He Will Sprinkle Many Nations


slide_346099_3632589_free“And now what do I have here?” declares the Lord . “For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock, ” declares the Lord . “And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.   Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I.”   How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”   Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.   Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.   The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.   Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the Lord ’s house.   But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.   See, my servant will act wisely ; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.   Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness— so he will sprinkle many nations,  and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. – Isaiah 52:5-15

This passage is clearly prophetic and intended to be a “wormhole” to a different time. It begins with a rather innocuous statement “And now what do I have here?”, and ends with kings shutting there mouths because of “Him”.  The “Him” here I am convinced is Jesus and the “good news” is that “your God reigns” – in the end God wins.  It is a new song for the people of Israel and we will see later in this passage that God is talking to more than just the people of Israel.

The “watchman” are apparently those who are looking and listening for God to send the Messiah into Zion, Israel. This could refer to the Jews of Jesus’ time that were anxiously awaiting a Messiah.  It could also refer to all those who are searching and seeking to find God. God says ” When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes”. This sounds to me like God will show up in a very tangible and approachable way. Like, for example, as a baby in a stable born to a mother named Mary and a father named Joseph.

When the people of Israel see God’s arrival they are to ” Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.”  There were certainly some who were singing at Jesus’ arrival, but there were many others that rejected Him and acted somewhat differently.

God lays out the new thing He will do to save the people of Israel, and in fact all those who freely choose to faithfully follow Him: “The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.”  God’s “Holy Arm” sounds to me like a clear reference to Jesus the God-man through whom all people can receive the salvation historically offered to the people of Israel. I confess I have never heard of Jesus referred to as God’s “Holy Arm”before but it has a pleasant ring to it that rings true in my soul. Jesus was the “Arm” God used to reach down to set us free.

The passage then takes a confusing turn with the statement “Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the Lord ’s house. But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”  Clearly God has the back of the people of Israel just like He did when the people of Israel escaped Egypt through the Red Sea.

He wants them to “depart”. Depart from where? Or maybe more appropriately from what? I think God is talking about leaving their old way of relating to God by “carrying the articles of the Lord’s house”. God wants them to allow themselves to be truly carried like a son or daughter by the “Arm of God”, the Messiah, Jesus.

Next comes a heart wrenching description of the reception that “God’s Arm” will receive at the hands of those He was reaching out to save: “See, my servant will act wisely ; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.”  This is an Easter verse I have never heard read at Easter. It seems to be describing Jesus’ work here on earth (act wisely); His resurrection (lifted up and exalted); the response of many to His wisdom (they are appalled); and His crucifixion and torture (his form marred beyond human likeness”).

The passage even explains why God reached out His “Arm” in this way: “so he will sprinkle many nations and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.”  This is the water connection in the passage, the sprinkling.  The “sprinkling” was actually not with water but with the blood of Christ to take away the sins of the world. His blood has the power to shut king’s mouths, open their eyes to see, their ears to hear, and their souls to understand. His blood has the power to do the same for all those who choose to be “sprinkled” by it.

Prayer: God thank You for reaching out Your arm to save us. I am sorry that we received You so poorly, but thankful that You chose to sprinkle many nations with Your love so that I could know the Good News.

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This entry was posted in Christianity, Covenant, Death and Dying, Discernment, Discipleship, Faith, Following God, Free Will, God's Love for Us, Gospel, Isaiah, Jesus, Love for the Lost, Obedience, reconciliation, Redemption, religion, Sharing the Gospel, Sin, The Earthly Realm, The Nature of God, The Spiritual Realm, Trusting God and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to He Will Sprinkle Many Nations

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