66 Isaiah / Part 2 (15)

Let's enter a country of light

Isaiah 55:6-13
John 1:1-5
T Come back to God

 A salvation plan of God who invited us as One's people reached climax in Chapter 53. We have heard that horrible death of a servant of the Lord carry our crime on His back and forgive us. After he finished telling atonement of the servant, Isaiah begins to describe the blessing that this servant brings. Surely it will be the thing which advises us about step of faith. Chapter 54 and Chapter 55 are exposed to these "spread of people of God" (54:1-10), "a promise of God / security" (54:11-17), "invitation to the salvation"(55:1-5), "invitation to forgiving" (55:6-13), but, I want to handle the Clause 4 / last of the divided into 4, this morning.

 It begins here, "See the lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."(6-7), but, an appeal of "call" and "return" seems to agree with invitation of God in Clause 3, which was said "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live;"(3). We must understand that is said about the step of faith to watch and ask words of God (11) and return to God. Surely, it will be the step that Isaiah oneself aimed at, but it seems to strongly feel that he himself must hear it above all, while this prophet passes on words of God. "Return to the Lord", will it overflow his faith confession, and appear it?

 That thought seems to be condensed by the word said "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;". "Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.", the appeal is said to such a bad person and an illegal person. God's hot eyes are poured to them. "While He may be found", "while He is near", it will be that a period to demand seems to be limited, but, surely it will emphasize that God comes close to such people. A bad person and an illegal person, it will be a person which grace of God is poured into / Isaiah himself, can't you hear so? Isaiah is ourselves, too. And we are known when this is a message of this prophet. If we receive a blessing of poured God, we who are a scholar of bad person / illegality are permitted, and we are counted as people of God. We want to have that blessing, don't you?

U To reach height of God

 And this prophet writes down words of God again. "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord, 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"(8-9)

 Here, as for God, His own height is emphasized particularly, but, it is not possible for us even to image that "high place" of God. It is right a domain of God. As for it is told repeatedly, He will invite us to a high domain of God. It is blessings from God to us, but that blessing is told many times, in Chapter 54-55. "For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations, and they will resettle the desolate cities."(54:3), "For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you."(54:7), "So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor will I rebuke you."(54:9) and "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;" (55:10) etc... When I think about how a seed bears fruit well well, it is quite mysterious. Small seeds, all is the same, but, a seed of grape bears fruit of grape, a seed of fig bears fruit of fig, and a seed of a cherry tree grows up into a big tree and lets beautiful cherry blossoms bloom, and even a grain of small mustard lets the function act. It rains and snows from the sky, and it quenches the ground and for such a small seed to grow. It will be the wonder of the natural world to be able to make only by God. And such small kind becomes bread and feeds us, and we are kept alive in such wonder of God. Before such wonder, there is neither a rich person nor a poor person. Before such wonder, a person wants to be modest. Because, our life itself is in this wonder of God, too.

V Let's enter a country of light

 And it will be in Verse 12-13 that was told this is an ultimate blessing from God. "For you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up; and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up; and it will be a memorial to the Lord, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off."

 Isaiah mentioned a blessing of God by the expression that resembled this several times, till now. (11:6, 29:17, 35:1, etc.). And it makes a pair with his message that is the description of judgment of God to criminals, it says "And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns." (7:23 etc.). We cannot hear a blessing of God without knowing on the other hand. Surely the natural world will tell us a voice of God, both of joy and sorrow, obediently. A thorn and a bush are weeds to hold long splinters in keenly, and they breed a lot in wasteland and die with having become a thicket in the dry season. And the splinter is tense still more when it dies, and a person cannot step into that thicket. I had approached it to watch the closed golden gate once before in Jerusalem, and I got into the thicket. But, I was obstructed by a sharp splinter and was not able to touch the golden gate after all. Soldiers of Rome made a crown with such a thorn and put it over Jesus. When I think about a pain of Jesus injured to the sharp splinter, the thought that a chest is tightened come to me. Both thorn and bush had to add Jesus to the cross, and it will say that is our crime.

 However, it is said that cypress tree and myrtos grow in such a thicket of the wasteland which does not allow a person to come near instead of thorn and bush. A cypress tree is famous as building materials produced by Lebanon, and a myrtos has a high leaf and flower of a fragrance, and it is called a tree of celebration. But, now, a state of judgment by God continued with much severer condition from almost beginning of Isaiah, but, it was completed, and may the work of the salvation by a servant of the Lord play the joy at a stretch? Verse 12-13 is really full of life.

 By the way, as for "go out" and "be led", will it say "from where" and "to where"? Isaiah seems to say it, "from the land of captivity by Babylon, to mother country Israel". It pointed 140-150 years future still, but, he stared at the event of God with south kingdom extinction / Babylon captivity, at that time. Because it was as for an Israeli crime, it may be good to understand that this prophet wants to say to "go out" from their crime and to "lead" to the country of God (salvation). Then, Verse 12-13 seems a scene of a country of God. And there is a promise of God when the salvation is realized by all means. "So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."(11) These "words" to let a promise of God reach realization have character. His name is "a servant of the Lord!". "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. ... In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."(John 1:1-5) Doesn't it remind us Jesus Himself, appearing?