46 Isaiah / Part 1 (10)

Footsteps of a blessing

Isaiah 32:15-20
Matthew 13:18-23
T Justice of God

 Isaiah told some plans about salvation of God after Chapter 24. Each of them seems extremely direct reference to the saved people, all people of the Lord, they were gathered from all over the world, it was weak, and poor people. It was made to imagine that Isaiah's central subject/Immanuel called "remaining people" or "my people" picked quarrel with there, but the One appeared fragmentarily for a while, and it couldn't be seen only few things in our eyes. It comes to here and returns to the central subject again. It may be said that the salvation of the One is singing loudly at the last part of third division Chapter 32-35.

 I try to divide Chapter 32, Chapter 33, Chapter 34-35 and the last part into three times. I take up Chapter 32 this morning, it's evaluation is high, especially the deep thought of prophet is put in Isaiah.

 It begins "Behold, a king will reign righteously, And will rule justly"(1). "A King" means the coming Messiah, and "princes" will point at people trusting and expecting that One. It is because the reign of king Ahaz was colored too much failure by non-faith. A matter of Ahaz occurs in his mind, Isaiah will begin to describe the rule of the people who assume the Messiah and that One so wonderful. That rule is "by rightousness and public justice", the righteousness (correctness) of God which was like nothing in the time of Ahaz (It seems that the present day piles up in that age, too.), but it is said that will become a standard for the politics and it will be done. If it thinks that is reverse, it may be said that the times of confusion and illegally, which will be said the anarchy times, will continue until the rule of Messiah begins, as the last years of north kingdom were so. It might be said the thing like present economic slump will be that outcome, too. However, as the situation gets worse, we must hear the testimony of this prophet, Isaiah, that the execution of justice of God will become near more and more at the present age which separated from God far. Surely footsteps are high, and the day will gradually approach.

 For the people relying on the One, that day will be hope and time of an ease. Our correctness often judges a person, and plunges it into despair, but justice of God gives relief, solace and the expressive moisture. "And each will be like a refuge from the wind, And a shelter from the strom, Like streams of water in a dry country."(2)

U The people who wasted Israel

 "The fool", or "the rogue" is told. They point at leaders of the Ahaz times with noble persons and the person of the upper classes, but about them, it is said like this, "To keep the hungry person unsatisfied, And to withhold drink from the thirsty."(6), "To destroy the afflicted with slander, Even though the needy one speaks what is right."(7). As for the people with no God's justice, it is calm to squeeze poor persons and it grows fat by moving the weak person to the footstool. Will not it be ideal method itself of modern people?

 By the way, but in the place where leaders are being censured, I don't know that why, Isaiah inserted some women. It is verse 9-14, the warning to "women who are ease" and "complacent daughters" is said. About this call in 新改訳, there is some resistance, but I think it is appropriate translation. Perhaps, as for their being taken up, it seems the reason because they take part in an important part of the social problem of the Israeli leaders whom Isaiah told it to all the time. In Verse 13-14, because the place where rich people such as the beautiful houses, a city, a palace, a town, OPHEL (the name given to some hills of Jerusalem) and the guard's tower live is being raised, perhaps they will be wives and daughters of "noble person" and "person of upper reaches". They do not pay any attention to approaching uneasiness at all and yield only to themselves earnestly completely. I want to investigate their subject of concern, but because it is repeated here "Beat your breasts for the pleasant field, for the beautiful vine,"(12), and "For the vintage is ended,"(10), their greatest subject of concern would be the crop of grapes. A grape was an Israeli important product, and it was an industry that continued keeping their richness.It is pronounced that a crop disappears as it is said "thorns and briars shall come up". It may be the dilapidation of a person who cares for it by repeated war. And the big feast which they were having would be deserted.

V Footsteps of a blessing

 As for the scene which has heard until now, it is not limited to Israel of Ahaz age. Do we often hurt an injured person more, and won't we do steps on the weak people, as these people are doing? They are called "a fool", "a rogue" and "the conceited women who think about only their thing"... As for the present times, that tendency seems to become finally strong.. However, when a tendency that love is lost by a heart of a person, and one thinks about only oneself spreads out more, we want to listen to Isaiah's declaration that the Lord's hand intervenes there is near.

 But, it is here "Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from high,"(15). Isaiah will remember a message of Immanuel which he has heard from God before. It was there, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. And the Spirit of the lord will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding." (11:1 -2). It seems that the One becomes on that day according to the plan of God's salvation, and He was the Lord that was told by Isaiah himself and he looked forward to it most. Then it passed for years and he watched the Israeli state that became much worse than before, and Isaiah would surely feel that promise to be slow many times. However, I could not understand whether it was a message or an illusion which was shown to Isaiah some other time, but therefore he was given conviction to realization of the salvation in there. This will be declaration of the salvation of the Lord which prophet sang loudly.

 "And the wilderness becomes a fertile field And the fertile field is considered as a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, And righteousness will abide in the fertile field. And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever."(15-18) This is declaration of Isaiah, God's hand is added to the uncultivated wasteland which was made originally, and nature that God was made will be changed into order of new creation. Our country of God of the end is the new world where God will be created newly. While it is fairness and peace and an ease, and it is the world that is really different from Israel of the distrust that Isaiah tasted, he seems to begin to draw that state with admiring it. His Apocalypse is not yet over.

 However, there is still sorrow to rage before reaching there. "And it will hail when the forest comes down, And the city will be utterly laid low."(19) What is surrounded with a line (in Japanese) is because there are many opinions that are going to be the insertion of after ages. However, perhaps it will be a thing by Isaiah itself. I don't know where that forest and that town point at, but judgment to the people of non-faith or labor pains of we faith person will continue for a while, before our country of God appears. Even if we think about ourselves, it piles up to have to be settled, and we must prepare that fight of faith continues still more. However, the promise of a blessing of our Lord is certain. It is here "How blessed will you be, you who sow beside all waters, Who let out freely the ox and the donkey."(20). And, we can hear a blessing of Jesus at the same time. "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." (Matthew 13:23)