Daily Family Worship

Isaiah 60: The Glorious Light of the Gospel-Kingdom

by | Jun 28, 2023

isaiah 60

This whole chapter is a part of God’s Covenant with His Church, which was spoken of in the last verse of the foregoing chapter; and the blessings that are here promised are the fruits of the Word and the Holy Spirit that were promised therein. The long continuance of the Church, even unto the utmost ages of time, was there promised; and here, the prophet foretells the large extent of the Church, even unto the utmost regions of the earth. And both of these are for the honor and glory of our Redeemer. This chapter did have some reference to the peaceable and prosperous condition which the Jews sometimes enjoyed after their return from captivity into their own homeland. But it certainly looks much further than that; for it was to have its full accomplishment in the Gospel-Kingdom of the Messiah, the enlargement of that Kingdom by the bringing in of the Gentiles (non-Jews), and the spiritual blessings with which it should be enriched. And all of these are foretastes of eternal joy and glory in heaven!

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee… I will glorify the house of my glory… I will make the place of my feet glorious!” (verses 1, 2, 7, and 13) The glory of this magnificent chapter is one of the many which stand out in the Scriptures – both for its grandeur of imagery, and its elevation of sentiments. It contains an unrivalled picture of the glory of the Gospel- Kingdom of Christ; it has been happily called, by one commentator, “the golden age of the Messiah.” Before Christ’s first Advent, the world was in a state of spiritual darkness. But God’s glory, as manifested in the Gospel, was to be like a beacon-light to the benighted tribes of the earth. And the Church of Christ was to be so resplendent with the spiritual glories of her King, that the very monarchs of the earth would cast their crowns and scepters at His feet! (verse 3)

A summons is addressed to Jerusalem, in verse 4. She has now risen from her bed of sorrow and sadness; and she is exhorted to look from the top of her walls in all directions, to the remotest horizon, and to witness the unparalleled sight of every representative of the human family, crowding up to the courts of Zion to do homage to Zion’s God! At the sight of her spiritual sons and daughters approaching her city walls, she is represented as being in a state of maternal emotion and joy. A minute description is given of this gathering together of the people of the world to the Church – the spiritual city of Zion. Wealth, Commerce, and Agriculture are three great interests and powers on earth, which have engrossed mankind’s attention in all ages. And each one of these three will have its representatives in that vast multitude who will be asking the way to Zion. Wealthy people from the affluent Gentile nations will offer up the spoils and trophies of their battles to Jehovah (verse 5). Like Sheba’s queen of old, merchants and tradesmen from the far-distant regions of the globe will carry their gold and spices – their costliest offerings of devotion and homage – to lay them at the feet of the One Who is far greater than Solomon (verse 6). And there will also be shepherds and farmers from Kedar and Nebaioth (verse 7), each of them coming with his appropriate offering to the Chief Shepherd. See how these people go up – not with reluctance, but in spontaneous self-devotion! When the world’s Messiah sees the vast assembly from every corner of the globe ascending the hill of the spiritual Zion, no wonder that He adds, “I will glorify the house of my glory!” (verse 7) The temples and pantheons of heathen idols were beautified and adorned with the spoils of vanquished nations, but our God’s Temple is adorned with living trophies – namely, redeemed souls from all the nations of the world! So great and increasing shall be the crowd of Zion’s happy worshipers and glorified citizens, that her gates shall be open continually – day and night – to admit the rushing stream! (verse 11)

In these Gospel-times, Christ – enthroned as the Head of His Church and the King of nations – receives tribute-offerings of devotion and love from every quarter of the globe, and from every representative of the habitable earth. The Sun of Righteousness disperses the gross darkness of the nations, and floods the whole earth with His radiance. This description of the perfected earthly Zion – the Church militant – is summed up in the closing words of verse 18: “Thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” In the cities of olden times, trusted sentinels were stationed on the walls to warn of any enemy’s approach. But here in this glorious city of Zion, they are needed no longer. The clang of weapons is silenced, and the din of battle has died away. But our spiritual vision passes beyond the lower theme of Christ’s glorified Church on earth, and rises into the higher theme of the glorified Church in heaven! The central thought and theme of verses 19 and 20 is that the Lord Himself forms the surpassing glory of the heavenly world. The noblest examples of light that we have in our world are those brilliant orbs which illumine the firmament – the meridian sun by day, and the silver lamp of the moon by night. But at best, these are only feeble emblems of that “Light of lights” Who is to flood eternity with His radiance! So preeminent and peerless shall be the bliss of His manifested presence, that all other glories and joys will not even be worthy of comparison.

Lord! Let the whole earth be full of the knowledge of Jesus, as the waters cover the sea, and cause many souls to come to know Christ as Savior and Redeemer! Amen.

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photo by Dawid Zawiła  |  Unsplash.com