Isaiah 62:4-12

If verse 3 of our chapter predicts how the Israel of God in the coming age will be a crown of glory and a diadem in the hand of God, verse 4 declares the place of blessing that shall be theirs, in contrast with all that has characterized them hitherto. Several times already in reading this prophet we have seen that both they and their land have been forsaken by God because of their sins. To this day no interposition of God on their behalf, comparable to what He did, when He delivered them from Egypt under Moses, has taken place. The delivering act of God is yet to come.

When it does take place by the appearing of Christ, it will be a repentant and born-again people who are delivered. As such they will be called, "Married." The figure used in verse 5; that of a young man marrying a virgin people and their land, may remind us of the striking words of Psalm 110, where the people who refused Jesus in the day of His poverty, will be willing in the day of His power, and the youth of Israel will rally to Him as the dew falls in the summer morning. Only then will Jehovah their God rejoice over them.

But though that is so, the forsaken Jerusalem is not forgotten by the Lord. This is expressed by the setting of watchmen on the walls, who are never to hold their peace until deliverance comes. It is worthy of note that Ezekiel was the prophet set as "a watchman unto the house of Israel" (Ezekiel 3: 17), and he it was who in vision saw the glory of the Lord depart from the temple and the city. During Israel's night the watchmen are not to hold their peace. They are, so to speak, continually to be reminding the Lord that His glory is involved in the establishment of Israel in their land, and Jerusalem becoming a praise to His name in the earth.

When we lift our thoughts from the earth and Israel's predicted place of blessing therein, to God's purpose for the heavens and for the church, we may surely speak in similar fashion. When in response to our Lord's assurance of His advent, we cry, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" we are thinking, we trust, not only of the fulness of our own blessing in the heavens, but of God achieving in the church all He purposed before the foundation of the world. There will be, "the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory" (Eph. 1: 14). As on the earth, so in the heavens, His glory will shine forth.

Yet after all the watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem are needed to keep God's purpose before the minds of men, rather than before the mind of God, since He never fails. God Himself has sworn that He will do it, and He swears by Himself, as Hebrews 6: 13, reminds. us. He connects His oath in verse 8 with "His right hand and by the Arm of His strength." So here again the Arm of the Lord is introduced, since it is by Him that the thing will be done, and the Arm is characterized by strength, for Christ is the power of God, as well as the wisdom of God, as we are told in 1 Corinthians 1: 24.

Corn and wine are frequently mentioned together in Scripture as indicating the sustenance that man needs, both solid and liquid, only here we see that all will not only be secured to Israel but that it shall be enjoyed by them in the presence of their God; as it is put here "in the courts of My holiness."

The three verses which close the chapter give us a prophetic forecast of how this will be accomplished. In Isaiah, "the daughter of Zion," is an expression that occurs a number of times. The first occurrence is in verse 8 of chapter 1, and it seems to be identified with the "very small remnant," mentioned in verse 9. We believe that is the force of it here. The God-fearing remnant will be found scattered to the ends of the world. They will be called and a standard lifted up to which they will gather; and then their way to the holy city and through its gates will be opened up before them, and every stone of stumbling will be removed.

And how will all this be accomplished? By the advent of their Salvation, who is evidently a Person, in the light of the words that follow. By His reward and His work the Arm of the Lord will prove Himself to be God's "Salvation unto the end of the earth" (Isa. 49: 6).

And what will be the result as regards those who are gathered as "the daughter of Zion"? They will at last be exactly what Israel was originally intended to be-"The holy people;" that is, a people separated to God, in accord with His mind and nature. This delightful condition will only be reached since they will be, "the redeemed of the Lord."

This redemption will be a vital and spiritual reality, and not just a national thing, without regard to the spiritual state of individuals, as when they were brought out of Egypt under Moses. It will be brought about by the grace of our God, and not on the ground of law-keeping. This is indicated very clearly in Romans 11, where Paul states that though at present shut up in unbelief, they will ultimately "obtain mercy." The coming salvation of the godly in Israel will be as wholly an act of Divine mercy as is the salvation of degraded Gentile sinners today. The mercy of God will reach both the people and their city.