H. J. Gamston.*
This message was given at a Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony meeting in
In the theme Names of Jerusalem, my subject covers just one word which is found in Isaiah 62:4; it is the word Hephzibah. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
The word Hephzibah needs to be considered in the light of chapters 60-62. These three chapters stand in direct contrast with what we read in chapter 59, and especially verses 14-15, Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity (that is, even-handedness, or fairness) cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth (or, truth is lacking); and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment (or, there was no justice). The judgment spoken of here is used in the sense of justice, or just decisions between man and man. Someone has described it in these terms, The language of these verses is taken from the courts of justice; the idea is, that there was no justice in their decisions, but that their courts were unprincipled and corrupt. Justice based upon truth is seen as standing afar off represented as standing at a distance from the city, deterred by their sins, so as not to enter. If ever such a feature is seen, it is seen today. Where is the justice, based upon the Truth of Gods Word, being exercised today? As in Isaiah's day, so it is in our day; it too has been turned backwards.
Like a mighty stream, it has been turned backward. It is on a contrary course. As in Isaiahs day, so it is in our day, truth has fallen in common conversation so that no one knows what to believe or in whom they can trust.
Dear friends, if we are seeing this prophecy (Isaiah 59:14-15) being literally fulfilled in this our day, so we must be consistent when speaking or reading Gods prophetic Word, and we must see that there is a day coming when literally, as chapters 60-62 prophesy, the light of the Lords presence will be gloriously seen in the city of Jerusalem.
chapter 60, we read of The Future Glory of
Israel and of Gods wonderful promises to
Saviour Himself quoted these same words in the New Testament - in Luke 4:18-19. They
describe the Saviours first visit, after entering upon his public ministry,
into the city of
you ever wondered why He did not go on to read the rest? He made it clear in verse
21, And He began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears. What about the rest of the prophecy as
recorded in Isaiah? When will this be
fulfilled? Quite clearly it will be
fulfilled at His second coming. When He
comes again to rescue His afflicted people with vengeance on their enemies and
bring comfort to all that mourn; to appoint unto them
that mourn - where? - in
Chapters 60-62 are very beautiful chapters as they stand in arresting and remarkable contrast to the chapters which precede them. They have been described by one Bible commentator as being like the bright dawning of the sun when it has arisen after the gloomy darkness of the night. I would therefore not hesitate in saying that chapters 60-62 are chapters pertaining to the millennial reign of Christ on [this] earth.
Ivan Foster took as his subject at our last meeting, The Throne of the LORD.
We are now following on, for when
And what, we ask, will the new name be? We have the answer in verse 4, thou shalt be called HEPHZIBAH.
is a very wonderful chapter. So that we
might understand why
1. The Declaration of a Holy God (Verses 1-3).
For Zions sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalems sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
In making this declaration through His prophet, we see that the Holy One of Israel is determined to fulfil what He has said. I will not hold My peace ... I will not rest, UNTIL. This UNTIL speaks of His determination.
declaration is directed towards
Zion now sits in utter darkness, but the time is coming when the Gentile world shall see her righteousness (verse 2) as it goes forth as nogah (Hebrew) brightness (verse 1) - the light which bursts through the night, thus fulfilling the wonderful promises of chapter 60:18-22. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction (wrack and ruin) within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls SALVATION, and thy gates PRAISE. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
eschatological depths are opened up in these verses!
was this that Isaiah had in mind when back in chapter
24:23 he said, Then the moon shall be
confounded, and the sun ashamed, when
the LORD of hosts shall reign in
it any wonder, as it is described in verse 2,
that the eyes of the Gentile nations will be directed to
is for this reason that
there are any who would apply this to the world-wide Church of today, then my
reply is that the Church has never been termed Forsaken
[* The author implies here that Old Testament saints are not members of the Church; and every member of the Church will have a heavenly inheritance, when Abraham and all the prophets of God will be enjoying an earthly inheritance! Is this what the Scriptures teach? No, a thousand times no; for all not accounted worthy to attain that age (Luke 20: 35) and that kingdom will never enter it, (Matt. 5: 20): and to believe contrary to what our Lord and the Holy Scriptures teach - (that Christians will be in Heaven immediately after death, and therefore before the time of Resurrection) - is to have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection [of reward] is past already! (2 Tim. 18, R.S.V.). cf. Phil. 3: 11; Rev. 20: 4-6; Luke 14: 14. Erroneous interpretations and neglect of the Holy Spirits exhortations and warnings - (targeted at regenerate believers only) - will often, for the sake of consistency, lead them into erroneous interpretations in other areas. All who will be resurrected at the time of Christs return, will inherit both earthly and heavenly spheres in Christs millennial kingdom because they are [will be] equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (Luke 20: 36).]
Declaration of a Holy God concerns the literal
2. The Restoration of a Forsaken People (Verses 4-9)
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called HEPHZIBAH, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, 0 Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, and give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The LORD hath sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine,* for the which thou hast laboured: but they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of My holiness.
is the fulfilment of Christs forward-looking promise to His disciples at the Supper:
Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the
fruit of the vine UNTIL THAT DAY
when I drink it new in the
in verse 4, the new
name is now mentioned. In fact
two new names are mentioned, they are the names Hephzibah
and Beulah, and they take the place of the old
Hephzibah is an Hebrew word which
is used in describing a term of endearment. The nation
The apostle Paul gives us the answer in his epistle to the Romans. In chapter 11: 11 - 12, Paul says, I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?
then is the answer. Because of
The good news is, that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, suffered that awful death upon the tree, shedding His Own Precious Blood so that all who trust in Him will know the forgiveness of sin.
The Bible, Gods Word, tells us in Hebrews 9:22, And almost all things are by the law purged (purified) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (that is, no forgiveness of sins). The Jewish people in Isaiahs day would understand what the writer of Hebrews meant.
They would understand the implications of the sacrifice of animals and the shedding of blood to atone for their sins. The writer, in this ninth chapter, has been making mention of the blood of animals as the means of atonement for the sins of the people, and is now contrasting them with the shed Blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot (blemish) to God, so as to purge (purify) our conscience from dead works, to serve the Living God.
who have come by faith to Christ, who have repented of their sins and trusted
in His shed blood as the only means of cleansing them of their sins, have been
given new life, eternal life. The
apostle Paul writing to the church at
Can I ask you if you know Him as your own personal Saviour? Are you washed in the Blood of the Lamb? If you have not come by faith to Him and confessed your sin, then I have to tell you, if you remain in your sin, then you will NOT inherit Eternal Life! You will not enter into heaven! (or the New Earth.)
On the other hand, if you have repented of your sin, then with the hymn writer, you will be able to sing: Praise my soul the King of heaven, To His feet thy tribute bring; Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven; Who like thee His praise should sing? Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, Praise the Everlasting King. Not only will God delight in you, but you will be able to delight in the God of all grace!
Coming back to our main point - The Restoration of a Forsaken People - the apostle Paul, in Romans 11 tells us why, and when this will happen. Verse 15 is the why! For if the casting away (the forsaking) of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (the nation restored back to spiritual life).
Verses 25-26 is the when! For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this
mystery (that is, the restoration of a forsaken people), lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that
blindness in part is happened to
is yet to take place, and take place it will, because this is Gods Word, and
not only to the nation of
God, through His prophet goes on to say in verse 10, And I WILL pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced (referring to the death of Christ upon the cross), and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son.
the next chapter, 13:1-2 we read: In that day there
shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of
The declaration in Isaiah 62:5 concerning the marriage of a young man to his bride, refers to marriage in the sense of occupying and possessing the city. The setting up of watchmen upon (the) walls, in verses 6-7, at the time of writing, refers to the leaders of Israel - Haggai, who in his day proclaimed the glory of the second temple; Zechariah, who in his day pointed to Joshua the priest; and Zerubabel; and on to the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus, who today is still building Gods spiritual temple, made up of all true believers. Then the prophet Malachi, who in his day predicted the coming of the Messiah to His temple.
the watchmen are those believers who are Gods
remembrancers! Who remember to pray for, and to proclaim Gods
prophetic truth concerning
3. The Salvation of a Redeemed Nation (Verses 10-12).
'Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye
the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones:
lift up a standard for the people. Behod, the LORD
hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of
order to 'prepare the way of the people, for
the exaltation of Zion and the manifestation of her salvation, the commands in verse 10 have to be met. The command to Go through the gates, whilst having reference to the
time of the captivity, and the passing out through the gates of
command to those coming out of the captivity, and passing through the gates
that had been closed for so long against their return to the Promised Land,
having now been thrown open, is that they will open up the way by clearing it
of stones, and making a smooth highway so as to enable them to proceed on the
words that follow in verse 11, Say ye to the daughter of
then, they are future as far as the dispersion of
example, Isaiah 11: 12 is to be literally
fulfilled when, He (the LORD) shall set up an ensign (a signal) for (or, to) the
nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of
future promised blessing rests upon
It rests squarely and firmly upon the new covenant which is founded upon a far better sacrifice, which alone can bring about the remission of sins. The sacrifice, being the shed Blood of the true Lamb of God, Jesus the Messiah. This is the only remedy by which all sin, whether of Jew or Gentile, could be atoned for!
day of the Lord will find its completion when the new name, HEPHZIBAH is
It will be that day when, as the Psalmist puts it, The LORD shall arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come ... When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory (Psalm 102:13,16).
The words of despondency in Isaiah 49:14, But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me, and the long period of darkness and suffering of which we read in Isaiah 49:15-23, will come to a certain end and Israel, as Isaiah 62:12 declares, will be called, The holy people, the redeemed of the LORD: and shall be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.
I conclude with the words of Isaiah, and with which he opens this very wonderful prophecy. Turn with me to Isaiah chapter 1:24-27, and then to chapter 22-3.
Therefore, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One
of Israel, Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge Me of Mine
enemies: And I will turn My hand upon thee (that is, Israel), and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the
beginning: afterward thou shall be called, The city of righteousness, the
Then chapter 22-3; And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORDS house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.