Isaiah: The Near and the Far.

10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea” (Isaiah 11:10-11).

Within biblical prophecy, there is a concept known as near fulfillment and ultimate fulfillment. This concept refers to events which not only are initially fulfilled in the past, but which also have a greater fulfillment in the prophetic future. Such is the case with Isaiah 11:10-16.

The near fulfillment of which the Prophet Isaiah speaks is in two stages. First, the prophet refers to Judah’s return to the Promised Land following its exodus from their 490 year Egyptian captivity (Exodus 14:26-29). Second, he refers to Judah’s return of Jerusalem after its 70 year captivity to the Babylonians (2 Chronicles 36:1-21; Isaiah 11:12-16). The ultimate fulfillment will be when the LORD gathers true Israel from its worldwide dispersion (Isaiah 51:1-11) during the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6).

Dr. Walvoord explains that, “Israel will have a special place in the kingdom because of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:18–21; 17:7–8; 22:17–18), the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16), and the New Covenant (Jer. 31:33–34). But people in other nations will also benefit from the kingdom. The Messiah, the Root of Jesse (cf. “stump of Jesse,” Isa. 11:1), will be a means of rallying for the nations (cf. v. 12; Zech. 14:9, 16). Jesus Himself made the same point that many people from outside Israel will have a part in God’s kingdom (Luke 13:29). God had promised Abraham that through his line all peoples on the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:3).”

 The LORD not only controls the events in the past, but also events which are occurring in the present as well as in the future. The LORD is sovereign over all things, including the destiny of His people. Take comfort today in knowing that everything is in the LORD’s hands. This includes not only the near, but also the far.

Soli deo Gloria!



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