I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence. — Isaiah 62:6
A number of years ago, the London Missionary Society sent a group of missionaries to Tahiti. For fourteen years these missionaries faithfully preached the Gospel and prayed for the salvation of the people there. However, their efforts seemed like feathers blown against a brick wall — in fourteen years there had not been a single convert. Idolatry and savagery were prevalent. Finally the directors of the organization began to consider calling the missionaries home from their seemingly fruitless field.
However, there were a few people in the society who felt that the Lord would not be honored by their unbelief if the missionaries were brought home. Instead, these intercessors began to pray more earnestly for the workers in Tahiti. As the Lord led, they sent money and letters to the weary missionaries far from home, encouraging them to hold on and to keep proclaiming the Gospel.
Before their letters even reached Tahiti, God started working in a mighty way among the Tahitian people. The faithful preaching of the Gospel began to have an affect, and the idols that had been so prevalent throughout the islanders’ history were overthrown. Scores of souls were saved from their sins and righteousness replaced evil.
This wonderful outpouring of God’s mercy and grace might never have happened if the missionaries on the island of Tahiti had given up and held their peace. It might never have happened if the faithful band back home had not persevered in continual, persistent intercessory prayer. How important it is to persevere!
Often we may become discouraged and feel the Lord is not listening to our prayers for the salvation of a loved one because our prayers seemingly have gone unanswered. Discouragement is a trick of the enemy! Our prayers have been heard and God is working, though we may not see evidence of it as yet.
In our focus verse, we see God appointing faithful watchmen to pray continually day and night for the salvation and peace of Jerusalem. Although the petitions of those faithful prayer warriors have not yet been answered, they will be answered after the Lord returns.
We too must pray persistently for others and trust the Lord for results. If we continue to do so without wavering, God will answer our prayers also!
Bible scholars note that if the Book of Isaiah were arranged chronologically, this chapter would precede chapter 60, as the content outlines the situations preliminary to the deliverance of Zion and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. Commentators differ on whether it is the prophet, or God himself, who is speaking in this chapter. Verse six would seem to indicate that it is God.
The text begins with the proclamation that there will be no righteousness or peace in the earth until Jerusalem becomes “a crown of glory” to the Lord. The word translated diadem is the same root word used to describe the headpiece of the high priest. Isaiah pictured the crown in the hand of Jehovah, rather than on His head. This implied that God will display Zion — present her as a manifestation of His redeeming power.
Though Israel will have been left alone by the Lord for many years, when the Lord returns, she will be reconciled to Him again. He will make the land plentiful again and give the people of Israel a new name. Formerly called ’azubhah, or “forsaken by Jehovah,” the land will then be called Hephzibah, which means, “My delight is in her.” This can be compared to a bride who marries and is given a new name through her husband. The Lord will also change the name of the land from Desolate to Beulah which means, “married to.”
Verse 6 refers to the fact that, throughout the years, God has appointed spiritual watchmen to pray for the salvation, peace, and protection of Israel. They have been called to intercede continually until the Lord comes to fulfill His promise to Jerusalem.
When Jesus returns, the land will grow plentifully again. God’s people, instead of strangers, will eat the fruits of their land (verses 8-9).
In the last few verses of the text, Israel is commanded to prepare herself for the great changes that will take place in Zion when the Lord returns. A cry is made to God’s people around the world to prepare themselves to leave their heathen cities and return to Jerusalem to see the coming glory of the Lord. The phrase “thy salvation cometh” in verse 11 refers to more than a new kingdom coming to Jerusalem, but a coming King as well. As God’s people return to Jerusalem, they will be called “sought out.” This word, derushah, means the opposite of “forsaken” in Hebrew. Israel will finally have a permanent home and God’s love and mercy will never leave them again.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
IV. The message of consolation: The Holy One of Israel comforting, redeeming and enriching
C. The provision for deliverance (future glory)
2. The glory of the kingdom
c. The position of Jerusalem in the kingdom
(1) The resolve to bless Jerusalem (62:1)
(2) The restoration of Jerusalem (62:2-5)
(3) The promise of Jerusalem’s permanent deliverance (62:6-12)
Let us purpose in our hearts to be faithful watchmen, praying and working continually for the salvation of loved ones and the world. When the Lord returns, we want to be ready with a harvest of souls to rejoice because our King and Savior has come!