Shabbat Shalom family,
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:11-12 “For יהוה shall ransom Ya’aqoḇ, and redeem him from the hand of one stronger than he. 12 “And they shall come in and shall sing on the height of Tsiyon, and stream to the goodness of יהוה, for grain and for new wine and for oil, and for the young of the flock and the herd. And their being shall be like a well-watered garden, and never languish again.”
These verses look forward to the regathering of Yisra’ĕl, and the joy and singing and rejoicing that will take place in Tsiyon, because of the renewal of the Marriage Covenant of יהוה and His Bride, through the Blood of Messiah – and we certainly all look forward to the fullness of this joy that is coming for the faithful remnant Bride, for we have a sure and blessed hope – something that the wrong do not have:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:28 “The righteous look forward to joy, but the expectancy of the wrong ones perish.”
Amidst perilous times it can be hard to hold on to the joy that we are to looking forward to and the troubles we face can certainly cause our strength to be sapped from us if we take our eyes off of the prize and lose our grip; yet we are called to encourage each other daily, so that we can make sure that we are all holding on to the joy of יהוה that is our strength, as we remain steadfast in the sure expectation and hope of the promised deliverance that is coming.
Tehillim/Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of Your deliverance, and uphold me, Noble Spirit!”
How many of you feel like this at times? Do you feel all drained out with little or no joy, and are crushed under the pressures of the world, and find it hard to be joyful? I believe our way to retaining or restoring the joy of the deliverance of יהוה is a matter of choosing to do what is right, as it says in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 21:15 “To do right-ruling is joy to the righteous, but ruin to the workers of wickedness.”
This is clear – do right ruling – to the righteous that is joy ! So it is safe to say that when we ‘do right-ruling’ joy is restored, and makes perfect sense as we make careful note that when Dawiḏ asked to have the joy of deliverance restored it was simply because he neglected to do right-ruling and committed adultery and murder!
When we simply do right-ruling and turn our backs on lawlessness and sin, then as we look intently to and follow in Messiah, our Deliverer, we will draw much needed sustenance from the True source of life and we will do it with joy:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 12:3 “And you shall draw water with joy from the fountains of deliverance.”
Our Deliverer has ransomed us with His own Blood and as we see that the day of our deliverance is nearer than when we first believed we recognise the call that is sounding loud and clear for the remnant to Ya’aqoḇ to return, and so tonight I want us to look at some great words contained in Yeshayahu/Isaiah, in a message called:
“LET THE RANSOMED OF יהוה RETURN”, sol please turn with me to Yeshayahu/Isaiah 51 (Read).
This chapter contains some great nuggets of joy awakening truth and I would like to simply run through a few of these in the hope to stir your faith and fan into flame the great joy of serving an awesome and mighty Redeemer!
The structure of this chapter carries great insight for us in understanding how alive these words are for us today. These words are encouraging words to the remnant faithful from יהוה, as we see the reminder, to those who are actively listening, pursuing and seeking יהוה, of the Covenants of Promise; as He reminds us of what He has done and that His Word will not fail, therefore we need not fear man. We then see an appeal and call for יהוה to awaken and rise up and bring the promised deliverance, and a call to Him to allow the ransomed to return, to which He responds with assuring words of comfort and protection. Then a very loud call is given by יהוה for Yerushalayim to wake up and that it was time to no longer be drinking of the cup of His wrath, as He who pleads for us shall take the cup of reeling out of our hands and put it into the hand of our enemies. Chapter 52 continues this flow of equipping words of encouragement with a call not just to awake, but to wake up and get dressed! In a nutshell that is the summary of the chapter, so now let us look a little deeper and see some powerful encouraging Truths that certainly ought to inspire us to be doing right-ruling and be filled with joy as we serve Him with gladness, aměn!
Verse 1 – Listen to Me!
The root word here for ‘listen’ is שָׁמַע ‘shama’ – Strong’s H8085, which carries the meaning not just simply to hear, but rather to ‘listen with attention, comprehend and discern, give heed to what is being spoken’.
Understanding our need to be a people who are listening attentively and giving heed to His Word in a time when most are not let us recognise that this is certainly the time to now be a hearing and discerning and obeying people!
The call to hear is to His called out and chosen servants. These were words given to a people who were had been falling away from the Truth and the main theme of Yeshayahu’s book, as with all the prophets, is the call to ‘come back to the Torah’, and so amidst a time of many who were falling away these words were being given to strengthen the faithful few who may have found it harder and harder to stand firm in the Truth. The call to listen is given to those who pursue righteousness and who are seeking יהוה!
The root word for ‘pursue’ is רָדַף radaph – Strong’s H7291 and carries the meaning, ‘to pursue, chase, follow closely after, aim to secure, run after, hunt, persecute’ and in the context of pursuing and running after, we note that it is after righteousness and not anything else. If one is truly pursuing something then the focus of the pursuit is so intense on that which is being pursued that there can be no effort spared for anything else, lest the one who is pursuing loses ground on that which he is closely chasing after; and so we, that are called to listen, are the ones who are or should be hotly pursuing righteousness with our all – are you?
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 12:28 “In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”
This makes it very clear – when you are pursuing righteousness your path of pursuit is a sure path of life and therefore to pursue righteousness is to walk in Messiah and walk according to His commands diligently and with great delight. He is the Living Torah – The word made flesh – so our path is guided by the Torah, which lights our way! Any other path is dark and is destined to death!
Seeking יהוה – The root word for ‘seeking’ here is the Hebrew word בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 which means, ‘to seek, aim, search, look, inquire’, and it is written in the ‘piel’ form which expresses an intensive or intentional action and could therefore be expressed as, ‘seek earnestly or seek the face, seek to find, demand, desire, ask’, and this kind of ‘seeking’ is an intense seeking with a purpose!
Now I just want to make it clear that יהוה is by no means lost in any way – it is us who were lost through sin and lawlessness and so we earnestly seek Him while He is to be found, as we seek to please Him and walk in His Truth.
Ok, so יהוה tells us to listen to Him, and then gives 3 gentle instructions and warnings to keep us from losing our focus in seeking and pursuing Him and these admonitions, as I said are to the faithful remnant in order that they do not fall away. A call to the faithful – as described in the previous chapter:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 50:10 “Who among you is fearing יהוה, obeying the voice of His Servant, that has walked in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of יהוה and lean upon his Elohim!”
The 3 instructions given here to listening attentively in our pursuit of righteousness:
1 – Look back and remember Aḇraham and Sarah – he was alone when he was called and יהוה blessed him and increased him. They believed for many years, being old and past the age of childbearing, yet they believed and held fast, and this is what we are to remember! We may be small and weak and seem insignificant, yet we too need to hold firm to the faithful Word – we are part of a returning remnant of the redeemed that He will bless and increase – so keep pursuing and keep seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness!!!
2 – Look ahead – יהוה declared the end from the beginning and we know that deliverance is coming and we know who the Deliverer is!!! Fix your eyes on the blessed hope:
Titos/Titus 2:13-14 “looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.”
Here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 51 from verse4-8 we see an emphasis in the words of יהוה through the term ‘My’ in regards to: My people – My nation – My right-ruling – My righteousness – My deliverance – My Arm – My Torah
A couple of these are repeated but what we see here is the clear emphasis on who He is, who we are and what He has done, continues to do and will complete for us! You may have noticed that there are 7 different things here that are emphasised by the fact that they are יהוה’s and so I see this as a wonderful picture of the fullness of His mercy and loving-commitment toward us; we who are His – because He has paid the ransom for our souls and while we do not deserve any of it through any merit of our own, and while we certainly could not work any of it on our own or in our own strength – He emphasises that He is our Deliverer and His righteousness and right-ruling stand forever! Understanding this ought to be more than enough to cause us to DO His right-ruling and be filled with His joy!
MY ARM – the Arm of יהוה is a key concept and picture in Scripture of His mighty strength and power that is manifested in the working of His deliverance for His people. What was very interesting to me in grasping the fuller understanding of the Arm of יהוה, is that I found that the root word for ‘arm’ זְרוֹעַ zeroa – Strong’s H2220, which means, ‘arm, shoulder, strength, power’ is used 16 times in the Book of Yeshayahu and of those 16 times we see that 14 times it is used in 13 different verses in direct reference to the Arm of יהוה, and we can quickly run through them:
30:30 “And יהוה shall cause His excellent voice to be heard, and show the coming down of His arm, with raging wrath and the flame of a consuming fire, with scattering, downpour and hailstones.”
33:2 “O יהוה, show us favour, for we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our deliverance also in time of distress.”
40:10 “See, the Master יהוה comes with a strong hand, and His arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
40:11 “He feeds His flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lambs with His arm, and carries them in His bosom, gently leading those who are with young.”
48:14 “All of you, gather yourselves, and hear! Who among them has declared these? יהוה has loved him. Let him do His pleasure on Baḇel, and His arm be on the Chaldeans.”
51:5 “My righteousness is near, My deliverance shall go forth, and My arms judge peoples. Coastlands wait upon Me, and for My arm they wait expectantly.”
51:9 “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of יהוה! Awake as in days of old, everlasting generations. Was it not You who cut Rahaḇ apart, and pierced the Crocodile?”
52:10 “יהוה shall lay bare His set-apart arm in the eyes of all the nations. And all the ends of the earth shall see the deliverance of our Elohim.”
53:1 “Who has believed our report? And to whom was the arm of יהוה revealed?”
59:16 “And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor. So His own arm saved for Him, and His righteousness upheld him.”
62:8 “יהוה has sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength, “No more do I give your grain to be food for your enemies, nor do sons of the foreigner drink your new wine, for which you have laboured.”
63:5 “And I looked, but there was none helping, and I was astonished that there was none upholding. So My own arm saved for Me, and My wrath upheld Me.”
63:12 “who led them by the right hand of Mosheh, with His comely arm, dividing the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting Name.”
In these verses we clearly see the pointing to יהושע Messiah as being the revealed, Set-Apart Arm of יהוה, who will judge the people, and gather the lambs as our Good Shepherd and He is the King for whom we wait!
In Yeshayahu, which we know his name means ‘Salvation of יהוה’, we find in 13 verses the clear pointing to what his Arm brings about for us and it was a nice picture for me to take note that 13 we know in Hebrew is the numerical value for the term ‘eḥad’ which means ‘ONE’ as in יהוה our Elohim is One; and so it is fitting to see in the book of Yeshayahu that declares by name that salvation is of יהוה, that the salvation and deliverance of יהוה has revealed His Arm by the life, death and resurrection of Messiah and when He comes again – His Arm (Messiah) will be laid bare in the eyes of all the nations and the ends of the earth shall see His deliverance!
His Mighty Arm has worked salvation for us and ransomed us from bondage, and by the work of His Hand He has established forever His righteousness and His deliverance. Heaven and earth will pass away but his Truth remains forever and therefore His established throne shall forever stand:
Tehillim/Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of Your throne; kindness and truth go before Your face.”
So as we look back to the sure Covenant promise given to Aḇraham and how he held fast to belief, and it was credited to him as righteousness; so too then do we need to hold fast to the believe and walk in the instructions of Elohim; and as we also look forward to the assurance of our deliverance that will be made complete, may we be faithful to work out our deliverance with fear and trembling; and to do that יהוה tells us, thirdly to:
3 – Look within – What is inside you? In verse 7 again we see the call to listen to יהוה – and who is this call to? To those who ‘know’ righteousness! So what does it mean to ‘know’ righteousness? Simply believing alone is not knowing!!! The Hebrew root word used here for ‘know’ is יָדַע ‘yada’ – Strong’s H3045 and means ‘to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’ and implies the ability to respond to and recognise the Master’s voice.
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
So many claim to hear His voice today, yet He does not know them and they do not follow Him and know where the feeding trough of His Word is:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7: 21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!”
יהושע then proceeded to tell the parable of the one who ‘hears’ His Words and does them will be a wise man who builds on the rock!!!
What is inside you? Is it His Word that brings faith by hearing or is it the fear of man? Who or what you follow will reveal what is in your heart!!! Are you following after things that don’t really matter and will perish or after righteousness?
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
The Word is supposed to be in your heart and mouth – to do it! Again – what is in your heart? If you are speaking and doing His Word then His Word is on your heart!!!
Here in Yeshayahu יהוה makes it clear that those who know righteousness have His Torah upon their hearts and He therefore calls us to realise that we need not fear the reproaches and reviling’s of men!
To have His Torah upon our heart means that we are His and while the moth and worm will destroy the enemy – the sure deliverance and righteousness of יהוה is forever!
Verse 9-11 we see an appeal by Yeshayahu to יהוה to arise and bring His deliverance, and calls out saying that “Wasn’t is You יהוה who defeated Pharaoh and redeemed His people from Mitsrayim?” Rahaḇ – רַהַב Strong’s H7293 in verse 9 was an emblematic name of Mitsrayim and actually means, ‘storm, act boisterously or arrogantly’ and represents pride and the Crocodile is also a reference to Pharaoh who was known as the great sea-monster who was worshipped also as the sun-god! This call for יהוה to once again arise and deliver His people was an earnest plea and cry to let the ransomed of יהוה return. He had ransomed Yisra’ĕl from Mitsrayim, and while they had strayed and fallen away, they were still His ransomed nation and the cry was that He let them return to Him, to which יהוה responds with great encouraging and comforting words.
He reminds us further who He is – He is the Creator of the heavens and earth, why should we be afraid of men that are like grass, or of the oppressor, Satan, who יהוה has crushed.
In verse 16 He reminds us that His Words He has put in our mouth and covered us and therefore we have great assurance that those who abide under the shelter of the Most High – in other words, stay in Him, will see His deliverance and His provision burst forth and we need not fear as He equips us through His Word to stand strong amidst the storms of life as we are firmly planted on the Rock of our deliverance!
What struck me in this verse is the clear picture that we see in it, as pointing to Pěsaḥ/Passover! How has He put His Word in us? Through the Pěsaḥ/Passover Meal!!! יהושע tells us that unless we eat of His flesh and drink of His Blood we can have no part in Him:
Yoḥanan/John 6:51-58 “I am the living bread which came down out of the heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. And indeed, the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” 52 The Yehuḏim, therefore, were striving with one another, saying, “How is this One able to give us His flesh to eat?” 53 יהושע therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Aḏam and drink His blood, you possess no life in yourselves. 54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood possesses everlasting life, and I shall raise him up in the last day. 55 “For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. 56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood stays in Me, and I in him. 57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me shall live because of Me. 58 “This is the bread which came down out of the heaven, not as your fathers ate the manna and died. He who eats this bread shall live forever.”
We do this at Pěsaḥ Meal each year and as we remember that it was the blood on the doorposts that caused the messenger of death to Passover the houses of the Yisra’ĕlites so too do we see our ‘covering’ and protection in the Blood of Messiah applied to the doorposts of our hearts where the commands are to be written!!!
The word used here for ‘covered’ is כָּסָה kasa – Strong’s H3680 meaning, ‘to cover, covered, hidden, take refuge, conceal’ and it is written in the ‘piel’ verb form which expresses an intensive or expressive action and therefore can carry the meaning of ‘to clothe, spread over or cover for protection’.
In Scripture we have the word כֶּסֶה keseh – Strong’s H3677 that is derived from this word כָּסָה kasa, and it gives us a clear reference to the Feasts of Pěsaḥ and Sukkot – the two Feasts that both take place on the 15th of the 1st and 7th months respectively when the moon is full and is ‘covered or clothed with light’, as this word כֶּסֶה keseh which means ‘covering, appointed’ and refers to the full moon, is only used twice in Scripture:
Tehillim/Psalm 81:3 “Blow a shofar in the New Moon, in the covering for the day of our festival.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:20 “He took a bag of silver with him; He comes home on the day of the covering.”
As you can see that these two verses clearly reference the two Feasts that take place or begin on the 15th of the month – Pěsaḥ and Sukkot (Passover and Tabernacles) as we also take note of the Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:20 which is the harlot who trying to lure the young man astray and she says that her husband is coming home on the כֶּסֶה keseh (covering or full moon) then we clearly see how Messiah is ‘coming home’ on Sukkot! He will come out of the Most Set-Apart Place on Yom Kippur on the 10th of the 7th month and tread the winepress in His wrath and gather to Himself His ready and waiting Bride, after which we see for 4 days His wrath being poured out on the earth, after which He will ‘return home’ on the 15th of the 7th month as He returns to Yerushalayim and puts His feet on Mount Tsiyon!!!
We also recognise that it was at the full moon (כֶּסֶה keseh) on the 15th of the 1st month (Aḇiḇ) that Yisra’ĕl were led out of Mitsrayim – יהוה clearly made a statement of defeating sun-worship and brought His children out of ‘darkness’ under the ‘covering’ of His Light – by His Mighty Right Hand and Outstretched Arm! The moon was full (covered with light) and could light their way which is a wonderful reference or picture of how His Torah is a light for our path that leads us out of darkness into His marvellous Light.
The Word כָּסָה kasa is used here in Yeshayahu is also used in:
Shemoth/Exodus 10:5 “And they shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one is able to see the land. And they shall eat the rest of what has escaped, which remains to you from the hail, and they shall eat every tree which grows up for you out of the field.”
This was in reference to the locusts sent by יהוה that would ‘cover’ the surface of the land, which in the Hebrew is better translated as ‘cover the eye’, and as we know that the eye was the symbol for Ra, the Mitsrayim sun-deity, and so this was a clear message that יהוה was destroying sun-worship and it is also at night on the 15th of the month that Yisra’ĕl was delivered from Mitsrayim. Why all the info – well it is clear that by our acceptance and partaking of the Blood of Messiah at Pěsaḥ Meal, which we can only eat having been immersed in Him, His word is placed in our mouths and in our hearts and we are covered in Him as long as we stay in Him.
The closing verses of this chapter begins the wakeup call to Yerushalayim who had drunk of the wrath of יהוה as punishment for straying, and as a result of their straying away from righteousness, many generations have been caught like a gazelle in a net – that is a reference to the clean and ransomed that had been caught in the trap of lies and traditions of man; and יהוה calls out with a loud voice calling for the return as He declares that it is He Himself who pleads our case and removes the cup of wrath, satisfying our punishment through His own Blood; and so we who drink of His Blood at Pěsaḥ will not again drink His cup of wrath – that will be handed to those who have afflicted us and have rejected Messiah! What I like about the picture of the gazelle in a net is that we know that a gazelle is a clean animal that can be eaten, yet is not an animal used or permitted for sacrifices unto יהוה; as it is ‘wild in nature’ and so we can see a picture here of the scattered seed of Yisra’ĕl who and become wild olive branches so to speak as the seed grew up in all the nations and were in the net of the world’s lies and corrupt traditions of man. We who were of the wild olive tree by nature, are grafted in to the natural olive tree by the Blood of Messiah. Although scattered and wild, we were still ‘olives’ and so as the ransomed of יהוה we are able to return by the provision He Himself made for us!!!
Romiyim/Romans 11:17-27 “And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, have been grafted in among them, and came to share the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. And if you boast, remember: you do not bear the root, but the root bears you! 19 You shall say then, “The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Good! By unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by belief. Do not be arrogant, but fear. 21 For if Elohim did not spare the natural branches, He might not spare you either. 22 See then the kindness and sharpness of Elohim: on those who fell sharpness, but toward you kindness, if you continue in His kindness, otherwise you also shall be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, shall be grafted in, for Elohim is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not wish you to be ignorant of this secret, brothers, lest you should be wise in your own estimation, that hardening in part has come over Yisra’ĕl, until the completeness of the gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Yisra’ĕl shall be saved, as it has been written, “The Deliverer shall come out of Tsiyon, and He shall turn away wickedness from Ya’aqoḇ, 27 and this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”
Sha’ul explains it well as we see the clear provision of יהוה in providing the wild and ransomed to return!!!
Chapter 52 begins with the call not just to awake – but awake and get dressed!
While we could certainly spend hours immersed in these very powerful chapters, I wanted to simply highlight the need for us to be a people who are holding on to joy as we walk in the straight way and let us too call out to the many who are still veiled under lies and traditions of bondage as we recognise that it is certainly time for the ransomed of יהוה to return. יהושע, our Deliverer, came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many! Let the ransomed of יהוה return and serve with joy!
Tehillim/Psalm 33:1 “Shout for joy in יהוה, you righteous! Praise is fitting for the straight!”
Maybe you have found of late that your joy has been weakened through extremely tough circumstances – be strengthened tonight by these very equipping words to a ransomed people and return to do right-ruling for that is joy to the righteous!!! Let the ransomed of יהוה return and raise a shout of joy!!!