Although one would not likely have realized it at the time, the Lord was laying out His roadmap for the entire future of Judah and the world through the prophet Isaiah. It has impact upon every living person – past, present, and future – and reaches to the ends of the earth.
Three basic prophetic themes are scattered throughout the book of Isaiah. Two of the prophetic themes have been fulfilled, one has not. These three themes are as follows:
- The suffering of Judah and their exile to Babylon due to stubborn idolatry, and their return to the land of Israel in repentance. (Fulfilled)
- The coming, crucifixion and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who laid down His life to atone for the sins of Judah and the whole world. (Fulfilled)
- The return of Messiah to reign over the entire earth from David’s throne in Jerusalem. His second coming will bring many blessings to Israel and attract people from all over the world to come and worship the Lord. (Not yet fulfilled)
Other prophets, such as Daniel and Ezekiel, will shed light on the great Gentile empires that will rise and fall during interim periods, but Isaiah’s focus is on the kingly line of David and its ultimate fruit, Jesus Christ.
Having covered much of his first two prophetic themes, Isaiah returns to the third in Chapter 54 – the unfulfilled return of Christ and the installation of His global kingdom at the end of the age.
Speaking the Lord’s words to Judah, who will shortly face an onslaught by Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, Isaiah encourages them with God’s promise for a brighter future:
11 “O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
Your gates of crystal,
And all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:11-13 NKJV
Jerusalem will indeed be trodden down by the Gentiles, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar, the first of the remaining four great world empires. Babylon will be followed by Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Rome will not be conquered but will crumble – it will be replaced by the European nations and former colonies that we have known through history right up to the present time. But one day in the future, God will brush these governments all aside and replace them with one far greater, an eternal kingdom, centered in Jerusalem and built of priceless and colorful gems and stones. Jesus Christ will reign as king, perhaps assisted by King David himself.
At last, Jerusalem will be a place of peace, and all the children of the land will be taught in truth by the Lord Himself.
The last book of the New Testament, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, shares a vision of the Apostle John highlighting the color and splendor of God and heaven. Christ’s new kingdom on earth will undoubtedly share and reflect many of these colorful qualities.
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Revelation 4:2-3 NKJV
God will draw from the very best of creation as He builds up the foundations and walls of His eternal kingdom. We can only begin to imagine what this will be like. It will be given to the righteous, those who have been made clean by the blood of the Lamb through faith in Jesus. In the words of a prison chaplain I know, “Be there!”
God adds color to our world as an amazing gift of His love. Everyone who enters His kingdom will be able to enjoy its magnificent beauty and splendor through eternity.
Lord, You and Your goodness are the true color and glory in our lives. Your radiance and brightness surpass our every imagination. May we be there to see the gem-covered walls and foundations of the New Jerusalem. We trust in You and Your sacrifice on the cross to grant us the righteousness we need to stand in Your presence and worship. Thank You for Your abundant grace and mercy. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.