Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 28th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 60

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Chapter 60

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and the kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because of the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of the Medes and Ephah; all they from Sheba [Saudi Arabia] shall come: they shall bring gold and incense ( Isaiah 60:1-6 );

And they're getting the gold right now.

and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the coasts shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious ( Isaiah 60:6-13 ).

Now with this prophecy of the glorious coming of the Messiah and the glory that shall come to Israel when Messiah comes, you can understand the difficulty that they had with Jesus Christ. Even His own disciples wondering when He was going to overthrow the Roman government. And His own disciples troubled when He talked to them about His crucifixion. When Jesus said to Peter, after Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," Jesus said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, flesh and blood did not reveal this unto you but My Father which is in heaven. And I say unto you that thou art Peter (Petros, little stone). And upon this Petra, this rock, I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" ( Matthew 16:16-18 ). And then Jesus began to speak to them how that the Son of man must be rejected by men and turned over to the hands of sinners and be crucified and slain, and on the third day rise again. And Peter began to rebuke Him saying, "Lord, be that far from Thee." And Jesus said, "Get thee behind Me, Satan: you are an offense unto Me because you can't tell the difference between what comes from God and what comes from man" ( Matthew 16:22-23 ). When Jesus started talking about His rejection, about His death, Peter couldn't stand it. "Lord, don't talk like that. Be that far from Thee."

The Jews had great difficulty because here in chapter 53 of Isaiah, we read that He would be, "despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. We hid as it were our faces from Him, but surely He hath borne our griefs and He has carried our iniquities. And the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we were healed. For all of us like sheep had gone astray. We had turned every one of us to our own ways, but God had laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." And He was smitten and all. And these prophecies of the Messiah and the suffering. Now we read of the glorious glory that is going to come to Israel when the Redeemer comes. So it was only natural that the Jews had difficulty trying to correlate such opposing positions as were prophesied with the Messiah. So the way they settled these opposing positions was to spiritualize the suffering. And they only accepted and looked at those scriptures that spoke of the glory, of the reign of the Messiah. And they emphasized that aspect and spiritualized the others. The suffering, the death, the rejection, and all, they would just spiritualize those scriptures.

Now, as the result they failed to recognize their Messiah when He came, though He was definitely fulfilling their own scriptures. Next week as we get into chapter 61, we will see in the prophecy itself a definite division between the two comings of the Messiah. And it's just within one verse. There is a break and he immediately begins talking about the aspects of the second coming of Christ in contrast to the aspects of the first coming. Now Jesus, when He came to the synagogue in Capernaum and they handed Him the scriptures to read, opened the prophecy of Isaiah to what is to us the sixty-first chapter and He began to read to them. And He read the first part of the chapter, but He stopped suddenly, closed the scroll, and set it down. And looking around He said, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your eyes."

That's a pretty heavy declaration. But the interesting thing is where He stopped, because He stopped right where the aspects of His first coming stopped. He did not go into the aspects that dealt with His second coming, "to proclaim the day of the vengeance and the wrath of God." That is yet to come. So He stopped before He got there. Now here again in chapter 60, we see the glorious reign of the Messiah and the prominence that Israel will have as the Gentiles will gather unto it, the nations and the strength of the nations will be brought unto it and a general bringing together of the people from all over the world and the glory that shall rest upon the nation. And this is what the disciples were constantly looking for.

After Jesus had risen from the dead and He said, "Now wait in Jerusalem until you receive the promise of the Father. For John indeed baptized you with the Holy Ghost but you're going to be baptized." I mean, "John indeed baptized you with water, but you're going to be baptized with the Holy Ghost in just a few days." And the disciples said, "Lord, is it at this time You're going to bring glory to the kingdom?" "Come on, it's not for you to know, the times and the seasons are appointed by the Father. We're not talking about that right now. We're talking about another issue. For you're going to receive power when the Holy Ghost comes upon you and you are to be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, to the uttermost parts of the earth." But even then they were still looking for this glory. The disciples were arguing, "Now when the Lord sets up the kingdom I'm going to be greater than you are." And they were disputing who was going to be the greatest. And the Lord said, "What are you guys arguing about?" "Oh, nothing." And that's when He said, "Whoever wants to be the greatest, let him become the servant of all." And He taught the way to greatness was the way of a servant, servanthood. Humbling yourself in the sight of the Lord that He might exalt you.

And so it was a problem with the disciples because you have passages like Isaiah 60:1-22 that tell of the glory and the people were true patriots. And they desired the glory to Israel. And they were looking for the Messiah to bring that glory, and when Jesus failed to do so, but instead submitted to the suffering of the cross, they couldn't handle it. Many of them forsook Him and fled. They were expecting the kingdom to be established immediately. They didn't know that God was going to use this interim of time to gather from among the Gentiles a body of believers which would be known as the body of Christ, the bride of Christ.

So he speaks of this glorious gathering. The gates being opened and then bringing the forces of the Gentiles. "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon will come; and I will make the place of My feet glorious."

The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bowing before thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel ( Isaiah 60:14 ).

The glory of Jerusalem in that day.

Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness ( Isaiah 60:15-17 ).

It'd be great to have righteous tax collectors.

Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise ( Isaiah 60:18 ).

Oh, what a glorious time and day and place when the city, the walls are called Salvation, the gates are called Praise. And so enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Where people will just come to worship the Lord in great celebrations. How glorious!

The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall be the moon give her light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: for I the LORD will hasten it in his time ( Isaiah 60:19-22 ).

So the Lord declares His purposes that He will accomplish in His time, the glorious restoration of God and the work of God among this people in this city and among this nation. Oh, what a day when the Messiah comes. And that's what the heart of the Jew is yearning for today. That's what the heart of the Christian is yearning for today, when God's righteousness shall cover the earth as waters cover the sea. The glorious day of the Lord and as we look at the world in which we live today we see more and more the need for God to intervene. We see the injustices that fill our earth. It seems that if a person does stand up for what is right, he stands alone. He's isolated and made fun of. So the time has come really for the Spirit of the Lord to lift up the standard against the enemy; for the Redeemer to return and to establish righteousness and His righteous kingdom upon this earth. God is seeking for justice, for judgment. God is seeking a people that will honor Him, not with their lips but with their hearts, with their actions. God is seeking a people that will serve Him with a pure heart. And God is open unto them and to their cry. But unto the wicked, there is no rest, there is no peace. God help us that we might live in a way that is pleasing unto Him. That we might know that peace of God. That our hearts might be established in His peace and in His love as we await the Messiah to come and for God's promises to be fulfilled in that Kingdom Age.

God bless you and God cause you to abound in His grace and in His love as we show ourselves merciful, understanding, patient and kind with those that are about us. May God help us that we will be His servants and His representatives as we lift those that are fallen. As we reach out to those that are oppressed. And as we share with them that which God has given and done for us. May God make us His instruments of righteousness in this needy world. God wondered that there was no intercessor, no one to stand up. God help us to be intercessors in these days. God bless you and God use you this week for His glory. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 60". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-60.html. 2014.
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