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Isaiah 11:6-16

Our Blessed Hope

With a flash of his pen, the prophet Isaiah leaps forward in time, across the centuries to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Hebrew prophets bring together the two comings of Jesus as though they were one in time. The two mountain peaks of His coming line up so as to prevent us from seeing the valley between them. With one coming we see the suffering of the Messiah and with the Second Coming we see the "glories to follow" at a time yet in the future. We are now carried in time to when Jesus shall return and reign as King of Kings.

Jesus Christ alone is the hope of mankind. He is the greatest person who has ever lived. Men either curse His name, or it is in His name millions pray each day.

Isaiah takes us to the time when the dream of every world statesman will be fulfilled.

EDEN RETURNS WITH THE MESSIAH (11:6-9)

"We pass from the picture of the character and rule of the King over men to that fair vision of Paradise regained, which celebrates the universal restoration of peace between man and the animals. The picture is not to be taken as a mere allegory, as if 'lions' and 'wolves' and 'snakes' mean bad men; but it falls into line with other hints in Scripture, which trace the hostility between man and the lower creatures to sin. . ." It is "the scene of the future glories of redeemed humanity. . ." writes Alexander Maclaren.

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.

"Everything" says Hengstenberg, "is fulfilled only as to its beginning; and the complete fulfillment still stands out for that future in which, after the fullness of the Gentiles has been brought in, and apostate Israel has been converted, the consequences of the fall shall, in the outward nature also, be removed."

This passage is probably both symbolic and literal. In application, the metaphor speaks of spiritual peace in human hearts today. Christ is the Prince of Peace and He alone brings peace to our sinful hearts. He alone can tear down the hostility between Jews and Gentiles. Because He has removed the enmity, we can have an intimate love relationship with the LORD God.

However, in this passage there is the fullest manifestation of peace. There is no sin. Therefore, because righteousness reigns there is peace. In the superlative sense the Prince of Peace reigns. With sin removed, hostility is also removed, and there is universal peace.

There will be a transformation of nature.

Moreover, there is coming a day when the curse of the Fall will be completely removed from the earth (cf. Romans 8:18-22). The beauty and harmony of the Garden of Eden will be restored. The world will be filled with peace between the wild beast and domesticated animals, nature and man, as well as God and man. The future peace in the millennium is all embracing.

All ferocity in the wild animals is gone. All of nature is in perfect harmony with the will of God. The Messiah will "return the whole earthly creation to its original condition" (Hengstenberg). Imagine a world in which all enmity will disappear from men, beasts. It will be a time of perfect harmony.

What is the basis of this change? (v. 9)

"For the earth is full of the knowledge of the LORD . . ."

How will all this take place? "For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea." This "knowledge" is an intimate love relationship with Yahweh. It is a first hand, experiential knowledge in the heart of man. The Old Testament uses the word to express sexual relations between a man and his wife. All permanent lasting change begins in the heart of man with a change in his thinking about the Lord. God brings about that radical change. It is like raising the dead.

When will this change take place?

Jesus had some interesting words for His disciples regarding the restoration of the kingdom in Acts 1:6–8. We would do well to listen to the Master teacher.

Nothing like what is described by Isaiah has ever taken place in the world. The Messianic King and His kingdom is contrasted with all earthly kingdoms and nations. It is the very opposite of all human kingdoms in our day. What he is describing is reserved until the days of the Second Coming of Christ.

It will be a time of permanent and continuous peace. All hostile antagonism will be completely wiped out.

If this passage sounds strange and difficult for you to accept then remember Jesus rode the unbroken colt, had the rooster crow at the precise moment when Peter denied Him, and had Peter cast a net and catch a certain fish with a coin in its mouth at a precise place at the exact moment it was needed to pay the Master's tax! This passage is perfectly reasonable if we leave it in God's hands to fulfill His own way at His own timing!

Furthermore, the acceptance of Gentiles into the Messianic Kingdom will not be at the expense of the remnant of Israel (Romans 9-11).

THE ENSIGN AMONG THE NATIONS (11:10–16)

Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.

The Messianic king will bring about the restoration of Israel in vv. 10–16. The Messiah will have a worldwide influence.

The prophet makes it clear who this individual is. He is "root of Jesse" (v. 10b). This is parallel with "the stem of Jesse" in verse one. The "root of Jesse" is a shoot or "branch" from the "stump of Jesse." The King Messiah comes from this shoot. Like the "branch" this "root" (sores) became a Messianic term among the Jewish interpreters (cf. Isaiah 53:2; Revelation 5:5; 22:16). The coming of the Messiah will restore the house of David, and therefore the root of Jesse. God passed over Jerusalem, the Temple, priests and political leaders and went to the lonely despised Nazareth, and Jesus was born in Bethlehem because that was the residence of the father of the family of David. God was sovereign in the life of Mary and Joseph, and the census of the Roman government! His timing was perfect.

Jesus will draw all men to Himself.

The Perfect Ruler, Prince of Peace will draw all men unto Himself. The ensign was the standard, the banner or flag that drew the troops together. Messiah stands as the central rallying point of the remnant and the Gentiles (cf. Philippians 2:9-11; Jeremiah 31:33-34; John 3:14; Matthew 24:31). The remnant gathers around Him. Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Myself" (John 12:32).

Then it will happen on that day that the Lord
Will again recover the second time with His hand
The remnant of His people, who will remain,
From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath,
And from the islands of the sea.
And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.

There will be a great new exodus. Is the current return of the Jewish people to Israel the one foretold here? It is perhaps a preparation for that day; however it is probably not the fulfillment of these verses. Isaiah is speaking of believers being gathered back by the hand of God. It is a believing "remnant" he has in mind. Today there is only a handful of believing Jews in Israel. Most of them are non religious Jews. Isaiah pictures Jerusalem restored and the Lord Jesus reigning in person in Jerusalem. He is the banner that draws all nations to Jerusalem to seek Him.

The remnant is envisioned coming from every part of the earth to Jerusalem. Isaiah focuses on the nation of Israel and one great final ingathering of the Jewish people. Romans chapter eleven comes to mind when we read this passage in Isaiah. What a glorious day that will be when God’s chosen people turn to Him in Christ.

Isaiah "is thinking of a deliverance so great that it can only be performed by God." It will be as in former times when He brought His people out of Egypt.

ENTHUSIASTIC PRAISE FOR MESSIANIC SALVATION (12:1-6)

Isaiah reaches a grand climax declaring the LORD God is my salvation, my strength and my song.

Then you will say on that day,
"I will give thanks to You, O Lord;
For although You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away,
And You comfort me.
"Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation."
Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
And in that day you will say,
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted."
Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

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Title:  Isaiah 11:6-16 Our Blessed Hope
Series:  Christ in the Old Testament

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2008. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.

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