Wednesday, July 03, 2024

2024.07.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ Isaiah 62:8–12

Read Isaiah 62:8–12

Questions from the Scripture text: What has YHWH done by what (Isaiah 62:8a–b)? What has He sworn no longer to do (verse 8c–f)? Who will enjoy what Zion gathers (Isaiah 62:9a)? Causing them to do what (verse 9b)? Where, especially, will they enjoy it (verse 9c)? What command does Isaiah 62:10a–b give? What must be done for them (verse 10c–f)? Who are included in this entrance/ welcome (verse 10g)? To what distance has YHWH done what (Isaiah 62:11a–b)? What does He tell them to do to whom (verse 11c)? What are they to say to her (verse 11d)? What are with Him (verse 11e) and before Him (verse 11f)? What are they to call His reward and His work (Isaiah 62:12a)? What else (verse 12b)? And what two nicknames does this obtain for them from the Lord (verse 12c–d)? 

What is the result of the King-Servant’s work and prayers? Isaiah 62:8–12 prepares us for the first serial reading in public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these five verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Lord Jesus works and prays to reverse the curse and take to Himself a bride to bless and love forever. 

YHWH’s sworn testimony, Isaiah 62:8a–b. Everything that the Lord says is sure, but sometimes He confirms something with an oath to help our weak faith and to emphasize the centrality of our believing it. This is one of those times. He swears by His right hand and by the arm of His strength (Isaiah 62:8a–b). He assures us that what He is about to say is as strong and sure as He Himself is.

The reverse of the curse, Isaiah 62:8-9c. He is turning back the curse of Zion forever. There was a parallel between the curses on the covenant people (Isaiah 62:8c–f; cf. Leviticus 26:16, Deuteronomy 28:33, Isaiah 1:7) and the curse under which Adam’s sin brought all mankind (cf. Genesis 3:17–19). Now, God is turning back that curse; they will enjoy the produce of the land (Isaiah 62:9a). And, there is an enjoyment of that produce that is greater than eating: praise in the heart (verse 9b) and even the physical use of grain and wine for fellowship with God and His people in the public worship (verse 9c)! Are your greatest enjoyments of food the praise in your own heart to God, and especially the best bites and sips of your life, those at the Lord’s table? The greater part of reversing the curse is not eating the fruit of one’s labor (cf. Psalm 128:2a) but the Lord’s face upon, and fellowship with, His people (cf. Psalm 128:5–6). 

The gathering of New-Zion, Isaiah 62:10. Just as the Lord had previously commanded that the way be prepared for the King-Servant-LORD (cf. Isaiah 40:3–4), so now He commands that the way be prepared for the redeemed Zion (Isaiah 62:10a–f). And the joy and greatness of this are multiplied by the reminder that this Zion is comprised of all the nations; when the banner at which they are to gather is raised, it is a banner for the peoples (verse 10g), plural! 

The Bridegroom, Isaiah 62:11. But for what are they gathered? For the arrival of the Bridegroom (cf. Isaiah 62:5c–d)! The sons who are gathered from the ends of the world (Isaiah 62:11a–b) have joined themselves to her (cf. Isaiah 62:5a–b), and now they are instructed to announce to her (Isaiah 62:11c) the processional of the arrival of her Salvation (verse 11d). This Salvation is the Redeemer—the One about Whom we have heard, throughout this book, that comes as the next-of-kin to purchase and deliver her. 

And His Bride, Isaiah 62:12. Now, He is coming with what He has earned (“reward,” Isaiah 62:11e) and accomplished (“work,” verse 11f). And, what He has earned and accomplished turns out to be a they/them (Isaiah 62:12a)! They are the holy people. They are the redeemed—the delivered next-of-kin of YHWH Himself (verse 12b)! So, the Lord rounds out the nick-naming that He began in Isaiah 62:4: to “my delight is in her” and “married,” the Lord now adds “sought after” and “a city not deserted.” Such is the honor that He bestows upon His bride, when He comes as the worthy and accomplished One! 

O, dear reader, the Lord Jesus is this One. And He is gathering to Himself a bride from all the nations, to whom He will speak in this way. She herself, is that for which He has worked—His chosen crown, His chosen reward, His chosen accomplishment. And He welcomes you to Himself, to be a member of His bride. Will you not give yourself up to Him? Will you not gather to the banner by trusting in Him and renouncing any other chief allegiance or purpose to be His?!

How do you go about enjoying the Lord Himself in His gifts? What does the measure of your enjoyment of Him in His worship say about whether it is really Him that you are enjoying in His gifts? How can you tell that you are longing for the last day and the marriage supper of the Lamb? What place do Jesus’s worthiness and accomplishments have in your thought life? What place do His pet names for His bride have in your “feelings life”?

Sample prayer: Lord, thank You for assuring us of Your redemption with an oath. Forgive us for how weak our faith is. And thank You for reversing the curse, so that we may enjoy the fruit of our labor—especially enjoying You Yourself in all Your good gifts. Forgive us for enjoying the gifts more than Your goodness, or anything else at all more than Your worship. Thank You for gathering us into Your people from all the nations. Forgive us for how little we have desired the last day, how little we have rejoiced in Christ’s worthiness and accomplishment, how little we have rejoiced over His love to His bride. Thank You that His redemption and intercession are powerful and sure. For His sake, forgive us and cleanse us and perfect us, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP72C “May Waving Grain on Hilltops Thrive” or TPH403 “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”

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