Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 62
GOD IS NOT BEING UNFAIR
ISAIAH 62:1 – 64:6
For those of you out in television, we again want to welcome you to an informal Bible study. I emphasize the informality of it because that was one of the first stipulations I laid down when the folks asked me to make a television program. I’m not going to come up here in a three-piece suit and tie. They said, “That’s fine.” So, I’m going to maintain, just like I teach my weekly Bible classes, my short sleeves and a pair of slacks, and that’s going to be sufficient. We appreciate the fact that this is what most of you are noticing.
We’re laid back. We don’t try to put on a lot of ‘whatever.’ We just want to teach the Word. I don’t want to draw any attention to myself. I want folks to simply see what the Book says. I think we’re making some headway. We’re getting a lot of response from even clerical people who are beginning to realize – as one fellow put it, he said, “Les, will the Lord ever forgive me for teaching the wrong thing for forty years?” And I said, “Well, just pray that He’ll give you a few years to teach it right.” That’s all we can hope for.
So again, for all of you out there, we thank you for your prayers, your financial help, and your letters. My, how we appreciate your letters. That’s all the compensation we need, really. Okay, we’re going to go right in and pick up where we left off. We finished Isaiah 61 in our last taping, and we’re going into chapter 62 today. We’re going to start with verse 1. I want to read a few verses, and then we’ll come back and pick them apart, as we usually do.
“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. 2. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.” Now, here’s one place I’d better stop and remind you, because it’s been a long time since I’ve done this. When you see the word LORD, capitalized, as it is here, all four letters L-O-R-D in capitalization, that is in reality – Jehovah. So they, more or less, used the term LORD because the Jews have such awe for the name of Yahweh, or Jehovah. Always remember that Jehovah and Christ are one and the same in personality. So, it’s God the Son. Always remember that.
There’s only one exception to that and that would be back in Psalms 2. But, otherwise, whenever you see this term LORD, it’s Jehovah and Jehovah is God the Son. I always go back to John’s Gospel to prove that, because you see, the term Jehovah was actually, literally translated the “I AM.” When you get into John’s Gospel chapter 8:48-59, when Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees, and they said who are you? You’re a demon. He says, No. I come from my Father. Then they said, Abraham? Who do you claim to be? Then what did He say? “Before Abraham was, I AM.” So, He puts the same stipulation on Himself as the term Jehovah implies – the Great I AM. So, always remember that when we come to this term LORD capitalized, it’s Jehovah, it’s God the Son in His Old Testament character.
“Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” Now remember, this is all directed to the Nation of Israel. We aren’t dealing with Gentiles per se except as Israel will be the vehicle. All right, then verse 4.
“Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land (see the pronoun – Israel’s land) any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: (Here’s the translation of those two terms. Hephzibah means one in whom I delight and Beulah meant married.) for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.” So here we have those two. All right, now if we can go back to verse 1:
Isaiah 62 1
“For Zion’s sake…” Now, again, you know I always sort of put the onus on hymn writers, how they have totally disturbed our thinking on a lot of things. You sing the old hymn “Marching to Zion,” and you get the idea that Zion is what? Heaven. Well, Zion is not Heaven. Zion is Jerusalem. David’s throne was on Mt. Zion. Hopefully, we’ll be there in a few weeks, and we’re going to be on Mt. Zion visiting David’s tomb and so forth. It was in Jerusalem – not Heaven. So, always remember that Jerusalem and Zion are synonymous.
“For Zion’s (Jerusalem) sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake (There it’s already identified, I didn’t have to.) I will not rest, until…” That’s a time word. There’s coming a time – now you’ve got to remember Isaiah is writing 700 years before Christ, yet he’s leaping the centuries to the Second Coming when Christ will return and set up His Kingdom, and His capital will be on Mt. Zion.
“…I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness,…” Speaking of his Second Coming. Of course, it wasn’t delineated that clearly in the Old Testament, so the prophets and the seers and so forth could never figure this out. They knew there were two identities. There was a suffering Messiah and there was a glorious ruling Messiah, but how to bring them together, they had no idea.
But nevertheless, as we look back at it now, we can see how the Holy Spirit was guiding the prophets to write concerning those things that we now can understand more fully. That is the Second Coming when He sets up His Kingdom and righteousness will rule supreme from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Then reading on:
“…and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” Now that tells us then, that the Jews of the Old Testament economy understood the concept of salvation. A lot of Jews have always had the idea that just to be of the blood and the tribe and the genealogy of Abraham they didn’t have to worry, their eternal destiny was secure.
That’s never been the case. Even in Israel’s history there was always a small percentage of Jewish people who were truly believers. You remember the one I always refer to is Elijah. Elijah thought he was the only one, but what did God say? “I have seven thousand that have not bowed their knee to Baal.” But again, I have to remind you, if the average population of Israel was seven to ten million, seven thousand is only one tenth of one percent. That’s all. The other 99.9% were in abject unbelief. Even in Israel. But, the idea of salvation has always been uppermost in the eyes of God.
All right, now verse 2. Here we have a reference to the Gentiles. God isn’t speaking to them, He’s speaking to Israel concerning the future of the Gentiles.
“And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness,…” Now, I’m going to stop a minute. I didn’t intend to do this, Again, we’re going to go all the way up to Ephesians, because a lot of folks will be kind of quizzical on this. Well, Les, you mean to tell me that Gentiles weren’t saved all during that Old Testament time? No, for the most part they weren’t. There were exceptions, yes. But, by and large, the Gentile world was in spiritual darkness.
In order to prove my point, I’m going to go to Ephesians chapter 2, verses 11 and 12. Now, the Apostle Paul is writing here in the Prison Epistles. That puts it in the 60’s doesn’t it – 64-65 AD? Look how he puts it by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So, when you hear me constantly refer to the fact that this was only for the Jews and that it wasn’t for the Gentiles except as it related to Israel, here it is. Plain English.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh,…” Physically, genetically. So, whom is Paul writing to? You and I. He’s not writing to Israel now like the prophets did. Paul is writing to Gentiles.
“…who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;” In other words, the Jew would refer to the Gentile as the uncircumcised. Now, look at verse 12, here it is.
“That at that time…” While God was dealing with Israel. From Genesis 12 until you almost get to Acts chapter 9, it’s all dealing with Israel, with a few exceptions. Don’t forget that. But here was the lot of the average Gentile.
“That at that time ye (Gentiles) were without Christ, (or Messiah) being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, (You are not citizens of the nation of Israel.) and strangers from the covenants of promise, (In other words, Gentiles had no part of the covenants that God made with Israel. They were strangers to them. Consequently, they had what?) having no hope, and without God in the world:” Now, a lot of people have trouble with that, and they say, “Well, then God wasn’t fair.” Yes, He was!
God gave the whole human race how long? Two thousand years. All the way from Adam to Abraham. None excluded. Every human being on earth had the same opportunity for salvation as the next one, and what’d they do with it? They walked it underfoot, over and over. They, in so many words said, “We want nothing to do with it.” So, they had their opportunity. Then what did God do? He brought about the little nation of Israel, and for the next 2000 years He offered everything to the little nation of Israel, all the way up to the crucifixion. What does that tell you? Israel did just like the human race did for 2000 years, also.
So now we’ve evened the score. Two thousand years it went out to the whole human race. Two thousand years it went primarily to the nation of Israel. Now we’ve come another two thousand years where once again it’s gone out to the whole human race. By and large, what has humanity done with it, again? Walked it underfoot. It’s hard to understand, isn’t it?Now, here again, people ask the question, when they hear people like myself talk about the judgement of God that is going to fall, they ridicule and say, “Well, how can a loving, Holy God bring this kind of chastisement that you talk about on the human race? How can He?”
How can He not? For the past 2000 years He’s poured out His Grace on the human race. Now, we’ve just come through a tremendous tragedy, and our hearts go out to those people. That wasn’t God. God isn’t bringing in wrath and judgment today. He’s permitting it, of course, but we’re under the Age of Grace. But the day is coming when something like what has just happened in Asia will be multiplied thousands of times over, and it won’t just be a 150,000 losing their lives, it’s going to be billions.
We’ll be looking at that later this afternoon, hopefully. But that isn’t because God was unfair. God has now gone 2000 years offering salvation full and free to anyone and everyone, regardless of who they are or whatever their station in life. Then they turn around and say God’s unfair? No. It’s mankind who is unfair. They won’t accept His Grace. They won’t give Him credit for all their blessings. One day His patience is going to run out. We’re getting close.
I think this whole Tsunami thing is just a little warning. Just a little window of what’s coming, and it’s nothing compared to the wrath and vexation. Yes, then it will be God’s wrath. Today it’s not. He’s permitting it, but I think it’s the satanic powers that institute it. Because, never forget, that nothing thrills Satan more than to see the objects of God’s love suffer. That’s why he does it. He just knows that he tears at the heart of God by causing His created creatures to suffer. God, in His own wisdom, permits it, of course. But, don’t ever blame God for catastrophes until we get into the final years – yes, then it’s going to be the outpouring of His wrath and vexation in those 7 years of Tribulation.
All right, so remember, that when I say that Israel alone is being addressed and that the Gentiles had no part of it, here it is. The Gentiles were strangers to the nation of Israel. They were aliens. They had no part in the covenant promises. Consequently, they were “without hope and without God in the world.”
All right, now come back with me to Isaiah chapter 62, and we’ll move on. Verse 2 again:
“And the Gentiles…” Through Israel. Now remember, this is back in the Old Testament before there’s any hint that God is going to set Israel aside and turn to the Gentiles in Grace. There’s no hint of that back here. Not the slightest. Everything in your Old Testament is looking forward to the time when Israel would have her King and the Kingdom and they could be the priests of Jehovah and be the instruments that would bring salvation to the Gentile world. The Old Testament knows nothing of it. I think I’m just going to stop and take time. Come back with me to Exodus chapter 19, and this is the whole foundational concept of God dealing with Israel regarding the Gentiles.
Now, it hasn’t happened yet. They dropped the ball. I think it’s going to be 99% fulfilled by the 144,000 during the Tribulation, because they are going to fulfill the Great Commission. They’re going to go into every tongue and tribe and dialect in less than seven years of time. Israel has never done it before. The Church has never done it. But Israel will through the 144,000. But that wasn’t in the Old Testament. Wasn’t even hinted at. But, this is what God was looking for.
All right, Exodus 19 and we usually like to start at verse 5, where God is speaking to Israel through Moses.
“Now therefore, if ye will obey by voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then (If they’re an obedient nation of people.) ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: (Where does that put the Jew? Above every other nationality on earth. By God’s decree. By His Sovereign design, and why?) because all the earth is mine.” What does that tell you about His Sovereignty? It’s His earth. It’s His universe. He can do with it whatever He wants. So, in that Sovereign design, He’s going to lift Israel up as the favored nation, but for what purpose? Next verse:
“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,…” Not just the tribe of Levi. Every Jew from whatever tribe was to be a priest of Jehovah. A go-between. You see that? Now, let me show you the other verse that shows you how beautifully that can be put together. Still keep Isaiah, we’re coming back to it in a little bit, but jump all the way up to Zechariah. As Zechariah says it so specifically, that this is what Israel was offered.
Now they rejected it, remember. They never cashed in on it. Oh, let’s see, I want Zechariah chapter 8, verse 20. Now, keep all this in mind. Every Jew was to be what? A go-between, a priest. No matter what his tribe. When would it be? When they have the King and the Kingdom.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; (This is what Jehovah, God the Son, is telling Israel.) It shall yet come to pass, (You remember, I think I mentioned in the last taping, God doesn’t lie! It’s going to happen. It hasn’t yet. It’s still going to.) that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, (in Jerusalem) and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.” This Gentile says. Now, verse 22.
“Yea, many people and strong nations (Is that all Jew? No, this includes all the Gentile world now.) shall come to seek the LORD of hosts (where?) in Jerusalem, (That’s what your Bible says.) and to pray before the LORD.” That is before Jehovah or before God the Son or Jesus the Christ as we know Him. Now, look at verse 23, my, this is plain English again.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a (Priest of Levi? No. That’s not what your Bible says, but rather…) Jew, (Why? Because he’s a priest. He’s their go-between.) saying, We will go with you: (gladly follow you. Why?) for we have heard that God is with you.” Now, that’s just a couple out of many prophecies concerning Israel’s role in this coming glorious Kingdom, when their Messiah would rule and reign over all the nations.
All right, I think we can come back to chapter 62 of Isaiah. Remembering that the Gentiles of that day have nothing to do with the God of Israel. The Jews have nothing to do with those pagan Gentiles. It’s all promised for some future time. All right, but the day would come, verse 2 again:
“And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, (Remember how that fit with what we just read. They will say to that Jew, we will go with you, for we know that God is with you. All right, here it is) and all kings thy glory:…” Do people see glory in a Jew today? Hardly. Oh, they may recognize their wealth and their intelligence and all the other things that they’ve got going for them, but their righteous glory? Hardly. But the day is coming.
“…and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. 3. Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” Now, do you see what God is saying? That’s Israel’s future. They’re going to be the pride and joy of the God of Abraham. How does another one put it? “The apple of His eye.” Everything of God’s blessings and glory will be focused on that little nation of Israel. Then people try to discredit all this and try to tell us that God is all through with the Jew – that they disappeared after 70 AD? Heavens no! Their glory is still yet out in front. It’s still coming, and it’s going to be beyond description.
Well, I could take you back to so many places that show that over and over. Now I’m going to take you a minute to Jeremiah 31. We may have looked at it in our last taping, but if we did, it certainly won’t hurt to look at it again. We’ve been looking a lot at Israel’s material blessings. After all, that is the way God has always blessed Israel, through earthly promises, because they are God’s earthly people. But, don’t ever forget that God is going to bless them just as much spiritually. They’re going to be the spiritual pride and joy of Jehovah God.
All right, Jeremiah 31:31. It’s what we call the new covenant. It has nothing to do with us Gentiles whatsoever. A lot of people try to put us under this covenant. If they can find me someone that is already practicing the results of this covenant, I’d like to meet them. It sure isn’t this person. I don’t think any of you can claim it. But on day Israel will.
“Behold, the days come, (That’s a promise, again.) saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant (a new covenant! Something that’s never been done before.) with the house of Israel, (Not with the Church. Not with the Gentiles. Who? Israel!) and with the house of Judah:” See how plain this is? “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel.” Not just the Levites, the whole nation of Israel.
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;…” Not the covenant of Law, with all of its burdens and restrictions. No, it’s not going to be that covenant. Now verse 33:
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; (This is what’s going to happen, spiritually, to the Jew who comes into the Kingdom economy.) After those days, saith the LORD, (Now, watch what God’s going to do.) I will put my law in their inward parts, (In other words, it’s just going to consume them.) and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Now, can the Jew today claim to be God’s people? No. They are Benoni (son of my sorrow). They are not God’s people because of their unbelief. But the day is coming when every Jew will just exude the very presence of God. That’s why the Gentiles will immediately recognize it and they’ll say we’re going to go with you because we know God is with you. It hasn’t happened yet. But it’s going to. Then, when you read to the end of the chapter, there is the guarantee. I’m pretty sure we did this last taping. We read this to show people that God is not through with the nation of Israel.