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Sermon #101 — Isaiah Series
Title: “Behold, a King shall
Reign In Righteousness!”
Text: Isaiah 32:1-20
Subject: Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Gospel Kingdom
Date: Tuesday Evening — September 10, 2019
Readings: Mark Henson and Rex Bartley
Nothing can be more comforting, nothing can be more assuring, nothing can be more joyful to believing sinners in this world than the sweet assurance that Christ our Redeemer is the King of the universe who reigns in righteousness. And that is the message of Isaiah 32. — “Behold, a King shall Reign In Righteousness!” — That is the message I’ve come to preach to you this hour. — “Behold, a King shall Reign In Righteousness!” Our text will be Isaiah 32:1-20).
This chapter is clearly a prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ and his reign as King today, in this Gospel Age. The King spoken of here is Christ. The kingdom described is the Gospel Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Church of God. The time spoken of is this present Gospel Age. Read these twenty verses of Inspiration with your mind focused upon Christ our King and his church, his kingdom, and you will find much here to rejoice your soul.
Proposition: The church of God is a blessed, prosperous and peaceful kingdom, under the rule and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Divisions: There are three things described in these twenty verses:
1. The Kingdom of Christ and Its Blessedness (vv. 1-8).
2. A Time of Great Distress and Trouble (vv. 9-14).
3. A Time of Restoration and Revival (vv. 15-20).
Christ and His Kingdom
1st — In verses 1-8 Isaiah gives us a prophetic description of the kingdom of Christ and its blessedness. — Before we read these verses together, I remind you that the kingdom of God is not a carnal, earthly, political kingdom. The kingdom of God is spiritual. The only way a man can see and enter into this kingdom is by the new birth (John 3:3-8).
(John 3:1-8) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
The church of God is the Kingdom of God. We who believe are God’s spiritual kingdom. Isaiah 32 is talking about Christ our King and the blessedness of his Kingdom.
Verse 1 — “Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness.” — Christ is the King spoken of (Acts 2:34-36; Romans 14:9; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
(Acts 2:34-36) For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, (35) Until I make thy foes thy footstool. (36) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
(Romans 14:9) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
(1 Corinthians 15:25-28) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Christ our Savior is the King of the universe, the King of kings. And he is the King of his saints. He reigns right now! And he shall reign King forever!
And he reigns “in righteousness!” — Our great King reigns because he has fulfilled all righteousness. He reigns in a righteous manner, according to justice and equity. And he reigns because he earned the right to reign (Psalm 2:8; John 17:1-5).
(John 17:1-5) These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
“And princes shall rule in judgment.” — The princes Christ kingdom, the princes in Zion, the princes in God’s church are gospel preachers, pastors of local churches, who are set over them in the Lord and have the rule of them under Christ (Hebrews 13:7, 17).
(Hebrews 13:7) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
(Hebrews 13:7) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Verse 2 — “And a man shall be for a hiding place from the wind.” — This man is Christ our Redeemer, the incarnate God, our God-man Mediator. He is our “Hiding place from the wind and a covert from the tempest.”
Christ is “as rivers of water in a dry place.” — This speaks of the abundance of grace in Christ and the freeness of it. Grace flows to us from the infinite, boundless ocean of God’s love and goodness in Christ. It comforts and refreshes our souls in this dry and barren land.
John Gill wrote, It makes God’s saints “cheerful and fruitful, revives their spirits, makes glad their hearts, and causes them to go on their way rejoicing.”
(John 7:37-38) In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
And Christ is “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” — This world is a weary land to God’s saints. We are wearied with our own sins, wearied with the temptations of Satan, and wearied with the sorrows of worldly trouble. And our weary souls take refuge in Christ, who is our Rock (Psalm 61:1-4).
(Psalm 61:1-4) Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. (2) From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (3) For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. (4) I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
(Proverbs 18:10) The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Verses 3 and 4 describe the blessedness of those who are born of God’s Spirit and enter into the Kingdom of his dear Son.
(Isaiah 32:3-4) And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. (4) The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.
All who are born of God, born into the kingdom of light, are enlightened, illuminated, and given understanding by the Spirit of God (Ephesians 1:15-19). — “Ye have the mind of Christ.” Being taught of God, they diligently hear and harken unto the Word of God.
Š Believe its Doctrine.
Š Submit to its Ordinances.
Š Obey its Precepts.
Things which we once rashly spoke against, we now understand and rejoice in. Believers are taught of God (John 6:44-45; 1 Corinthians 2:9-14).
Š The Person and Work of Christ.
Š The Gospel of the Grace of God.
Š The Sovereign Rule and Providence of God.
Š The Covenant of Grace.
And men of stammering tongues are made ready and able teachers and preachers of the things of God (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
Š The Apostles.
Š Preachers of the Gospel.
Illustrations: African Pastors
New Guinea Pastors
Verses 5-7 describe those who are unfit and must not be allowed to speak for God in his church.
(Isaiah 32:5-7) The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. (6) For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. (7) The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.
God’s saints are to try the spirits by the word. And those who are tried by the word will be exposed in their true light (v. 5; 1 John 4:1-7).
(1 John 4:1-7) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (7) Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
Verse 8 describes the princely character of true, faithful gospel preachers. — “But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.” They are free spirits. They deliver the gospel of free grace. And they do so freely, without any sinister designs, or personal ambitions. And by the message they preach God’s servants are established.
Š By the Doctrine of Grace
Š By the Gifts of Grace
Š By the Spirit of Grace
Š By the Enjoyment of Grace
Distress and Trouble
2nd — Verses 9-14 describe a time of great distress and trouble.
(Isaiah 32:9-14) Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. (10) Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. (11) Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. (12) They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. (13) Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: (14) Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens forever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks.
Before the coming of Christ and the beginning of this Gospel Age the church went through a long, long time of barrenness and trouble, arising from sinful, presumptuous ease and careless neglect of the things of God.
Š Babylonian Captivity
Š 400 Silent Years
Š Roman Bondage
And the church today, when she becomes presumptuous and careless, brings trouble upon herself (Song of Solomon 5).
(Song of Solomon 4:16-5:1) Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. (5:1) I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
(Song of Songs 5:2-8) I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. (3) I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? (4) My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. (5) I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. (6) I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. (7) The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. (8) I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.
Carnal security produces careless neglect. And careless neglect brings barrenness, spiritual desolation. — These verses (Isaiah 32:9-14) are a call to repentance. In times of spiritual desolation…
But, blessed be God, it shall not always be so!
Restoration and Revival
3rd — Verses 15-20 proclaim a time of restoration and revival. — Without question, this is a prophecy of the coming of this present Gospel Age and the outpouring of God’s Spirit and grace upon his elect among the Gentiles. But these verses also speak of times of refreshing, restoration, and revival promised to the church of God.
Here are five characteristics of genuine revival. Whenever you see these five things, you are seeing revival, God is restoring his church.
1. Repentance, Lamentation, and the Confession of Sin Among God’s People (vv. 9, 11, 12).
(Isaiah 32:9-12) Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. (10) Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. (11) Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. (12) They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.
2. The Outpouring of God’s Spirit (v. 15; Acts 2).
(Isaiah 32:15-16) Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. (16) Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
3. The Exaltation of The Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 17).
(Isaiah 32:17) And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.
The work of his righteousness, not ours, is peace. The effect of his righteousness, not ours, is quietness and assurance forever!
4. The Ingathering of God’s Elect (v. 18).
(Isaiah 32:18-19) And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (19) When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
When Christ gathers his sheep into his fold, the Spirit of God is working in our midst. His fold is the local church. Local churches are —
Š Peaceable Habitations (Ephesians 2:20-22).
Š Sure Dwelling Places (1 Timothy 3:15).
Š Quiet Resting Places — Even when Hail Falls Around Us (Psalms 133:1; 122:1-9).
(Psalm 133:1-3) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (2) It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; (3) As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
(Psalm 122:1-9) I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (2) Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. (3) Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: (4) Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. (5) For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. (6) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (7) Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. (8) For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. (9) Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
5. The Faithful Preaching of the Gospel Far and Near (v. 20).
(Isaiah 32:20) Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.
“Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters.” — These words refer to gospel preachers. The gospel we preach, the Word of God, is compared to good seed. Preachers have a commission from God to sow the seed, to preach the gospel to every creature. We are to sow the seed “by all waters,” everywhere.
“Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.” — This last line of the chapter tells us plainly that this prophecy is all about this Gospel Age in which the law has been abolished, because Deuteronomy 22:10 forbade the use of the ox and the ass together in the Mosaic Age. The ox and the ass labor in the Word and in the doctrine, plowing the field and sowing the precious seed everywhere. — And God gives the increase!
Robert Hawker’s reflections on this chapter are simply delightful. Let me read a few sentences to you from Hawker, and I’ll send you home with King Jesus.
“HAIL! thou King of righteousness! Whom Jehovah hath set for his own King in Zion! Let my soul trace thee and feast on thy glories, while I behold thee on thine holy hill!
Truly, Lord, by thine own right, as one with the Father and the Holy Ghost, thou art Jehovah, Lord of all! But let me view thee in that softened and endeared light, as Christ the Mediator, King of Kings and Lord of lords. For here, Lord, I behold thee as possessing all power, in heaven and on earth. And in the special government of thy spiritual kingdom, let me behold the righteousness, judgment, and peaceableness of it.
Almighty Sovereign of thy people, do thou take to thyself thy great power, and reign and rule in the hearts of all thy subjects. Surely, Lord, it belongs to thee, for the kingdom is thine, by gift, and by purchase, by conquest, and by surrender, to order, arrange, appoint, and regulate all the administration of it. And surely it is no less thy sole prerogative, to bring down all thine enemies under thy feet.
To thee it belongs to pardon the penitent, to be bountiful to the needy, to comfort the distressed, and to hold forth the sceptre of mercy to the guilty.
Yea, Lord, all grace is thine in thy kingdom here; and the glory will be thine in thy kingdom forever. Oh! Lord Jesus! Be thou all, and more than all, that this sweet scripture represents thee: an hiding place from the wind and a covert from the tempest. Let thy people, as thou hast said, dwell in peaceable habitations. Yea, Lord, let them dwell in thee; and then the work of thy righteousness will be peace and the effect of thy righteousness will be quietness and assurance forever.”