“Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them of a fearful heart, Be strong your God cometh with vengeance, even God with a recompense. He will come and save you”
The Spirit of God speaking through the servant prophet proclaims that there are weak hands and feeble knees that are in need of being attended to. They cannot attend to themselves for they have neither the power nor the knowledge of what to do or how to perform it. These are not just the hands that are at the end of ones arms or the joints between the upper and lower leg but rather they speak to genuine attempts, though futile, of the praise and worship of Jehovah. The hand is the same root word for the name Judah which stands for praise and the knee refers to being bowed down in reverence both of which are portrayed here as being inadequate and impotent.
The passage begins with a call from Jehovah to the world and ‘all things that come forth of it’ because the indignation of Jehovah is upon all nations. This is not the judgment of God against the Gentiles or the heathens; for it is against all ‘goy’, both Jacob and Esau. These two brothers were separated from their mother’s womb each as a nation, so the indignation of Jehovah is upon both Jew and Gentile and His fury upon all their armies. This is not an impending battle to determine the champion of a cause or settle a political dispute, this is the demonstration of the sovereignty of El Shaddia against all of the house of Idumea, ‘the people of My curse’, that Jehovah has already, without regard to conduct or circumstances, “utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter”. His sword, which is the Word of God proceeding from the mouth of He who sat upon that white horse going forth conquering and to conquer, is bathed in the blood of the gratuitous sacrifices of the nation of Israel and the slaughter is against all the house of Edom, which is Adam, because “it is the day of the vengeance of Jehovah and the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion”.
Time was complete. Nothing else needed to be accomplished. The sins of the world had come up before the throne of God, like the smoke of that great furnace, and His judgment was prepared. He would destroy the pattern given in the wilderness and make it without form and void. No more shall one come unto the Mount Sinai with hands full of sacrifices and ritual to attempt to meet the standard of the Holiness of God. Those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift, being given the first principles of the doctrines of Jesus Christ, could no more bring the sacrifice, for Jehovah would regard it no more. He destroyed the economy of the law in type. The streams of blood from the sacrificed animals and the blood soaked ground around the altar were laid waste and “none shall pass through it for ever and ever”. The fullness of time had come.
The arena of this economy of sacrifices, ordinances and rituals would be the habitation of unclean animals to signify the unworthiness and pollution of the entire nation. Any one returning to these weak and beggarly elements would find them unpalatable and undesirable. Here the pelican, the porcupine, the owl, raven and ostrich would find rest and a place of safety. Here everything that was deemed unclean by the law (Lev. 11) was to find a home, throughout all generations. Is this just a symbol of the unclean nature of this arena or is there more? If this is just the testimony of the perversion and corruption of the law economy then why is the wilderness and the solitary place glad for them? For whom are they glad?
The perversion of the law by the nature of man and his attempt to improve upon God and His ways, left the nation of Israel believing that they were the true chosen of God and that the nations of the world were subservient to them. This is still quite evident in the philosophies and doctrines of all religious groups of man and can even be seen in Peter’s reaction when God gave him the vision on the rooftop. Here God showed him all manner of unclean beasts and fouls of the air and God called them clean. Peter did not know of the mystery of God, in that the Gentiles would be partakers of the same Spirit and rejected God’s command as being unholy. This arrogance, of a stiff-necked and rebellious people of the Sinai economy, would exclude a true child of grace who had the true law of God written upon their heart and was staggering under the burden of the law. This remnant according to grace was counted as fools and cast out because they lived and walked by faith rather than living by sight and crying out, ‘come see my zeal for the Lord’. They were dismissed as unworthy because they, being taught by the Spirit, walked not in the way of the hypocrite and the impostors who loved to be heard for their much speaking and to be seen in their robes. They are despised and rejected of man because the builders have rejected the corner stone and cast Him aside as unworthy. They are hated of all men because they hated Him first. The true child of grace understands his frailty and inabilities and, although for a time they thought themselves to be alive, when it pleased God to reveal Himself in them, they found that they were slain by the commandments and guilty before the throne. These are the pelicans in the wilderness (Ps. 102:6). These sit is a solitary place separated from the world because a place has been prepared for them. These look unto that great mountain before Zerubbabel (coming out of confusion) and cry, grace, grace unto the headstone, not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit of the Most High that dwells within them and causes them to walk according to the statutes of God.
“And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her three and a half years.” (Rev. 12:6) This is the one who came to the wilderness and she was not in want for her mate. He is the one who is coming up “out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchants “ (Song 3:6) He prepared a place for her and brought her to this wilderness and solitary place to protect, sustain and hide her.
“Seek ye out the book of Jehovah and read. No one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate because MY mouth it hath commanded and His spirit it hath gathered them.” (34:16) The Word of Jehovah is as immutable as He is and is the same yesterday, today and forever. His bride is in Him and never has been apart from Him. No one wants Her because He has stretched forth a line of confusion over Her that none can see Her. He has made all the precious stones, those living stones Her children hewn from the Rock, to appear empty and useless. The Idumeans walk by Her every day and, since they have rejected the corner stone as being useless to their needs, they disregard Her and count Her as unworthy. This veil is stretched over Her so that Edom may view Her and not understand lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and be converted and be healed. God has made their hearts hard, their eyes heavy and their ears dull of hearing. He has set the things of this world in their hearts that they cannot find out the things of God by searching and this darkness, vanity and confusion remains even today and though all generations.
These are those who for whom the wilderness and the solitary place are glad. This is why the desert rejoices and blossoms as a rose. Here the glory of righteousness (Lebanon) is proclaimed with joy and singing. Here is the ‘orchard of the vine and the fig tree’ (Carmel) is found in the ‘plain and level country’ (Sharon) for here is seen the glory of Jehovah and the excellency of our God. Simeon said, “Lord lettest now thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29). The fulfillment of the Word had come, the Lamb of God had come into the world to save His people from their sins and the inhabitants of the wilderness rejoiced to see the excellency of their God.
These are they who have weak and impotent hand, empty of all works and intentions. They have been bowed down-under the condemnation of the law but now they were to be made firm, strengthened and secure. No longer would they stumble in their attempts and find themselves slain by the commandments because the day of Jehovah’s vengeance had come and the recompense of God, Joshua Messiah, had come to deliver His people. Now the eyes of the blind would be opened, the ears would be unstopped, the lame man should be made like the Beloved as the hart upon the hillside and living waters would satiate the wilderness. Here shall be the exalted roadway called ‘The roadway of Righteousness’ shall be and nothing unclean shall ever pass upon it. Everything that defiles (the works of the arm of the flesh) all that work abomination (that which is highly esteemed of man) and makes a lie (all men are liars) shall in no wise enter into this way. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life from before the foundation of the world shall go this way for they walk in the light of Jehovah which is Christ the Lord. There shall be no lion or ravenous beast here. Though Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devourer, he has no right, no portion, no memorial and no access to the way of Holiness. Only the redeemed of the Lord, the ransomed by His blood, shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads (the seal of the Father in their forehead; Rev.7:3).
Wherefore, Comfort ye My people.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 18, 2011