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EXPOSITORY NOTES ON
THE PROPHET ISAIAH
Harry A. Ironside, Litt.D.
Copyright @ 1952
edited for 3BSB by Baptist Bible Believer in the spirit of the Colportage ministry of a century ago
ISAIAH CHAPTERS ELEVEN AND TWELVE
WHEN GOD'S ANOINTED TAKES OVER
THERE is a very close connection with that which now comes before us and that which we have seen in the last chapter. After the Assyrian is destroyed and Israel will have been delivered from all her enemies, we have the peaceful reign of Him who is the Rod out of Jesse's stem, the Branch of the Lord who is to bring all things into subjection to GOD and rule with the iron rod of inflexible righteousness.
Of Him we read:
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins" (verses 1-5).
Here we have the One who is presented in the Book of the Revelation as having the seven spirits of GOD: that is, the Holy Spirit in the sevenfold plenitude of His power. Coming by virgin birth through David's line He is the Branch out of the root of Jesse, the father of David. Upon Him rests "the Spirit of the Lord,"
- one; the Spirit of wisdom,
- two; and of understanding,
- three; the Spirit of counsel,
- four; and of might,
- five; the Spirit of knowledge,
- six; and of the fear of the Lord,
- seven; The fear of the Lord is the spirit of reverence.
We are told in John that the Father giveth not the Spirit by measure to His beloved Son (3:34). From the moment of His birth the Lord JESUS was under the controlling power of the Holy Spirit, for as Man on earth, He chose not to act in His own omnipotence but as the Servant of the Godhead.
After His baptism in the Jordan, the Spirit was seen descending upon Him as a dove. This was the anointing of which the Apostle Peter spoke, in preparation for His gracious public ministry. Never for one moment was He out of harmony with the Spirit. It was this that made it possible for Him to grow in wisdom as He grew in stature, and in favor with GOD and man. Confessedly, this mystery is great: that the Eternal Wisdom should have so limited Himself as Man in all perfection that He grew in wisdom and knowledge from childhood to physical maturity as under the tutelage of the Father, who by the Spirit revealed His will to JESUS from day to day, so that He could say, "I speak not mine own words but the words of Him that sent Me."
And as to the works He wrought, He attributed them all to the Spirit of GOD who dwelt in Him in all His fullness. Scripture guards carefully the truth of the perfect Manhood of our Lord, as also that of His true Deity. We see Him here as the Servant of the Lord speaking and acting according to the Father's will. So His judgment was inerrant and His understanding perfect.
When in GOD's due time He takes over the reins of the government of this world, all will be equally right and just at last. David's prophetic words will be fulfilled when there shall be "He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God" (2 Samuel 23:3). Earth's long centuries of selfish misrule will have come to an end, and Israel and the nations will enjoy the blessings of Messiah's gracious and faithful sway; then all wickedness will be dealt with in unsparing judgment and the meek of the earth will be protected and enter into undisturbed blessedness.
In that day the curse will be lifted from the lower creation and the very nature of the beasts of the earth will be changed.
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (verses 6-9).
Those who attempt to spiritualize all these expressions must needs take the beasts here to represent violent and savage men whose hearts will be changed by regeneration. But the prophet gives no hint of such an application of his words. He very definitely speaks of that which GOD will do for the animal kingdom in the day when the curse will be lifted. There is no hint that the prophet was speaking allegorically or that his language is to be interpreted other than in strict literality
It seems evident that when the Second Man, the Last Adam, is set over this lower universe, that
ideal conditions will prevail on earth, such as characterized the world before sin came in to mar GOD's fair creation with its sad entail of violence and rapine on the part of the beasts of the earth and the evil effects upon the bodies of men and women, resulting in sickness and death. All this will be undone in the day when CHRIST shall come as the Restorer of all things spoken by the prophets, and "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
While the millennium is not to be confounded with the new heavens and the new earth, it will nevertheless be a period of wonderful blessing for all who shall dwell in the world when in the administration of the fullness of the seasons, GOD shall head up all things in CHRIST.
"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim" (verses 10-13).
It is when JESUS returns in glory and as the Root of Jesse fulfills the promises made to David that all these things shall come to pass. Then Jacob's prophecy, as given in Genesis 49:10, will have its glorious fulfillment, "Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be."
In that day we are told GOD will not only magnify Him in the eyes of Israel, but also unto Him shall the Gentiles seek.
His own earthly people, scattered for so long among the nations, will be gathered back to their own land. Many have thought that the promises of their restoration were fulfilled long ago when a remnant returned in the days of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. But here we are informed definitely, "The Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people"; and we learn that they will return - not limply from Babylon as before - but from all the lands where they have been dispersed throughout the long centuries of their sorrow and suffering. Israel and Judah, no longer divided, will be drawn to the Lord Himself - the Ensign to be set up in that day - and shall flow together to the land of their fathers, no longer as rival nations but as one people in glad subjection to their King and their GOD.
The closing verses of the chapter give further details as to the manner of their return, assisted by the nations that were once their enemies.
"But they shall lay upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the
remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt" (verses 14-16).
Certain geographical and geological changes are indicated here which no doubt will be effected at the time when the feet of our Lord shall stand again upon the Mount of Olives, and there shall be a great earthquake with far-reaching results, as foretold in Zechariah 14:0.
The twelfth chapter gives us the song of joy and triumph which will rise exultantly from the hearts of the redeemed of the Lord as in the days when the people sang of old on the shore of the Red Sea after all their enemies had been destroyed.
"And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I w1ll trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee" (verses 1-6).
It is a blessed and precious experience when the heart is fixed upon the Lord Himself and when the soul realizes the gladness of reconciliation to the One against whom it had sinned, so as to be able to say, "Though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me."
It means much to know GOD as the One through whom deliverance has been wrought and who is Himself "salvation." This is the end of all worry and anxiety. And so we hear the remnant saying, "I will trust, and not be afraid." Faith is the antidote to fear. As we learn to look to GOD in confidence all anxiety disappears, for we know that He who saved us will stand between us and every foe. He does not leave His people to fight their battles in their own power, but He is the Strength of all who rest upon His Word.
From the wells of salvation, so long spurned by the self-righteous Jew, seeking to save himself by his own efforts, the returned remnant draw the water of life as they call upon His name and bear witness before all the world to the salvation He has wrought.
The psalm, for it is a psalm, ends with a call to praise and adore the GOD of Israel, who will dwell in the midst of His redeemed people in that day of His manifested glory. Even now those who come to Him in faith can make this song their own as they know the reality of His saving grace.
~ end of chapter 11, 12 ~
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Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 11". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/
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