Prophet Isaiah and Us
Prophet Isaiah. Chapter 9
As the Lord rebukes His people and warns them of what is coming, as He’s trying to wake His people with the sure word of prophecy, the picture looks rather gloomy. Yet, the Bible always speaks of the deliverance and of the salvation of the Remnant as an encouraging reminder among the prophecies of judgment and destruction. Isaiah 9 is certainly coming at the right time – to comfort God’s people, to show them, that there is a way out of this situation.
It starts with the prophecy of a great light for the gentiles – the words that Matt 4 rightfully attributes to Jesus Christ. Verse 6 affirms us in this.
We also reminded, that it is God who strikes Jerusalem (Is.9:13). The situation is such, that the “leaders of this people cause them to err” (Is.9:16).
It is also interesting and somehow strange, that Ephraim and Manasseh here are presented as “together they shall be against Judah” (Is.9:21). There is no assurance this time that Jerusalem will be protected from them. It seems even more strange to us, as we remember, that in the previous chapters we’ve been assured, that this will not happen, that Ephraim and Manasseh (the last day rescuer, deliverer Joseph) will do no harm to Jerusalem.
And they won’t do any harm. But it will appear to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that they are indeed are doing some great harm to them. Why? Once again, we are reminded of the two last witnesses in Rev 11. They appear to “strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire” (Is.9:6). But do they really mean to destroy? Do they even strike the earth will all plagues? God does it. But He does it through His witnesses. And even God’s most chosen witnesses would appear to the sinners in the last days as the enemies. So much they would hate God’s faithful witnesses, that they will kill them – thus, committing a terrible crime against God.
So, again, in the context of all biblical prophecies, the reunion of Judah and Ephraim in the last days is the most dramatic event, accompanied by much sorrow and destruction. Yet, Ephraim is not an enemy of Jerusalem – at least at the last days. In fact, the role of Ephraim is similar to that of the two witnesses. It’s a tough, ungrateful job – to rebuke and to correlate the ongoing disaster upon God’s people and Jerusalem with the pouring out of the last bowls of wrath.
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