Although these are valuable lessons for the Christian, when verse 24 is considered in context, it shows that there will be prayer in the Kingdom Age. Jesus said, “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13). Truly the Third Temple will be a “house of prayer for all people” (Isa. 56:7). While the Kingdom will be an age of sight and works, as opposed to the age of faith now, prayer will always be in order.
Isaiah Chapter 50: Unfaithfulness of Israel to God, Jesus’ Thoughts During His Trial Isa. 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for [...]
Isaiah 49 is primarily a prophecy of Jesus and his schooling and preparation for the future work God has set before him. In a secondary sense, it can be considered a prophecy of the body members, for in their association with Jesus, they will participate in his work and be a light to the Gentiles. In a third sense, the prophecy has a bearing on natural Israel. Jesus, the Church,and natural Israel all have some similar experiences. Down through history, it has been a paradox that the true Christian and fleshly Israel have suffered.
These verses reveal that the mysterious personage will be a “light to the Gentiles” and that he will restore Jacob and Israel. Therefore, the mysterious personage of verses 1-6 cannot be natural Israel, for Israel will not restore itself. God appoints this “Israel” as “his servant.” The “servant,” or mysterious personage, is Jesus, the “messenger of the [New] covenant” (Mal. 3:1).
The theme of Jacob’s Trouble is repeated over and over in Scripture. We often say that restitution is spoken of by the mouth of all God’s holy prophets (Acts 3:21), but Jacob’s Trouble is spoken of by nearly all of God’s holy prophets. And just like restitution, the theme is veiled with “here a little, and there a little” (Isa. 28:10).
Chapter 48 was addressed to the nation of Israel, the progeny of Jacob. God was giving them a tongue-lashing. He was finding fault because the great majority were the nominal mass and thus were not really His people in the sense of loving Him with all their hearts.
The “appointed time,” or “time of service,” is the “double”; that is, it is the time period of Israel’s punishment, or sentence. A “double” is a fixed period of time having a beginning and an ending that correspond to a previous beginning and ending. The first part of the double was a period of favor of 1,845 years, and the second part of the double was a period of disfavor of equal length, or 1,845 years. The turning point in the double was the year AD 33, the middle of the 70th week. (Messiah was cut off in the midst of the last week of the 70-week prophecy in Daniel.) The 1,845-year period of favor began with the death of Jacob, for at that time, God began to deal with Jacob’s 12 sons as a nation (of 12 tribes). The blessing that had previously been on Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob passed on to the 12 sons of Jacob. From Jacob’s death through AD 33 was the period of favor when God dealt directly with Israel and only with Israel out of all nations (Amos 3:2).
The “high ones … and the kings of the earth … shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall … be visited.” The picture changes here. Earlier verses show how the Time of Trouble will affect all society with disarray and harsh experiences. The condemnation will be particularly on the “high ones” of the earth. When earth is viewed throughout its history, there have been cycles of conditions leading up to a climax requiring judgment: guilt and sin, then judgment; guilt and sin, then judgment; etc. But many have died without receiving judgment, punishment, or retribution. Now the wicked flourish “like a green bay tree” (Psa. 37:35), and those who tempt God seem to prosper. Verses 21 and 22 are summarizing that down through history, those who have failed in their stewardship of responsibility will not escape retribution.
God “girded” Cyrus in two ways: (1) He gave Cyrus supernatural power in overcoming his enemies. (2) God prepared Cyrus as a child and fashioned him for his future work; He trained him for his position as general and renowned conqueror. Not only was God’s providence over the victories Cyrus later attained, but that providence operated from his earliest youth—even from his baptism, as it were, when he was given the name Cyrus. Thus God’s remarkable foreknowledge was displayed 150 years before the events occurred.
Eliakim would take Shebna’s place. Eliakim is called the Lord’s “servant” and “a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.” Eliakim pictures Jesus, who will be the age-lasting Father in the Kingdom and have “the key of the house of David” (the key to the government). Jesus is the “David,” that is, the Beloved.
There was a real Shebna and a real Eliakim, but this language is so strong for relatively insignificant people that we know they are a type. The principle is the same with Zerubbabel, who pictures Jesus.
The “watchmen” are The Christ, who will be concerned for Israel. But will Jacob’s Trouble occur the moment the feet members are taken into glory? No, a period of time (about three years?) will elapse between the change of the last members in persecution and God’s deliverance of the Holy Remnant out of Jacob’s Trouble. And the Great Company must be completed during that time. Satan will be in a frenzy—like a person out of control with a bad temper or a temper tantrum. When he realizes he is losing the battle, he will want to bring the house down with him.
As the enemy roars, Israel will be frozen with terror, powerless to deliver itself. This verse indicates that the enemy is succeeding and there is no hope for Israel. In Scripture, a lion is noted for the strength of its jaw and its roar. When a lion captures a prey, its powerful jaws scrunch the animal, bones and all, in the eating process. Here the lion has the victim in its jaws and is carrying it away. The sound of the flint on the pavement and the roar of the lion both cause terror to the beholding victim.