ch. 2

 

 

Isaiah, about to devote almost two whole chapters to denunciations, prefaces

them with one of the most glorious and joy inspiring of all his prophecies, thus

setting forth a light which not all the gloom of the succeeding sections can wholly

obscure, but which casts some portion of its radiance into their darkest place.

 

There is a fine line between despair and over-confidence!

 

vs. 2-4 – Prophecy of the Last Days - the resemblance of this prophecy to Micah 4:1-3

            is so close as to necessitate the conclusion either that one of the two prophets

            copied from the other. or that both copied from an earlier document.

 

Whatever the reality, one thing for sure is that this message came from God.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake

as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” – II Peter 1:20-21

 

The precedent has been set, for basically, that  is what I am doing, copying

notes from another source, in this case, The Pulpit Commentary, to share

with YOU, and I trust with the same results, a message from God, Himself!

 

v. 2 – “The mountain of the Lord’s house” -  the Church, the true Zion, which

is to be the antitype of the existing Zion, and is therefore given its material attributes.

Spiritually, it would be a “mountain,” as “a city set on a hill,” which “could not be hid”

(Matthew 5:14); and again, as occupying a position from which it would command the

whole earth. “In the top of the mountains”;  - rather, at the head of the mountains; i.e.

with pre-eminence over them. The metaphor is drawn from the common physical fact of

a high mountain range culminating in a single supreme eminence. “All nations” - literally,

all the nations; i.e. “all the nations of the earth” (Psalm 72:11). “Shall flow” or, stream.

A constant accession of converts from all quarters is intended. These are represented as

continually streaming upward into the holy mountain of God’s house.

 

v. 3 – “Many people” -  rather, many peoples. “Shall go” - or, set forth.

The prophet means to represent the nations as encouraging one another on

the way. There is no jealousy among them, for the “mountain” can hold

them all.He will teach us” -  The nations feel their ignorance of God, and

their need of “teaching.” God alone can teach them concerning Himself

(Romans 11:33, 34; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11); and “He will teach”

them, either directly, as the Incarnate Son, or indirectly through those

whom He has appointed to be “teachers” (1 Corinthians 12:28). “of His

ways” - “some of His ways,” not “all of them;” for at present “we know

in part” only (1 Corinthians 13:9), and the greater portion of His ways

are “past finding out” (Romans 11:33). The “ways” here spoken of are,

no doubt, rules for the conduct of life, which are practically inexhaustible.

God, however, will teach every man, who honestly seeks to learn, enough

to enable him to “walk in his paths.Out of Zion shall go forth the Law;

rather, instruction, or teaching. The word (torah) is without the article.

The instruction intended is that of the Church of God.

 

(Consider Revelation 21:24, Isaiah 60:3, Matthew 8:11-12)

 

v. 4 – “He shall judge among the nations” - This is clearly not yet

fulfilled. How God shall ultimately “judge among the nations,” or rather

“between nation and nation,” is a mystery which only the future can reveal.

Shall rebuke many people…They shall beat” -  On a sudden call to

war, nations “beat their ploughshares into swords, and their pruning-hooks

into spears” (Joel 3:10). They will do the reverse “in the latter days,”

when God shall have “made wars to cease” (Psalm 46:9) and “speak

peace unto the nations” (Zechariah 9:10).

 

"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.

Materials are reproduced by permission."

 

vs. 5- 11 – THE CONTRAST OF THE PRESENT WITH THE FUTURE

 

Having shown to Israel the vision of a far-distant future, when holiness

and peace would reign upon the earth, and “the mountain of the Lord’s

house” would draw all men into it, the prophet returns to things as

they are — first exhorting Israel to “walk in the light of Jehovah” (v. 5),

and then showing how far they have withdrawn from the light;

 

  • by magical practices (v. 6);
  • by commercial greed (vs. 6, 7);
  • by ostentation and luxury (v. 7);
  • by idolatry (v. 8).

 

Such being the case, punishment must come – national judgments will be

for national sins – it was only after all the resources of His mercy had been

exhausted, and there was “no remedy” (II Chronicles 36:16) that destruction

fell — the mean and great must be equally brought low (v. 9) — the people

must fly to their cave-fastnesses (v. 10), and hide themselves; they must be

humiliated to the uttermost (v. 11).

 

A Note on the Mercies of God

 

Peace, prosperity, good seasons and rich harvests, a succession of capable leaders

or ministers, and, again, success in war, victories, conquests, and the wealth that

sometimes flows in through conquests, are, all of them, blessings which God bestows

on nations with the object of trying them. Will they be thankful? Will they make a good

use of the favors granted them? The discipline of prosperity is exceedingly trying; and

under it nations almost invariably wax wanton and proud. Israel was thus tried in the

times of David and Solomon, and also under Uzziah and Jotham (2 Chronicles 26:6-16;

27:3-6). Assyria underwent the probation for many centuries, from the time of the king

contemporary with Ahab to the great blow received under Sennacherib. Egypt in early

days, and Rome in later ones, had even longer periods of unmixed prosperity, and

became proportionally “lifted up.”(and now we have Europe and especially the

United States – what have we learned, except to become spoiled and want all the

rich blessings of the world, if not of God, and then want to play the fool and act

like the devil with all perverted speed – the iniquity of Sodom was associated with

“pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness”  - Ezekiel 16:49 - CY – 2009)

It is rarely, indeed, that we find any nation improve under this kind of probation.

Almost invariably there is a rapid change for the worse.  (That is why judgment comes - CY)

 

"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.

Materials are reproduced by permission."

 

vs. 12-22 - THE DESCRIPTION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD.

 

The prophet, now, having announced that God is about to visit his people

in anger (vs. 10, 11), proceeds to describe in highly rhetorical language

the visitation itself:

 

  • as to its object, which is to bring down all that exalts itself against God

      (v. 12);

 

  • as to its scope — it is to be upon trees, mountains, hills, towers, walls,

      ships, pleasant pictures, idols (vs. 13-18);

 

  • as to its practical effect, which will be to alarm and terrify, to make men

      fly and hide themselves, and to produce contempt of the idols in which they

      have so long trusted (vs. 19-21).

 

v. 12 – A “day” – or time – is certainly coming which shall be emphatically

            “the Lord’s” – a day on which He will descend to JUDGMENT!

 

v. 16 – “upon all pleasant pictures” – works of art – sculptures, fresco- paintings,

            and all the “delightful works of imagery,” will shrivel like parchment

            scrolls.  Towers, walls, palaces, will fall with a crash everywhere at the final

            judgment-day. The accumulated civilization of millennia will be brought to

            naught.  Nothing will stand that human skill, contrivance, energy, has

            constructed; all will disappear.  (I think of the abuse of art by the NATIONAL  

            ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS, and its promotion by Congress, even its

            prima madonna-ship in the Stimulus Package of 2009 – even in dire times a

            type of “in your face” immorality must be promoted at all costs – (GOD,

            HIMSELF, will put an end to this and none too soon – CY – 2009)

 

The sentiment is that the judgment of God will fall on the most valued contents of

palaces and grand houses, no less than upon the forests and the mountains, the

fortified places, and the national navies.  ALL will be involved in one sweeping

destruction.

 

On a positive note, out of this God will create all things new – a “new heavens and

a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”  - II Peter 3:13 -  in that creation

there will be nothing that “offends” – Matthew 13:41 – there will be nothing

that “defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie” –

Revelation 21:27 – we should rejoice with God when He said “For, behold, I

create new heavens and a new earth: …….be ye glad and rejoice for ever

in that which I create” – Isaiah 65:17-18 - but much of that with which man

is most familiar will disappear — perhaps all that could would recall acts or

thoughts of sin — and the “new heaven and new earth,” that God will create,

will to such an extent supersede the old, that “the former shall not be remembered,

nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17).

 

v. 17 - Earthly distinctions come to naught when the earth itself comes to an end.

            (for a description see Isaiah 24:17-23, Revelation 6:12-17)

 

            Rank, titles, dignities, fail.  The “mean man” and the “great man” (v. 9),

            the highest and the lowest in earthly distinctions come to naught when the

            earth itself comes to an end.  Rank, titles, dignities, fail. The “mean man”

            and the “great man” (v. 9), the highest and the lowest in earthly rank, are

            upon a par, when all have to appear before their Judge.  And spiritual pride

            is equally brought low. None but must then feel himself a miserable sinner,

            a suppliant for mercy at God’s feet, with hope only through the merits and

            intercession of the incarnate Son. “The loftiness of man shall be bowed down,

            and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be

            exalted in that day”.

 

 

vs. 19-21 – General Alarm - The Reaction of Men Unprepared to Meet God 

 

( Amos 4:12)

 

TODAY is the day of SALVATION    TODAY is the time to PREPARE!

 

LOOK TO JESUS AND YOU WILL BE PREPARED!

 

Contrast vs. 10-11 and 19-21 with Revelation 6:12-17

 

They of Israel fled into “the holes of the rocks, and the caves of the earth, from

the terror of the Lord, and from the glory of his majesty” (v. 19). At the last day,

 “men shall say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us” (Luke 23:30);

“Hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of

the Lamb” (Revelation 6:16). The brightness of His presence will be intolerable to

those who have “loved darkness rather than light; ‘and they will desire, at any rate,

to flee from it. Alas! flight will be impossible, concealment will be impossible; no

rocks will offer hiding-places to the ungodly from the presence of God.  One only

refuge is possible and to that men must have fled before, with the heartfelt, earnest cry-

                                   

                                                “Rock of ages, cleft for me,

                                                Let me hide myself in thee!”

 

"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.

Materials are reproduced by permission."

 

 

v. 22 – an appeal to Israel on the part of the prophet to give up their trust in

            man, whence had flowed all their other errors.