Today: [Isaiah 42] The Compulsory Rule of Christ. In this chapter, Isaiah speaks of the Messiah who comes at first as a suffering savior, only to return as the lion of the tribe of Judah. Because the Jews could only see the ruling king they rejected Jesus because He came as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Isaiah goes on to describe the day that every knee will bow and every tongue confess among the nations that Jesus is Lord. God will not be silent forever. There will come a day that Jesus will return to establish a 1000 year compulsory rule over the nations of the earth. The early church fathers believed that this would come to pass 2000 years after the resurrection of Christ. We are living in monumental days.
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[Isa 42:1-25 KJV] 1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. 5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
In this chapter Isaiah extends his prophetic declaration from a focus on Cyrus as a coming deliverer to Judah to the coming Messiah who will bring redemption to all the earth. When He says “I have put My Spirit upon Him”, this is a reference to the baptism of John at the Jordan:
[Jhn 1:32 KJV] 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
There are several characteristics of the nature of Christ mention here that are worth bearing mention of as an example to all of us who follow in His steps:
- Not Self-Promoting: “He will not cry, nor lift up His voice in the streets”.
- Not outwardly influenced. “A bruised reed He will not break, a smoking flax He will not quench”.
- Not Easily Discouraged. “He will not fail nor be discouraged”.
In Jesus’ life time there were those who accused Jesus of making Himself to be something that He was not. To the contrary Jesus said in John 5:19 in effect “I only what I see the Father do…” His own disciples at times were concerned about Jesus’ seeming lack of deference toward what others thought of Him, which actually provoked the command of Jesus toward Peter, saying “get thee behind Me Satan, for you savor the things that be of man and not the things that be of God…” (Matt. 16:33). Neither was Jesus despondent or discouraged if others rejected Him or disparaged His testimony. He simply maintained faithfulness to the things that that Father commanded Him to do, maintaining His peace and His composure no matter what was going on around Him.
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. 10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up [their voice], the villages [that] Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands. 13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. 14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, [and] refrained myself: [now] will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. 15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. 16 And I will bring the blind by a way [that] they knew not; I will lead them in paths [that] they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. 17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye [are] our gods.
In verse 11 Isaiah cries by the Spirit of the Lord for the cities and the wilderness to life up their voices and give glory to the Lord. The Lord says that He will go forth as a mighty man with the roar of a lion to prevail against His enemies. In the beginning Jesus came as a lamb to be a suffering savior. The Jews of the first century could not accept this meek and mild savior and therefore colluded in the crucifixion of their Messiah. In the second coming Jesus is not coming as suffering savior but as reigning king, as the lion of the tribe of Judah. In v. 14 the Lord speaks as having held His peace for many centuries but there will come a time when He will step into the narrative of human history and compel the earth itself and all the inhabitants thereof to yield to His rule. Paul was quoting the prophet Isaiah when he declared:
[Rom 14:11 KJV] 11 For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Regardless of the tyranny of individualism and false tolerance, there will come a day in the earth that the Lord Himself will compel the nations of the earth and the peoples of the earth to yield to His command. During this time, referred to as the Millennial reign of Christ on the earth, if the nations refuse to worship Him, Zech. 14:17 says that there will be no rain upon that nation until they defer to the command of God to come and appear before Him. We must always remember that becoming born again is not just accepting Him as savior but accepting Him as Lord or your life. This means that His word and His leading influence every single decision you make and that the trajectory of your life over time is an expression of total and complete deference to Jesus sitting enthroned upon your heart.
18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19 Who [is] blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger [that] I sent? who [is] blind as [he that is] perfect, and blind as the LORD’S servant? 20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. 21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make [it] honourable. 22 But this [is] a people robbed and spoiled; [they are] all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. 23 Who among you will give ear to this? [who] will hearken and hear for the time to come? 24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. 25 Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid [it] not to heart.
Verses 18-24 speak of the people of Judah as a servant who chooses not to see what his master calls for and not to hear the instructions of his Lord. They see many things but they choose not to see the simplicity of a call for obedience and yieldedness to God. Because of this the people are robbed and imprisoned yet the prophet is amazed that even when suffering the consequences of disobedience, none of the people cry out for God to deliver them or restore them. Because of this when they were ordained to walk in God’s favor and receive deliverance from His hand even so they become the object of His fury, yet even in the fires of affliction they refuse to take it to heart even when they are burned.
Many read a passage like this and conclude “that is Old Testament and doesn’t apply to us…” What is the answer? Only in Christ. God’s anger did not cease to exist just because we are in a New Testament dispensation. It is true that God poured upon Jesus the full fury of His wrath, but outside of Christ we only encounter the demands of the law of sin and death and the consequences of disobedience. The people of Judah were born into the covenant of God with Abraham, but because of idolatry and generational sin, suffering greatly and unnecessarily. All that was needful was to forsake their idols and return to God yet even in deep suffering they refused to yield to God. This is the nature of fallen man. Likewise, in our own lives if we choose to go our own way, even as believers there are consequences that we will not escape. Peter spoke plainly of the fate of born again believers who lapse in their commitment to Christ:
[2Pe 2:20-21 KJV] 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
There is much teaching today that says all men are recipients of the mercy of God whether they repent or accept Jesus or not. The argument is that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and they are forgiven even if they refuse to accept Him as savior. This is not reflected in the plain teach of scripture from both the old and the new testaments. Jesus taught plainly in Matt. 25:41 that even those who claim to serve Him if they are not truly yielded are in danger of being cast into everlasting fire. If we who experienced the new birth are in jeopardy if we disobey what makes us thing that God will wink at the sins of the world as though it is a small thing to reject Jesus as Lord and savior. Toward that end we examine ourselves as Paul said in 2 Cor. 13:5 to see if we are in the faith.
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