About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Isaiah 4

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The Branch (ch. 4:2 - 6)      

 

In verse 2 the prophet speaks of the branch of the Lord.  The "branch" is in reference to the Messiah.  If you do a word study and look up the word "branch", You will note this to be true.

 

The text reads, "in that day".  In that day the branch will be glorious and the survivors will benefit from the glory of the Messiah Branch.  The branch will reach down from heaven and restore that which was lost in judgment.  Most Biblical Futurists believe this is in reference to the end of this present age when Jesus will return and restore the fortunes of Israel. 

 

We must ask, when Judah returned from 70 years of Babylonian captivity, was she restored to the degree verse 2 suggests here?  The answer is clearly no. This is yet to be fulfilled.

 

In verses 3 and 4 we see what restoration looks like.  The remnant of Israel will finally be holy and righteous.  Their women who were once living in shame will be cleansed of their shame. 

 

"All those who are recorded among the living" is in reference to those who have survived the last great battle of this age.  A spirit of grace and supplication will be poured out on them, causing them to return to their God in genuine repentance.

 

Note in verse 4 that the blood stained city of Jerusalem will be cleaned "by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire".   The Hebrew word translated as " Jerusalem " is associated with "peace", but the city of Jerusalem has seldom been peaceful.  It's been one of the war torn city in human history, and still is to this day.  The battle over Jerusalem is far from over.      

 

It is God's judgment that brings the remnant of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem to their knees, and once on their knees than  God pours out on them a "spirit of grace and supplication a spirit of repentance", as seen in Zechariah 12:10.  It is this "spirit of grace and supplication" that the Lord pours out on the remnant of Israel that causes them to return to their God that in turn brings redemption and restoration to a once sinful people.

 

Note the word "fire".  God's judgment is often seen as fire in the Bible.  The whole point to fire, and God's judgment, is meant to bring people to their knees in order to be cleansed of their sin. Fire is all about the refining fire of God, both in the lives of individuals and nations.

 

Verses 5 and 6 remind us of the cloud and the fire that aided Israel in their wanderings in the desert after the Lord freed them from Egyptian bondage.  The text here says that the same cloud and smoke will return to Jerusalem.  Some might think this is symbolic language, but I think it's not.  If this were symbolic, then I believe we'd have to say the cloud and smoke in the desert was symbolic. We see this cloud and smoke from time to time in the Old Testament.  It represents both the glory of protection of the Lord on His people.  So, at least we know, whether literal or symbolic, Jerusalem will finally be protected from it's enemies and the glory of God will be seen by all.  God's glory will be seen because the Lord Jesus Christ will be ruling the earth from the city of Jerusalem.  

 

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