isaiah 27:12–13; 49:22–23; 56:7–8; Matthew 24:31; Romans 11:25–29). The centuries-long division between Israel and Judah will come to an end, and even the Gentiles will walk on “the highway” that leads to Jerusalem.
The “highway” is one of Isaiah’s favorite images. Those who obey the Lord have a level and smooth road to walk (Isaiah 26:7–8). When God calls His people back to their land, He will prepare the way for them (Isaiah 40:3–4) and lead them safely (Isaiah 42:16). He will remove obstacles so the people can travel easily (Isaiah 49:11; 57:14; 62:10). God’s highway will be called “the Highway of Holiness.” – Isaiah 35:8.
When Isaiah looked at his people, he saw a sinful nation that would one day walk the “highway of holiness” and enter into a righteous kingdom. He saw a suffering people who would one day enjoy a beautiful and peaceful kingdom. He saw a scattered people who would be regathered and reunited under the kingship of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come,” – Matthew 6:10; for only when His kingdom comes can there be peace on earth.
Isaiah: A Song of Salvation
Please read Isaiah 12:1-6 for the background to this section.
Isaiah’s name means “Jehovah is salvation,” and salvation is a key theme in the song related to these verses. “In that day” refers to the day of Israel’s regathering and reunion and the righteous reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Jewish remnant will have come through the time of tribulation on earth (“the time of Jacob’s trouble,” Jeremiah 30:7), seen their Messiah, repented, and received Him by faith (Zechariah 12:10–13:1; 14:4–11). Cleansed and established in their promised kingdom, the nation will praise the Lord and extol Him among the Gentiles.
The refrain in Isaiah 12:2, “For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation,” was sung at the Exodus (Exodus 15:2) and at the rededication of the temple in Ezra’s day (Psalm 118:14). It was sung by the Red Sea after the Jews had been delivered from Egypt by Moses, the prophet. It was sung in Jerusalem when the second temple was dedicated under the leadership of Ezra, the priest. It will be sung again when the Jewish nation accepts Jesus Christ as its King. They will recognize Him as “the Holy One of Israel” and willingly obey His holy law.
This joyful song closes this portion of Isaiah in which the prophet has used four significant names to tell the people what God had planned for them. Because of Immanuel, there is a message of hope. Maher-shalal-hash-baz gives a warning of judgment, but his brother Shear-jashub speaks of a promise of mercy. The father’s name, Isaiah, brings a song of rejoicing as the people discover that Jehovah is indeed their salvation.
The Lord will never forsake His people. No matter how difficult the days may be, or how long the nights, for the people of God, His chosen children and His anointed ones, the best is yet to come.