The End Times According to Isaiah, Part 3
The next view Isaiah gave us of the End times is found
in chapters 11-12 and concerns the Messiah.
Isaiah 11, The Branch From Jesse
A shoot will come up from the stump
of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and of
understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and
of the fear of the LORD - and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah
We wouldn’t know this except by looking back, but Isaiah
was foretelling that the royal line of David, from whom all of Israel’s Kings
came, would be cut down like a tree, lie dormant, and then be restored. The
process would begin about 150 years after Isaiah wrote this when the Lord
pronounced a blood curse on the Davidic line, saying no more would these sons of
David ever rule over Israel. (Jeremiah
22:28-30). The line would languish, like
the stump of a chopped down tree. All during the Babylonian captivity and for
500 years afterward, there was no King over Israel. And then one day a shoot
would spring forth, a Branch that would bear fruit. Since Jesse was David’s
father and David was not the Branch, this is a reference to the Messiah, the
ultimate Son of David.
There is so much here, and we have to take the time to
apprehend it. First is the use of the word Branch. Notice that it’s capitalized,
signifying that it refers to a person. There are four references to the Messiah
as the Branch, and each of them carries a special modifier.
Jeremiah 23:5 tells of
a Righteous Branch, a King. Zechariah mentions “my servant, the Branch” (Zech.
3:8) and “the man whose name is the Branch”
Finally, in a previous installment, we saw the Branch of the Lord in
I believe it was Clarence Larkin who first discovered
that these modifiers were depicted on the four ensigns that identified the camps
of Israel, four groups of three tribes each. They were located around the
tabernacle in the wilderness on the four points of the compass. In those ensigns
the figure of a lion represented the Righteous King, an ox represented the
servant, the ox being a beast of servitude, the face of a man is self
explanatory, and the eagle represented God.
But there’s more. The representations of these four
modifiers are also revealed as the four faces of the Cherubim in Rev. 4. And
they represent the dominant themes in the four gospels as well. Matthew wrote to
the Jews proclaiming Jesus as Israel’s Messiah, the Lion of Judah. Mark showed
Him to be the obedient servant of God, Luke portrayed Him as the Son of Man, and
in John He’s the Son of God.
It’s pretty clear that the Branch is a Messianic title.
The branch from the stump of Jesse is the Messiah, born of the Tribe of Judah
into the Davidic line.
But there’s something even more amazing going on here.
Remember, God promised David that someone from His family would reign in Israel
forever. David wanted to build God’s house, but God declined, saying He needed a
man of peace and David was a man of war. So God chose David’s son Solomon to
build the Temple and during Solomon’s reign Israel experienced peace as never
before (or since). As for David, God promised to build him a “house”, making his
dynasty everlasting (1 Chron. 17:1-14).
From that time forward a descendant of David’s through Solomon’s branch of the
family tree would sit on the throne in Jerusalem as King of Israel.
But by the time of the Babylonian captivity, these kings
had become so evil and rebellious toward God that He finally said, “Enough”, and
cursed the royal line, saying no son of theirs would ever reign over Israel
again (Jer. 22:28-30).
The last legitimate King of Israel was Jehoiachin, also called Jeconiah, who
reigned for only 3 months in 598 BC. Was God breaking His promise to David?
In announcing the coming Messiah, the angel Gabriel
promised Mary that her son would sit on David’s throne , the first one to do so
since the curse had been pronounced, and when He did it would be forever. (Luke
1:32-33) But what about the cursed line of
David? How could God promise such a thing to Mary?
If you compare the 2 genealogies of Jesus in
and Luke 3:23-38,
and you’ll discover that Mary and Joseph were both of the tribe of Judah and
descendants of David. Joseph descended through Solomon, the royal but cursed
line, while Mary’s genealogy goes through Solomon’s brother Nathan. In actuality
Joseph and Mary were cousins, though many times removed.
Mary had no brothers, and so in order to keep her
family’s land in the tribal inheritance according to the Law, she had to marry
someone also descended from David. (Numbers
36:1-13) Joseph fit the bill and being in
the royal line had a claim to the throne, but carried the blood curse. No
biological son of his could ever legally qualify as Israel’s king, but Joseph
could secure Mary’s right to inherit her father’s land.
When Mary accepted Joseph’s offer of marriage she also
made good her unborn son’s claim to the throne of Israel. Their marriage put
Jesus in the royal succession as the legal son of Joseph, as Luke showed in his
genealogy (Luke 3:23),
but allowed Him to escape the curse since He wasn’t Joseph’s biological son. But
remember, He was a biological descendant of David’s through his mother and
therefore of the “house and lineage of David.” This made Him the only man on
Earth since 600BC with a legal right to the throne of David. It took a virgin
birth to do it, but God kept His promise to both David and Mary. David’s throne
will be occupied forever, by Mary’s son.
And finally, in verse 2 we see the seven fold Spirit of
God, an Old Testament construction of the Holy Spirit, who came to dwell in
Jesus at the time of His baptism (Matt. 3:16)
and empowered all of His miracles. This was necessary because the Lord’s mission
required Him to live His life only in the strength of a man. In order to redeem
Adam’s lost progeny, He had to be Adam’s kinsman. This is why Luke, who
portrayed Jesus as the son of man, traced His genealogy all the way back to
He will not judge by what he sees
with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness
he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the
earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of
his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and
faithfulness the sash around his waist. (Isaiah
The striking contrast between the Lamb of God and the
Lion of Judah is evident. Psalm 2:8-9
confirms that He will rule the nations with an
iron scepter. Rev. 19:15
agrees and adds that He’ll strike down the nations with the word of His mouth.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the
leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling
together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The
infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand
into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy
mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters
cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
Once the Messianic era begins, peace will be it’s most
distinguishing characteristic. In part 1 we saw that in the Messianic Kingdom
nation would no longer take up arms against nation. Now we see that the
Millennial peace will extend to the animal kingdom as well. In a later
installment we’ll see that the creation itself will burst forth in joyful song.
In that day the Root of Jesse will
stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place
of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second
time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower
Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and
from the islands of the sea.
He will raise a banner for the
nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people
of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
and Judah’s enemies will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor
Judah hostile toward Ephraim. (Isaiah
The first re-gathering of the nation took place after
the Babylonian captivity. The second one officially began in 1948, continues to
this day, and will be complete after the Battle of
Then they will know that I am the LORD
their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather
them to their own land, not leaving any behind.
After 2000 years, God’s people will have come home from the Diaspora and will be
a single Kingdom again for the first time since 900 BC.
They will swoop down on the slopes of
Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They
will lay hands on Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them. The
LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will
sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams
so that men can cross over in sandals. There will be a highway for the remnant
of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came
up from Egypt. (Isaiah
Chapter 11 closes with yet another promise that as the end of the age draws
near the people we erroneously call Palestinians today will cease to be a
problem for God’s people by reason of conquest. Israel will take hold of them
and place them under subjugation. These verses likely refer to the battle of Psalm 83, which is very possibly the next event on the
The Egyptian Sea is the Red Sea and it’s gulf could be either the gulf of
Acaba or the Gulf of Eilat, the two “rabbit ears” at its northern end. The
mighty Euphrates, traditional boundary between East and West will become seven
streams. The highway for the remnant from Assyria completes the idea that no
longer will any natural boundary prevent God’s people from coming to His Holy
Isaiah 12, Songs of Praise
IIn that day you will say: “I will
praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be
afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my
With joy you
will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: “Give
thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has
done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done
glorious things; let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of
Israel among you.” Isaiah
In the past, when Israel was in the land and at peace with God, the whole
world stood in awe of the incredible blessing that accompanies a covenant
relationship with our Creator. It’s been a very long time since that has
happened, but at long last God’s people will be one with Him again, and again
the whole world will be blessed. More next time. 01-17-09