God’s Rebuilding Project From Ruins to Righteousness Isaiah 61:4 – 62:2

There is something both incongruous and fitting about that title. The expected word after “ruins” might have been “rebuilt”, not “righteousness”. But the very fact that the metaphor seems jarring points out just how different this new kingdom is: It is a spiritual kingdom. The main excellence of this kingdom, the main distinguishing mark, is true righteousness. In this sense it is totally different, not only from the earlier Zion, but all other earthly kingdoms. It is something truly new.

But there is also continuity. It is a kingdom with roots in the past, already fore-typed unmistakably in earlier times. The best features of the old Kingdom of Israel were sure prophecies of the better Zion that was to come. Christ assured His disciples that they, once well-taught, will be “like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” [1]

4. And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.

“They shall rebuild”. And who is “they”? The same ones who “mourn in Zion”, vs. 3. “Blessed are the mourners”.  [2]

Notice the continuity here. This is a “rebuilding”, a “repairing” of “former desolations”. The enlightened Jerusalem Counsel (Acts 15) , having heard of Paul’s recent missionary successes, understood this to be a “rebuild[ing of] the tabernacle of David”, Acts 15:15-17.

5.  Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
And the sons of the foreigner
Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

It is easy to misunderstand these verses as being adversarial, as if the Gentiles are forcefully subjugated into an unwilling cooperation. But this is not the intent of the passage. This nothing other than the Gentiles, the middle wall of partition having been taken down through Christ, entering into the blessings of God’s people. It is Japheth living – at long last – in the tents of Shem.  [3]

Notes
1. Matt. 13:51 – 52. Notice that the disciples were asked if they understood “all these things”. The entire seven parables, not just the last one, seem to be in view.

Jesus, having just expounded seven Kingdom parables, questioned His own disciples whether they understood what He had taught. They responded, “Yes”.. This is what prompted Christ’s comment above.

The question could also very fittingly be addressed to today’s disciples: Do we understand these things? Many today don’t, because the teaching of these seven parables is not often taught as they should be. If we do not understand these things – the basic nature of the Kingdom – we cannot bring out of our treasure things both old and new, seeing that we are not able to distinguish the old from the new. This is one of the core errors of modern Dispensationalism.

2. Matt. 5:4. Several places in Scripture we have God working wonderful blessings through great hardship and sorrow. We must through many tribulations enter into the Kingdom of God. Saints of all ages, not just the dedicated Jews of the Old Testament age, go through the “Valley of Weeping” in order to arrive at Zion. God’s “strength is made perfect in weakness”, 2 Cor. 6:9.

“As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.

They go from strength to strength;

Each one appears before God in Zion.”
 

3. Genesis 9:27.

About asterisktom

I breathe, therefore I blog.
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2 Responses to God’s Rebuilding Project From Ruins to Righteousness Isaiah 61:4 – 62:2

  1. As I just finished a post on FB about how a very high percentage of the population is in favor of Lockdown of the economy to stop the spread of an impotent Coronavirus, I couldn’t help but wonder why would a population agree to self-destruction?. Is this some sort of Divine punishment or retribution for America’s greed and selfishness? A strong delusion sent upon a sinful generation that does not appreciate its blessings? Could this be the end of America? Or is this a test to see if the church is up for the challenge, will the ravens indeed feed us?

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  2. asterisktom says:

    Although it might be that the percentage of those who want continued lockdown is not as high as they report, it is still irritating and sad how many people continue to be irrational about this. Yes, it might just be a judgment from God for a host of national sins of our country. But I think it will also be a purifying of the church.

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