Home » Isaiah: A Personal Devotional Journal » Isaiah: A Personal Devotional Journal–9

Isaiah: A Personal Devotional Journal–9

Is This a Christian Passage?

Isaiah 4:2 And in that day God shall shine gloriously in counsel on the earth, to exalt and glorify the remnant of Israel.
3 And it shall be, that the remnant left in Sion, and the remnant left in Jerusalem, even all that are <1> appointed to life in Jerusalem, shall be called holy.
4 For the Lord shall wash away the filth of the sons and daughters of Sion, and shall purge out the blood from the midst of them, with the spirit of judgement, and the spirit of burning.
5 And he shall come, and it shall be with regard to every place of mount Sion, yea, all the region round about it shall a cloud overshadow by day, and there shall be as it were the smoke and light of fire burning by night: and upon all the glory shall be a defence.
6 And it shall be for a shadow from the heat, and as a shelter and a hiding place from inclemency of weather and from rain. (LXE)

{1) Gr. written for life}

In this translation the opening phrase is, “And in that day…” What day is this? I wish everyone could read Greek–it would make you so happy. The Greek phrase is, “τῇ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ (Isaiah 4:2 LXX). Where else in Scripture do we find this phrase? We here first found it in Isaiah 2:11, “Isaiah 2:11 For the eyes of the Lord are high, but man is low; and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day,” (LXE). It also opens the passage from Isaiah 2:20-21, where we find humankind casting away their idols to go hide in the caverns and crevices of the rocks, away from the terrifying judgment of the Lord. This is the verse that also shows up in Revelation 6:15-17, which is the day of the wrath of God and the Lamb. These samples lead us to conclude that “that day” is a day of judgment.

Matthew 7:22-23 supports the conclusion of a day of judgment by the words of Jesus, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness,'” (ESV). Luke 6:22-23 verifies a day of judgment, but, it adds an element of reward for the righteous, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets,” (ESV). Jesus uses this temporal marker again in Luke 10:12, in the section where he curses the cities of Galilee for rejecting both his disciples and himself. Luke 17 contains a long passage where Jesus describes “his” day (verse 24), the day of his coming. Two verses develop the meaning of this phrase, “So will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop,…” (Luke 17:30-31 ESV).

These verses indicate that the phrase, “in that day” is a time of judgment after the incarnation and ascension of Christ. But there is another verse more in keeping with the joy of Isaiah 4:2. It is found in John 16:22-23, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you,” ESV). From what we know from Acts, this verse and its context began to find its fulfillment after the resurrection and ascension, perhaps upon and after the day of Pentecost, when Jesus sent his Holy Spirit. (1) Read the entire context in John 16 and see if it doesn’t match up with the resurrection and sending of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts.

My answer to the opening question, “Is this a Christian passage?” is yes, this prophecy of Isaiah is a Christian passage. The passage refers to a time when the Christian gospel has been enacted in its fullness, at least as far as the period of the New Testament and just beyond, that is, through 70 A.D. Although it may seem harsh to say this, much of the Bible, through the prophecies of the Old Testament into the epistles of the New, predict a “changing of the guard” (my metaphor) from the pre-runner Judaic Covenant to the New Covenant enacted by Jesus and his Holy Spirit. Do read the book of Hebrews in this context. But also remember, as Paul develops so clearly in Romans 11 (it’s clear after a person has read it at least 20 times over the course of as many years in the context of the entire Bible), God’s heart is always open to his people for the sake of the fathers of Israel’s antiquity.

He who opens the chapter, “I ask, then, has God rejected his people?” (Romans 11:1 ESV), answers in the spirit of the message of Isaiah 4:2-3, Romans 11:5 “So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace… 7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, (Romans 11:5-7 ESV) The omitted verse, verse 6 specifies that grace of God, “6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” There is a song I used to sing when worshiping with my church, “It’s your kindness (grace) that leads us to repentance, O Lord,” (Written by Leslie Phillips).

Please notice how God’s grace does not negate the need for repentance. The two together walk hand in hand. Read Paul in Romans 11:23, “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again,” (ESV). My heart sings in response to that statement, Hallelujia!! The history of Old Testament Israel is tragic. I fervently pray, hope for, and believe with Paul in Romans 11 that God will at some point in the future, by grace, remove the “spirit of stupor” (verse 8) which Paul says God himself gave them, for his own purposes. He did this partly as punishment for their hardness of heart (John 12:39-41 and Isaiah 2:6-4:1), and as Paul explains in Romans 11, so that the Gentiles could be grafted in.

In the prior Journal entry, number 8, I built a strong case that God’s judgment upon the bulk of Israel meant their removal, their stripping down, and their taking away. And indeed, that has happened repeatedly throughout Israel’s history, as demonstrated in that journal entry. To this day, the bulk of Israel has never repented. But Paul in Romans 11 states that God’s grace is sufficient to bring even that hardened nation to repentance, just as every person in the remnant has been brought to the repentance of life only by God’s grace. Please join me in this prayer, that God’s grace for Israel will prevail, to the end that even the bulk will come to see clearly and to worship Christ as Savior and Lord.

Isaiah 4:3 And it shall be, that the remnant left in Sion, and the remnant left in Jerusalem, even all that are <1> appointed to life in Jerusalem, shall be called holy. {1) Gr. written for life} (LXE)

Looking forward: There’s so much more to say about even this verse and the rest of the passage, Isaiah 4:2-6, but this is enough for today. Lord willing, with his help and by his grace, we will continue walking through Isaiah together. I should note here, however, that we’ve considered verse 2 from the Septuagint tradition. The Hebrew Masoretic tradition (ESV, KJV, NET,… ) reads this verse quite differently. In terms of discussing whether this passage is Messianic, the translations based upon the Masoretic tradition have much to say.

__________

1 There is another phrase which occurs frequently in John, “the last day.” Except for one verse concerning the last day of the Festival of Booths, the references all refer to the day of final judgment and the resurrection from the dead. “In that day” seems to have a much broader meaning than “the last day,” which is found only in the gospel of John.

 

 

 


2 Comments

  1. Norma Barton says:

    Thank you, Christina. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Love, Norma God bless

    On Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 12:13 AM One Small Voice wrote:

    > Christina Wilson posted: “Is This a Christian Passage? Isaiah 4:2 And in > that day God shall shine gloriously in counsel on the earth, to exalt and > glorify the remnant of Israel. 3 And it shall be, that the remnant left in > Sion, and the remnant left in Jerusalem, even all that ar” >

    Like

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