LET THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD REJOICE AND PROCLAIM HIS GREATNESS
How excited are you about your salvation? Have you been a child of God for so long that the Christian life has become dull and uneventful? We will never bear witness as we should unless our spirits are singing the praises of our Lord.
Do you remember the book that Francis Schaeffer wrote a long time ago: He is There and He Is Not Silent – writing about the existence of God and how He has revealed Himself to man …
The sad thing about many Christians – when it comes to their praise and thanksgiving to the Lord and when it comes to their testimony and proclamation of His greatness – their life story would be written: They are There and They are Silent
LET THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD REJOICE AND PROCLAIM HIS GREATNESS
I. (11:11-16) EXODUS REDEMPTION REVISITED IN FINAL VICTORY OF THE REGATHERED REMNANT –
THE REDEMPTION OF THE REDEEMED
A. (:11a) Emphasis = Last Days Happenings – Final Redemption and Victory
“Then it will happen on that day”
This is that famous “last day” that Isaiah keeps making reference to
There are going to be some major “happenings” in terms of last day events
B. (:11b-12) Experience = Regathering of the Remnant as a Second Redemption
1. Reminiscent of the Exodus
“that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.”
Adonai = Sovereign Lord over all the earth
Motyer: The Lord’s “hand” is a primary exodus motif (see Ex. 3:19-20; 6:1; 13:3; Dt. 6:21) . . . This will be a wider exodus from a world-wide dispersion. . . No worldly strength and no worldly opposition can prevent the regathering.
Vs. 16 makes plain that the first experience of redemption in mind here was at the Exodus – extremely significant event in Israel’s history
Our new birth experience should be extremely significant event
Beall: from the north, Assyria, who had caused Israel to go into captivity; from the south, Egypt (another nation who had conquered Israel), Pathros, and Cush; from the northeast, Elam and Shinar (southern Mesopotamia and Persia); again from the north, Hamath (in Syria); and from the west, the “islands of the sea.”
Oswalt: Egypt was apparently subdivided into three regions: the Delta (Egypt), the Nile Valley (Pathros), and Nubia or Ethiopia in the far south (Cush). Elam and Shinar refer to extreme southern Mesopotamia and Persia, while Hamath is to the north in Syria and the islands of the sea lie in the west.
2. Impacting the Gentiles
“And He will lift up a standard for the nations,’
Looks back to 5:26 and 11:10 where Messiah is raised up as a standard or banner for the nations; also 49:22-26
Luke 13:29-30 – possibly including Gentiles here in those who will be attracted to the kingdom in those last days from the four corners of the earth
3. Impacting the Jews
a. Regathering of Israel
“And will assemble the banished ones of Israel,”
b. Regathering of Judah
“And will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
“banished” and “dispersed” (scattered) speaks to the state of difficulty and oppression from which they have been rescued
C. (:13) Emotion and Expression = Removal of Jealousy — Unification
“Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, and those who harass Judah will be cut off;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim.”
What the forces of Christianity could accomplish if they were united in the truth and focused on their mission rather than torn apart by jealousy and strife; internal unification increases our thanksgiving and testimony and impact on the world
Van Parunak: The tension between North and South was far older than Jeroboam’s rebellion. Most recently in Isaiah, it manifested itself in the Syro-Ephraimite threat in ch. 7. When the time of promised return comes, this ancient opposition of the northern kingdom to the south will have been done away, purged out by the fires of captivity. . . There is an important principle here: if we get a good view of our common enemy, the differences we perceive among ourselves will no longer preoccupy us. Internal strife is an indication that we are not taking our external mission seriously enough.
Motyer: Emotions (jealousy) and actions (enemies, hostile) are alike brought into unity.
Young: The great scandal in Israel’s history was the schism under Jeroboam. Indeed the latter is known to us as the man who caused Israel to sin. Involved in this schism was an apostasy, a complete rejection on the part of the northern tribes of the promises which had been made to the house of David. Such a condition of things was wrong, and throughout her history God sent prophets to the apostate nation, to call it to repentance and to point it to the Messiah who alone could heal the breach.
D. (:14-16) Effects – Four Corners of the Earth Cooperating in the Regathering of the Jews
1. (:14) Defeating of Ancient Enemies to the West and East by Unified Forces
“And they will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west; Together they will plunder the sons of the east; They will possess Edom and Moab; And the sons of Ammon will be subject to them.”
Look how swift and powerful they appear now in their domination of their enemies; this is how God wanted them to enter the Promised Land and purge out their enemies back in the days of Moses and then Joshua
2. (:15a) Destroying of Barriers to the South – the Red Sea
“And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt;”
Motyer: Divine action removes every obstacle to divine plans. . . Just as the lofty features of creation became infected by human pride and must needs be judged (2:12-17), so here all natural barriers become manifestations of humankind’s sinful divisiveness and are therefore abhorrent to the Lord, an intolerable barrier to the fulfillment of his plans for one world.
3. (:15b-16) Destroying of Barriers to the North – the Euphrates River
“And He will wave His hand over the River with His scorching wind; And He will strike it into seven streams, and make men walk over dry-shod. And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant of His people who will be left, just as there was for Israel in the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt.”
Beall: Vv 15-16 demonstrate that this event will be similar to the Lord’s great deliverance at the Exodus: as at that time, He will cause the tongue of the Red Sea (the “Sea of Egypt”) and the Euphrates River to be subject to Him: He will create paths whereby people can cross both rivers easily. Thus, Israelites will be able to come freely from Egypt and Assyria to the Promised Land. It will truly be a great deliverance of God’s people! The fulfillment of these verses is in the initial stages of the Millennium.
Van Parunak: To facilitate the return from Egypt, Pathros, and Cush, he will repeat the parting of the Red Sea; to facilitate the return from Assyria, Elam, and Shinar, he will dry up the River, that is, the Euphrates.
II. (12:1-6) EXALTATION RENEWED AS THE RESCUED REMNANT GIVES THANKS AND TESTIMONY –
THE REJOICING OF THE REDEEMED
A. (:1a) Emphasis = Last Days Hallelujah – Thanksgiving and Exalting in the Lord
“Then you will say on that day, ‘I will give thanks to Thee, O LORD;’”
Van Parunak: The first of these two paragraphs describes the utterance of individual believers (“thou shalt say”), while the second looks at their encouragement of one another (“shall ye say”). The distinction and combination of these two is an important lesson for us: we need first to cultivate our individual relation to the Lord, and then to take responsibility for one another. (It’s also a good example of the value of retaining the thou-you distinction in Bible translation.)
Rom. 15:6 “so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
B. (:1b) Experience = Lord’s Comfort Rather Than Lord’s Anger
“For although Thou wast angry with me,
Thine anger is turned away, and Thou dost comfort me.”
Anger of Lord cannot simply be redirected to love – there must be propitiation, the satisfying of God’s holy wrath
Beall: The theme of comfort is echoed in Isa 40:1 as well (yet another indication of unity of the entire book); see also John 14:16, 26.
Van Parunak: This is the first of 13 instances of this verb in Isaiah, and in most cases it is God who is comforting his people or causing them to be comforted. Perhaps the most revealing is the last, 66:13, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Chastisement is unpleasant, but necessary. When it is over, the wise parent comforts the child and reassures her of the parent’s love. So the Lord does with us, patiently revealing the need for the chastening and encouraging us in how we have been improved by it.
vv.1-2 connect back to 6:1-7
C. (:2-4) Emotion and Expression = Thanksgiving and Testimony
1. (:2) Private, Personal Expression – Thanksgiving and Testimony
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”
Cf. Exodus 15 – song of praise of the redeemed Jews after the Exodus
Motyer: Just as the old exodus occasioned individual (Ex. 15:1) and communal (Ex. 15:21) song, so will the coming exodus (1-2, 4-5).
Grogan: To “the song of Moses, the servant of God” is added “the song of the Lamb”
(Rev 15:3-4), for salvation receives its deeper meaning through him.
“Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”
Van Parunak: Verse 2 is a chiasm, with the objective fact of God’s salvation on the outside and the believer’s subjective enjoyment of it on the inside.
Motyer: The opening and concluding truth that “my salvation” is found in God himself forms a bracket round the four characteristics of the saved: trust, the end of fear, strength and song.
Beall: Unlike what Israel was doing in Isaiah’s day, going to places other than the Lord for help, this united nation draws its strength from the Lord.
Oswalt: It is not an accident that the deliverance at the Red Sea issued in a song or that the throng gathered about the throne of the Lamb will be singing. For song is the natural expression of the spirit which is free, and no spirit is so free as that one which has discovered that its destiny is not dependent upon its striving but rather upon the infinite power of the Almighty.
2. (:3-4) Public, Corporate Expression – Thanksgiving and Testimony
“Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation. and in that day you will say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.’”
Beall: Isaiah switches to the plural and uses the imagery of one drawing water joyously from the wells of salvation. Water is often used as a figure for salvation in the Scriptures (see Exod 15:27; 17:1; Num 20:2; 1 Cor 10:4 [“all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ”]; John 4:14 [“whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life”]; 7:37; Rev 7:16-17; 21:6 [“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts”]; 22:17 [“And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely”]
cf. similar phrases from Ps 105:1; 148:13; and 145:4-7
Motyer: the objective reality of God’s work of salvation is matched by the subjective element of responsive singing (2, 5), exultant shouts (6) and joy. It is the inner transformation of the saved.
Oswalt: To call upon the name of the Lord is to worship him on the basis of the faithful, delivering character revealed in his behavior.
D. (:5-6) Effects – The Demonstrated Greatness of the Holy One Prompts Praise and Proclamation
“Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Midst of Israel — Joel 2:27; Ezek 48:35; Rev 21:3
Motyer: Shout, a feminine singular, recalls how Miriam took the lead in the triumph song (Ex. 15:20f; cf. 1 Sa. 18:6f.).
Oswalt: Holiness is the sum total of the attributes of deity. Fundamentally, it denotes that which separates God from mere humanity. What Isaiah had discovered in an experiential way was what the whole faith of Israel was about, namely, that the only Holy One in the universe is Israel’s God. But beyond that, his character, the content of his holiness, sets him apart. For that character is radically different from the idols. He is upright and clean, pure and true. In the light of all this, the greatest folly a people could commit would be to treat this god like an idol, one among many who could be manipulated by the worshiper in rites expressing nothing but the unclean, self-serving motives of the worshiper.
Grogan: The pardoning grace of God is the source of many blessings, but none is more wonderful than his presence with his people. That presence was promised and sealed in the child Immanuel (cf. 7:14; 8:10, 18). Here its realization was celebrated and extolled by his people. It is worth noting that the presence of God among his people is no contradiction of his transcendent uniqueness and separateness, expressed in the phrase “the Holy One of Israel.” He is distinct but not aloof, for in him holiness and grace find their perfect union.
Ps. 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed form the hand of the adversary and gathered from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.”