What does it say?
Isaiah 59 cuts right to the issue of Israel’s inability to establish righteousness by their own power. Sin cuts people off from God, and God enumerates Israel’s sin. He urges them to confess and yet again assures them that ultimate redemption would come.
The Redeemer that appears in 59:16-21 stands in the gap between Israel’s shame and the glory yet to come. Isaiah 60-61 gives a fabulous glimpse into that coming glory. Isaiah 60 focuses on the coming kingdom in earthly terms, while in Isaiah 61 the Servant speaks, though not specified by name.
Isaiah 62 looks to that day when God will be able to enjoy the unbroken fellowship of his people. Isaiah 63 lifts us up into another Messianic prophecy that sees the Lord as a mighty warrior coming to execute his final vengeance. Edom appears in representation of all of Israel’s enemies.
What does it mean?
Isaiah has made it clear that the nation is going into captivity at the hand of Babylon. Despite this dark reality, Isaiah also gives us some of the most spectacular glimpses into the future glory of God’s kingdom. He infuses hope and perspective to those who trust in God. No matter how dark the hour, our God is a God of hope and grace to all that believe.
Once again the theme of salvation to the nations is in the spotlight. Isaiah 60 carries this theme through the entire chapter. Avid Bible readers may notice that Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1-2 as he speaks in his hometown synagogue of Nazareth as he begins his public ministry (Luke 4:17-19). The image of Gentile salvation once again appears in Isaiah 62 reminding us of God’s promise to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3 that he would bless Abram to bless the families of the earth.
Peter describes the dilemma of Old Testament prophets as they saw Messianic images of both a suffering Servant and a victorious King (1Pe 1:10-12). We’ve seen both these images in Isaiah. Isaiah 53 took us to Christ on the cross. Isaiah 63 portrays him as the conquering King. We now know that the suffering Servant will come again as the conquering King.
How will I respond?
I have been blessed to be a blessing also. How will I allow God to use me to be a blessing to someone else today?