Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sermon Series: Isaiah: Judgment & Hope

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 11:11-16

Sermon Title: Christ’s Final Achievement

Sermon Text: Isaiah 11:11-16

Memory Verse: After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)

MAIN IDEA: Rejoice knowing that the Messiah’s ministry of grace is complete and thorough.

NOTE: “Scripture quotations are from the NASB." This manuscript is provided as a courtesy and is not intended for publication. The recorded audio/video message differs from the manuscript. Thanks for understanding.

 

 

The End

Some stories in life end with triumph and some end in tragedy. Not all stories end the way we wish. But, when God writes the end to a story, it always ends well. We’ve reached the end of the story of the introduction to the book of Isaiah. As we might expect from God, it is a glorious conclusion.

The first twelve chapters of Isaiah are an introduction to the book. We are at the end of the introduction. Chapter twelve completes the introduction with a song of thanksgiving.

The introduction of Isaiah is the gospel according to Isaiah. It begins with God describing His anger toward the sin of idolatry, wickedness, and arrogance. He encourages people to repent and be saved. God tells of how He will inflict punishment upon them. Many will suffer horribly, and many will die. They will lose houses and crops. God tells His people that the punishment will come at the hand of the Assyrians. For most, the punishment is unto condemnation. But, God will save some. They are the remnant.

After God is finished sanctifying them, God will restore them. They will repent and worship God. This passage speaks of God’s final work of restoration. It is the end of the story. These words intend to give hope during their time of suffering so they will hold on to the glory of the future.

The hope God gives the Israelites is the description of Christ’s final achievement. The punishment, dispersion, and suffering is not the end of the story. The end of the story is a glorious picture of how grace saves the lost.

Near and Far Prophecy

This passage is a dual prophecy. A dual prophecy has two components. It has a near and far prophecy. Near-prophecies become fulfilled in the relative timeframe of Isaiah. A far-prophecy takes place in the distant future, hundreds, or even thousands of years later. Some far prophecies have not yet taken place.

Typically, near prophecies are a shadow of the future, far prophecy. In other words, the far prophecy is the more significant component.  Isaiah has many passages which are dual prophecies. For example, Isaiah 7:14:

  • Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

We know that in Isaiah’s time a child is born to Isaiah as a sign to King Ahaz. But, we also know that this dual prophecy speaks of Jesus; predicting the birth of Jesus to a virgin. The near prophecy fulfillment is a shadow of the greater far prophecy. The lesser prophecy is the child born in Isaiah’s time. The greater of the two prophecies is the birth of Jesus.

In the time of Isaiah, the near component of the prophecy of Isaiah 11:12 comes true. After Ahaz, God raises up King Hezekiah who is a descendant of David. Hezekiah is a good king who does right in the sight of the Lord (2 Kings 18:3).

His popularity is a signal flag. Gentile kings come and inquire of Him. People of the northern ten tribes, scattered because the Assyrians destroy their land, see in Hezekiah an opportunity to find safety. They came from all over the Assyrian empire to settle in Judah. The Jews put aside their differences and the fighting between Judah and Ephraim stops.

We can speak more about this passage and how the prophecy comes true in Isaiah’s time. But, instead, we will focus on the second component of the dual prophecy which speaks of that which is of far greater significance and is yet to come true. Let’s look at this passage and see the glorious prophecy which tells of the greatness of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

MAIN IDEA: Rejoice knowing that the Messiah’s ministry of grace is complete and thorough.

The Signal of Grace

To understand Isaiah 11:11-16, we need to connect it to the previous verses.

To the Gentiles

Isaiah 11:10 says, “The nations will resort to the root of Jesse Who will stand as a signal for the peoples.” This verse is a very important statement. It tells us that the descendant of David, the King who sits on Mount Zion, is not just king of the nation of Israel, but He is king of all the nations.

It is because of verses like Isaiah 11:10 that Paul starts churches filled with Gentiles throughout the Roman empire. Paul doesn’t limit himself to telling the Jews that the Messiah has come. He preaches Christ in Gentile marketplace and public forums. Paul uses Isaiah 11:10 to justify his ministry to the Gentiles because it says they will find rest in the Messiah (Romans 15:12).

Jesus the Messiah is a signal for people of rest. He is a signal, like a flag sent up a flagpole, to let people know that grace, forgiveness, and mercy is given freely to all who put their faith in Him. God lifts Jesus as a white flag of peace, letting people know the war between man and God finds its end in the Prince of Peace.

The cross of Jesus is the signal flag God flies over His kingdom. The cross of Jesus is the banner representing salvation in Christ. Written on the banner are the words: “He died for you.” “Death brings life.” “Jesus is the victory.” “Peace on earth and goodwill to men.” “God loves you.”

The signal is universal. God draws people of every tribe and tongue to find forgiveness for their sin. All who put their faith in Christ find salvation. There is reconciliation between God and man. There is enough grace to Abundant grace God lifts-up Jesus to signal the grace of God brings salvation to all men (Titus 2:11)

During His time on earth, Jesus spoke of being a signal lifted-up. He told Nicodemus that, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). And, in the last days before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, “if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32).

God is ready to pour out His wrath on us sinners. But, Jesus, the Messiah, is lifted-up. He comes between God and us. He willingly takes our punishment, and God’s anger is satisfied. Those who look at God’s signal of the cross, and believe in all that it stands for, are no longer God’s enemies.

We lift high and proclaim to the nations the cross of Jesus Christ. Gentiles all across the globe are seeing the signal and coming to faith in Christ.

To the Jews?

But, what about Israel? Israel, to this day, rejects the Messiah. They do not see the signal. There are some Jews who believe in Yeshua, but as a nation, Israel does not believe in Jesus Christ.

The Nation of Israel believes the Old Covenant is still the means to find favor with God. They do not believe Jesus died for their sins. They do not believe Jesus is the Messiah spoken about in Isaiah. Some Jews reject Jesus more strongly than atheists reject God. Many families disown their family members who become a Christian.

It is very sad to think that, this Nation, Israel, born from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, does not believe in the Messiah of Israel. It is hard to believe that the Nation, adopted by God, given a name by God, multiplied by God, brought forth miraculously out of Egypt, provided for by God, protected by God, rejects Immanuel, God with us. The only Nation able to claim a Covenant relationship with God is not part of the Messianic Covenant. God sends Israel prophets who write down God’s oracles, commands, testimonies, precepts, and prophecy. Israel has God’s written word. The Word becomes flesh, and they refuse to embrace Him.

All the other nations have people who embrace the Messiah, but not Israel.

Questions circulate in the first century and questions circulate today. Does God’s word fail Israel? Will God only save the nations with the blood of Christ but leave Israel out of His great plan of salvation? Is God glorified when Israel rejects the Messiah? Will we sit eternally in heaven wondering why God did not save Israel? What good is a Messiah in Israel if there are no Israelites to worship Him? How can Jesus be the Hope of Israel when Israel does not hope in Him?

Imagine living in the first century and finding yourself believing in the Messiah of Israel, but next door, your Jewish neighbor, rejects Christ. Jews were, and still are, the minority of people coming to Christ. The Gentiles think they are special because they chose to follow Christ. The Apostle Paul sets them straight.

Where does Paul look to answer the questions about Isaiah and Jesus? He looks to Isaiah. He quotes Isaiah 59:20:

  • For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." (Romans 11:25-26)

God is saving Gentiles. And, God will save Jews. God begins the work of salvation in our heart, and God completes that work. The same goes for Israel. God begins the work of salvation with the nation of Israel, and God will complete that work. The gifts and the calling which God makes to Israel are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). God always does what He says He will do, and He always finishes what He starts.

When God gathers the nations from across the earth, in His perfect time, He will gather His chosen ones from Israel. He will do it with the same signal that He gives the Gentile nations.

Isaiah 11:12 tells us that God will lift-up Jesus as a signal to Israel. The same Hebrew word (nês) for signal in verse 10 is translated as standard in verse 12. Signal and standard in this context mean the same thing.

The Nations will see Jesus as a signal of grace and so will the banished of Israel (Ephraim) and the dispersed of Judah. God will gather them in from the four corners of the earth. Paul says God will save all Israel. It will be a grand revival on a national scale. It will be a day of great rejoicing.

The Authority of Grace

The salvation of Israel will bring about a great unification. When the nation of Israel comes to Christ, there is no division. Just as the barriers between nations are torn down, the barriers between the tribes of Israel are torn down. Historically, there always is jealousy and disagreement between the twelve tribes. The civil war after Solomon was inevitable.

In Isaiah’s day, there is great disagreement. King Hezekiah helps some because he allows the dispersed of the northern tribes to settle in Judah. But he doesn’t eliminate the tribal feuding. We know this because of John’s Gospel.

In Jesus’ day, there is animosity between the Jews. Samaria is the capital of Ephraim, the northern kingdom. There is still hatred hundreds of years later. Remember the woman at the well in Samaria? John’s Gospel tells us a woman of Samaria came to draw water at Jacob’s well. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." The Samaritan woman said, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" After her statement, John adds a parenthetical statement, “For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:7-9).

We don’t know if there is still jealousy and disagreement among the tribes today. But, when Jesus rules on the throne of the heart of the Israelites, disagreements will disappear. Grace saves and unites!

Israel and her neighbors will also unite. Verse 14 tells us that Israel will have one final war against her enemies and after, there will be peace. The enemies of Israel will have two options. They will either submit to Jesus, Israel’s King, or they will suffer the wrath of God.

  • For My sword is satiated in heaven, Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction. (Isaiah 34:5)

God will punish all those who come against His chosen nation.

  • The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; and they will call you the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:14)

On that day, Jesus will be Lord of all. He will be Lord of Israel, and He will be Lord of the nations. One of the great Messianic psalms, Psalm 22, says it like this:

  • All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD'S and He rules over the nations. (Psalm 22:27-28)

We have a taste of how Jesus brings unity to the nations whenever we meet Christians from different lands and cultures. It is a joy to be around Christians from around the world.

The Glory of Grace

The last two verses talk about how God miraculously delivers His people. He did it in the past, and He will do it again. Just as Moses stretches out his hand over the Red Sea and His people cross on dry land (Exodus 14:21), God will stretch out His hand to save His people. He will make a highway where there is no path.

We don’t know if these verses are speaking metaphorically or this will happen. It is difficult to find a historical “shadow” account of this in Isaiah’s day.

But, whether it will physically happen or if it is a metaphor is a moot point. God can make it happen if He wants. The point of the verses is that God will not allow any impediment get in-between His people and the signal He raises up. God will wave His hand to overcome armies and oceans.

If God wants a million Jews of NYC to go to Israel, He will make it so that they can walk on dry land across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. As the Apostle Paul says, nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).

What a glorious end to the story!

The end of chapter 11 is a great finish to the story. The cross is God’s signal that He flies for all the nations; including Israel.

We can have great confidence in the cross of Christ to save sinners. We fly the same signal. We lift-up the signal of grace knowing that the cross is the answer for all the world.

The cross brings peace. The cross brings unity. The cross saves sinners. If you are wondering if the cross can save you from sin, the answer is yes. If you are looking for purpose and meaning to life, you may find it by lifting high the cross of Jesus. Fly the signal over your home. Fly the signal on social media. Fly the signal in conversations with your friends and coworkers.

God promises the Messiah will be a blessing for all the nations. The cross is for any person regardless of background, nationality, or language. Our mission is to raise the signal of the cross in the far reaches of the earth, to every people group, tribe, tongue. Our mission is to fly the signal among the Israelites.

Know God always completes what He starts. God’s work will one day be finished. What is glorious is that it is God’s work. God starts the work of salvation, and God completes the work. On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” There is nothing we need to add except to believe. The foot of the cross is a glorious resting place.

MAIN IDEA: Rejoice knowing that the Messiah’s ministry of grace is complete and thorough.