Isaiah 60:1-6
The River That Blends

Isaiah 60:1-2

[1] Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.  [2] 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.


Word Study

This term is used twice in this reading.  It is used here and in verse four.  In both instances, it calls to 'The People,' to lift their heads from their mourning, for The Morning is sprung.

The words; Kabowd and Zarach are used again in verses 2 and 3, when Isaiah explains that - while the rest of the world will be hopeless - the New Jerusalem will shine as a beacon.

When Isaiah uses 'the earth,' he was implying anything outside of the New Jerusalem where Christ shall dwell in glory.


I had to cock my head a little bit.  I couldn't quite remember the words to the tune - after all, I only hear it once a year.  However, "Tiny tots with their heads all on fire, will find it hard to sleep tonight," didn't sound like the right lyrics.

Funny as it seemed, this might be an apt description for the Kingdom dawning.  'They' are everywhere in the world; sitting in the ashes of their homes, weeping and desolate, the sound of footsteps approaching.  What next?  Haven't we been beaten enough.

Instead, a hand reaches below the chin and lifts it.  The fearful eyes of the abused, meet the glorious eyes of the Compassionate One.  The very scent of being loved (to Be-loved) fills the air.  Joy has arrived!

This week it was a woman whose son had been arrested for murder.  In the garbage heap of horrible self-deprecation the banging on the door doesn't stop.  The Landlord wants her out.  He has no legal reason.  He just doesn't want 'her kind' in his apartments.  The eviction notices pile up.  He takes her to court every other day - and every other day the case is thrown out - but not until it costs her $80.00 to defend herself.  At that rate, she will be going to jail as well if she can't pay the court.  The landlord knows that.  If he has no legal ground to evict her, he will use the lack of justice within the system itself.

What is good news to her?  What will 'lift her chin.'  Sometimes, it is as simple as a phone call to HUD who has put his rent payments on hold while they investigate his behavior.  She doesn't want to stay anymore - but she can't find other housing.  Good news is the time that phone call bought her.

When the world is covered with sadness, despair.  When there is no light, when depression mounts up to the point where a person doesn't know what to do - or cannot do it.  Salvation is a phone call.

There shall be a perfect 'someday,' when heaven shall glow from within because of the Lord's presence.  Yet, today, aren't we called to be that presence?  [Rev 21:22-27] And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. [23] And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. [24] And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. [25] And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. [26] And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. [27] And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (KJV)


Isaiah 60:3-6

[3] And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. [4] Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.

[5] Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. [6] The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.


Word Study

Rachad adds the contradiction, for it is the word that means to enlarge - or, quite literally - to open wide.  One of the translations for salvation would match this word perfectly.  Salvation was a term that could be used for someone who was taken to a beautiful meadow, the gate thrown open wide, and then, they were told; "It's all yours - this is your inheritance."

The wonder of the Lord not only brings us an inheritance of joy, it also throws open the gate of our hearts to love those whom we never thought we could love from the shallow grave of our prejudices.

This is an incredible concept of the power of God - which I have repeatedly seen put to work.  People who have been through the most amazing ordeals - victimized, raped, addictions, prostitution - able to turn their anger to their glory.

I have seen inmates pray guards into the Kingdom.  I have seen men - detained for indefinite amounts of time for the crime of entering this country while fleeing religious persecution - use that time in jail to proclaim the Name of Our Savior to those around them.  That is the deeper meaning behind; "The Abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee."

Few programs have done more to steal dignity from people than the inhumane programs we now call 'welfare.'  The giving of money - without the provision of relationship and mentoring forces people to become useless.

In the Kingdom, dignity will be returned.  Down turned faces will be lifted.  Hope will spring from the desert.

However, Heaven is not a resort - what the motivational speaker, Denis Waitley used to term; "Someday Isle."  Heaven is supposed to begin here (as we do the will of God - "Thy Kingdom WILL come, WHEN thy will is done on earth AS IT IS in heaven").

The body of Christ, the church, is supposed to exemplify this Kingdom.  Restoring dignity is a specific purpose of the Body.  To worship without restoration - is a travesty to God!

[21] "I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. [22] "Even though you offer up to me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept {them}  and I will not {even} look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. [23] "Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. [24] "But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. [Amos 5:21-24] (NAS)

However, Isaiah's pronouncement talks of a time when the most unlikely people would be drawn by the beauty of the faithful.  Those who saw their status with God as "THE" reason to be humble and "THE" reason to be invitational, would soon be blessed with an unforeseen blessing.

Those haughty, self-righteous believers who saw the 'non-believer' as lower than themselves would be 'totally wo'ed' (as in; "Woe is me") when the Savior brought the sheep in from the field.  The one's who remained humble would be astounded with joy that God, in His abundance, had brought in the most excluded, the most unworthy, the most rejected.

To them, this would be cause for immense rejoicing (and to the self-righteous - it would be cause for 'teeth-gnashing').


"Jerry, I miss my daddy."

If yesterday's Sunday School was supposed to be for any reason - it was for me to hear those four words.  As I sat next to this seven-year-old child of beauty, cutting a sheep out of cardboard and taping cotton balls to it, the words just came out.

The words stuck in my ears.  I thought; "The same dad who beat your mom?"  "The same dad who threatened all of you?"  "Is this the addict who sold all of your possession's for a one-night fix?"

Yet, all that came out was; "Of course you do."  And, we kept on cutting.

We were making cards to give to someone in the church.  We were studying Anna and Simon, whose treasured words must have given Mary pause as she fled the oppression of Rome; "Someone else believes in Him."

In my trite lesson, I was having the kids make cards for someone who was like Anna or Simon in their life.  Someone, who wasn't their parent or their pastor - but made them feel like a special child of God.

She gave the card to my daughter and I will never forget that.


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