Hovering over three verses from my reading in Isaiah this morning.
“Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, . . . He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure. . . . Your eyes will behold the King in His beauty . . . ”
(Isaiah 32:1a, Isaiah 33:5b-6, Isaiah 33:17a ESV)
Think about it, that last promise is huge — Your eyes will behold the King in His beauty.
Isaiah is writing during the decline of the Jewish monarchy. The throne will be destroyed when judgment comes upon Judah and Jerusalem, and a rebellious, adulterous people are sent into captivity for a 70 year timeout. And when they return, no king. So, when Isaiah speaks of beholding the King you know he’s prophesying of a future time.
Jesus is that king. A glimpse of Jerusalem’s “beholding” seen as He entered the city a week before He was nailed to a cross.
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
(John 12:12-13 ESV)
They wanted to believe He was the one the prophet pointed to. But they knew that they weren’t really beholding Him “in His beauty.” After all, He was riding on a feeble, young donkey, not a battle-ready steed. They didn’t get the prophet’s other prediction concerning the promised Messiah, that during this visit to the city He would have “no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isa. 53:2).
So we know the promise of beholding the King in His beauty is yet to be fulfilled. Even so, Lord Jesus, come!
And yet, while we wait for the King, we know the King has come. While we anticipate a day when He will reign on earth in righteousness, even now, in the kingdom He is building in the hearts of His people, He reigns in righteousness. Though a day is coming when He will fill this world with justice, abundance of salvation, and wisdom and knowledge, in this time of the kingdom’s “already but not yet” existence, we have a divinely implanted sense of these things, and a supernatural foretaste of what the abundance of salvation looks like.
And this is true, too, when it comes to the promise that the King will be the stability of your times.
There is coming a day when Jesus will calm the chaos. When He will shush the storm. When He will order order. When He will stand and bring stability. How we long for that day.
But even now, I’m reminded, He is the stability of our times.
Of these tumultuous times. Of these sometimes seemingly out of control times. Of these post-Christian, post-modern, post-truth, post-whatever times. Of these pandemic times. Of these protesting times. Of these extreme partisan times. Pick a way of describing the times, and still know that Jesus, the King, is the stability of these “already but not yet” times.
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand!
He will be the stability of your times. Yes, He will. Yes, He is.
Hallejuah, what a Savior!
By His grace. For His glory.