Key Verse: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
MANY OF ISAIAH’S prophecies, besides applying in his day, have additional fulfillments; such as during Jesus’ earthly ministry, at his Second Advent, or future applications in the glorious kingdom of God. For this lesson in Isaiah chapter 52, we will consider its future application to natural Israel, whom Jehovah refers to as “my people.” (vss. 4,6; Exod. 3:7-10; Jer. 31:31-34) God chose Israel “to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth,” and has “set his love” upon that nation because he is faithful and keeps “his commandments to a thousand generations.”—Deut. 7:6-9
Isaiah’s prophecy states: “Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck.” (Isa. 52:2, Revised Version) We believe this points forward to the time when God will deliver Israel from the experience of “Jacob’s trouble.” At that time Israel’s “yoke,” which includes following errors of human tradition, will be broken. Instead, they will “serve the Lord their God,” by their acceptance of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.—Jer. 30:3-9; John 5:22,23
Our Heavenly Father, the source “of whom are all things,” has arranged that Israel’s deliverance during Jacob’s trouble will be implemented through his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, who will bring Israel and all mankind back into harmony with him. (I Cor. 8:6) When God rescues Israel from Jacob’s trouble, he will speak to them with authority. “My people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.”—Isa. 52:6
Paul quotes part of our Key Verse, stating, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom. 10:15) Those sharing with others the Gospel, or “glad tidings,” of the ransom given for all, and the consequent blessings to come to all mankind, are pictured as the “feet” of the Christ. This privilege of preaching the Gospel has been an essential aspect of each consecrated believer’s responsibility and has served as a means of strengthening the body of Christ for nearly two thousand years.
Observing conditions throughout the world today, there is clearly a longing by most people for peace and relief from the various troubles faced by mankind. Yet, despite efforts by governments, scientists, educators and philanthropists, no real and lasting solutions have been found to solve these problems. Our Key Verse declares that God has a plan which will satisfy all the longings of mankind, bringing good tidings, peace and salvation.
God, through the invisible presence of his exalted son, Christ Jesus, is in control of all earth’s affairs during this present, turbulent time. (Ps. 46:1-9) When the body of Christ is completed, God will then intervene and, as the psalmist writes, “maketh wars to cease.” After the great time of trouble is ended, the Lord will issue the command, “Be still, and know that I am God,” and he “will be exalted among the heathen,” and “in the earth.” (vs. 10) Then there will be great rejoicing as his will is done for the blessing of all mankind.