Reassurance for God’s People
Key Verse: “Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob.”
ISRAEL, GOD’S TYPICAL chosen people, was symbolic of mankind in general due to the fact that they, like mankind, failed in many ways to live up to God’s perfect law. Note these words from selected verses of this lesson. “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, … and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. … Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; … Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.”—Isa. 48:1,4,8
The above words describing Israel as ‘a transgressor from the womb’ are particularly applicable on a much larger scale to all mankind, currently in a condition of sin as a result of Adam’s disobedience. As the Psalmist states, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Ps. 51:5) Apostle Paul confirms these words, saying, “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) The fact that Israel found themselves in the same condition as the rest of mankind, laboring under the sentence of death, even with the special favors bestowed upon them as God’s chosen people, is proof beyond a doubt that a special arrangement was necessary whereby redemption could take place for anyone, whether Jew or Gentile.
This arrangement is described by Paul with these words, “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law.” (Gal. 4:4,5) Apostle John adds, “He [Jesus] is the propitiation … for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:2) Jesus died as a corresponding price, a ransom, for Father Adam. Hence, all in Adam’s loins, Jew and Gentile, are to benefit from the redemptive work. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”—I Cor. 15:22
The Key Verse of our lesson reminds us that Israel, in type, after a period of captivity in Babylon, was instructed by God to flee and go back to their homeland, rebuild the walls of their great city Jerusalem, and build again their Temple of worship to God. The verse says this was made possible because ‘The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.’ In the larger picture, mankind, in Christ’s coming earthly kingdom, will also be given the opportunity to return to their homeland—earth—to rebuild the walls of their character, and build again their individual temple (symbolically speaking) of worship to God.
The kingdom arrangement for Israel and all mankind’s recovery from sin will begin through the great work of the resurrection of the dead, but this will only be the start. These beautiful words of the prophet describe the work and conditions of this kingdom: “An highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; … the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, … they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”—Isa. 35:8-10