70 Isaiah / Part 2 (19)

Wish for the blessing of the Lord

Isaiah 60:1-22
Revelation 21:1-76
T In darkness

 Would Isaiah remain silent a little again after having told it in Chapter 59? A new message begins with Chapter 60. It passed about 50 years since he was caught as a prophet at 20 years old, it seems he exceeded 70 years old already, and he feels remaining time is a little. According to a legend (apocrypha / martyrdom and the death of Isaiah), it is informed that he was attracted by a saw by Manasseh and became a martyr, but it already has entered in the times of Manasseh. Manasseh was a person who is considerably terrible among King of south kingdom. At the finale of Isaiah on Chapter 66, Isaiah begins to talk with all energy, about what he told and left. Probably because my age got closer to it, I will be able to hear it is well matured message, as both a prophet and a human being. For a period of silence after he matured, he would hear a new message of God more deeply. After Chapter 60, it is felt that a conventional Israeli crime become few accusations, and it overflows by a new blessing of God. Surely the message which he told and left, it will be a new blessing of God and the blessings of the people of God received in the new world. I wish such blessing of God arrives to each one of you.

 In the beginning, there is it, "Arise"(1), and it seemed to eyes of this prophet that these people slept. It may be said that they are buried in darkness of a crime. Chapter 59 mentions that darkness thus, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear, but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,"(59:1-2), but, that darkness reminds of Israel of the times of Manasseh. Except some prophets, the ways of many people were extremely separated from God. Manasseh would be that representative. And it seems to be the present age of us. When I see the event that the newspaper side is enlivened every day, Afghan that continues still, and tit for tat in Iraq, etc., I become sad when only hating each other is turning up the heat as a modern tendency.

U To the world of brightness

 Would it be toward such us? This prophet calls it, "Arise, shine". He urges people to come out of a sleep. "The glory of the Lord has risen upon you.", it is repeated again sandwiching the darkness that says "For behold, darkness will cover the earth,"(2). "But the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you." (2-3) Originally, as for this repetition, a wish to want to take light seems to be put there, against the people who does not have light. To the people who have become accustomed to being in the darkness, even if it is said that light is poured to them, it may not be understood. This prophet repeats it politely twice with "His glory will appear upon you.", and declares that you begin to have been invited to the world of brightness from darkness.

 And that poured "brightness of glory" seems to be distinguished from "your light" which is in repetition. Perhaps because there is it, when "your light" in Verse 1 says "comes", it seems the light that there was not originally, it is poured light. And, "your light" in next Verse 3 is the one that brightness of the glorious Lord was poured, and it would become the source of light body which "you and I" ourselves give off, I hear it so. We want to notice that we are called as persons having such light in the times of darkness. And we must hear that we who were poured brightness of the glorious Lord have a duty to carry the light to the other people, and they still demand the light in darkness and grope around for. Surely the people will not yet notice depth of the darkness that ourselves were agonized, and were stained. I pray that they pay attention that there is the world of light which believe God so that they notice depth and degree of fear of the darkness, when we are shining.

V Wish for the blessing of the Lord

 To Verse 1-3 , I talked in an abstract way about light and darkness for a long time. It is an extremely important part, and it is preface, please forgive me, because Isaiah himself says so. After Verse 4, to ends of Chapter 66 will be the text of Isaiah. Light and darkness seem to gradually reveal the real nature. I pick up some and want to hear that concrete testimony.

 At first it is from a part of darkness studded in Chapter 60. Because there is it in Verse 4 "They will gather together, they come to you.", and there is it in Verse 9 "To bring your sons from afar,", then, "they leave distantly (from God)", it is felt whether it was the darkness in thought of Isaiah. They, sons and daughters are countries and King in Verse 3, but it will be the people of whole world beyond distinction of Jew and foreigner. This "you" seems to be Jerusalem, but it will surely point at more great existence than Jerusalem, the capital where god's shine shines. "They all gather together, they come to you.", this points at the kingdom which Jesus of the end rules over all them. John wrote down that state of kingdom in Revelation in this way. "He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;" (21:4) However, for the people whom there is in the distance, it may be said that it was daily life of sorrow, pains and cries. "The sons of those who afflicted you" (14), "All those who despised you" (14), "You have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through," (15), "The days of your mourning will be finished." (20), "Violence in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders;" (18) etc., this prophet seems to feel it so. "Your sun will set no more, neither will your moon wane;" (20), these words occur to us the people who grieve and choose the death in secret in the night darkness that the sun set in, appearing not? And treasure is told many times, but it is thought that perhaps most extremely poor people are in a shade of a few people owning it. Is it my jealousy? But I think that the present age gets closer to such situation unlimitedly.

 Now, this prophet is going to clarify a kingdom of the end. Then is not darkness brightness of the evil that illegality in the process influences? Now, the times of that black brightness may already begin. "Lift up your eyes round about, and see, they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms."(4) We can hear the words of this prophet which is said the blessing of God invite us to the country of light and a dazzling scene is waiting for us. To that blessing, the scene which we cannot imagine is added. "The abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of nations will come to you. A multitude of camels will cover you, the young camels of Midean and Ephah; all those from Sheba will come; they will bring gold and frankincense, and will bear good news of the praises of the Lord....."(5-6) "The ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them," (9) "Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver, and instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron." (17) "You will have the Lord for an everlasting light, ....."(19-22)

 Please pay attention to it, "They will bring gold and frankincense.....". Many sermonizers put this point on the top of the state of Jesus birth, but when we think that the same blessing what Jesus received is poured to us, our heart seems to dance. Will we join the hope together to the Lord who invites us to such honor, appearing not?