“Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 2 “For behold, darkness will cover the earth, And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you, And His glory will appear upon you. 3 “And nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Isaiah saw darkness; a deep darkness that was coming upon the land. But he also saw the glory of God rising at the same time and the nations were drawn by the light and glory that rested upon the saints.
4 “Lift up your eyes round about, and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms (Isaiah 60:4).
The glory of God was so intense that even the prodigals returned. Profound wealth came to Israel (Is 60:5-6). The nations gathered to serve Israel – rebuilding the walls and ancient ruins. Strangers pastured their flocks and tended their vineyards.
From the vantage point of history we know that Isaiah saw a slice of the last days and the millennium. Joel saw the darkness and rising light as the collision of two “days”. It was the great and the terrible “day” of the Lord (Joel 2:11). When the saints hear of rising darkness they tend to react with fear and they desire to hunker down as best they can until the storm passes. But darkness isn’t for the saints. Light and glory is.
The darkness Isaiah saw began as a mercy from God; an opportunity for men to repent and experience the light of God’s rising glory. John the apostle saw that the darkness would eventually become a painful judgment as the 5th bowl was poured out on the antichrist’s kingdom. As the strength of the antichrist was broken, the darkness gave way and the glory of God continued to mount up and carry into the millennium and beyond. Night disappeared altogether (Is 60:19).
In Isaiah 60:16, God revealed Himself as redeemer (forgiveness, mercy, grace and justice), as savior (health, deliverance and salvation) and as the “mighty one of Jacob” (signs and wonders, powerful in every dimension). The people of God became righteous and possessed the land forever. Isaiah had seen earlier that God’s government would have no end (Is 9:7)
In a moment of ecstasy, Jerusalem cries out with great joy and expectation and she praises God for the coming favor she and people of God would experience (Is 61:10-11). But Isaiah’s soul is anguished as well. He knows well Israel’s spiritual condition. He cries out. He prophesies and declares the coming revelation of the bridegroom God that delights in His people (Is 62:1-5). They will be married and not forsaken.
God responds to the prophetic cry and plight of Israel. He reveals His strategic end of the age plan for moving Israel from their current state in Isaiah 59 to where He will take them in Is 60-63. In the last days, God will place watchman on the walls who will cry out night and day and give Him no rest until He fulfills His promise to Jerusalem. Intimacy will draw the watchmen, sustain them and fuel their intercession for all that God would give – a simple end of the age strategy.
Their night and day intercession will be critical to God’s plan. Jeremiah tells Israel that in the last days the Lord will carry the nation in the context of prayer (Jer 31:9).
9 “With weeping they shall come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they shall not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My first-born (Jeremiah 31:9).“
He will lead and supply through prayer. God will back up His intentions. The house of prayer will become a rich place of revelation, intimacy, understanding, signs and wonders, salvation and the good things of God (Ps 27:4; 132:5) even while the nation is caught in a famine for hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11).
Because we have been adopted into faith and grafted into the vine that is Christ, Christians will share in the mysterious promises of Israel. Isaiah 60-63 will have its greatest fulfillment in Jerusalem and Israel but the same dynamic will occur throughout the world wherever His servants are found. There has always been a great divide between light and dark but this will escalate in the last days. Dark will become darker and light will become amazingly bright and glorious and many of those caught in the grip of darkness will come to the light.
God will start with the available watchmen – those who love Jesus. He has strategically placed sons and daughters in cities around the globe. They will gather and cry out for their communities. And they will cry out for Jerusalem that today needs help in intercession. Rockford has the opportunity to be a younger sister of Jerusalem. It may well become a city of refuge as Isaiah described.
Like Jerusalem and in concert with her, Rockford’s servants, through night and day prayer, will see the glory of God rise. The experience of God in His house of prayer will fuel up first commandment devotion and obedience which will in turn further fuel intimacy. Rockford will intercede for Israel. Rockford will intercede for Rockford. And Rockford will intercede for the nations. Those living in darkness in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison and counties nearby will stream to the light of Rockford’s glory. At the same time there will be a wave of workers coming out of Rockford to fulfill the great commission. Rockford will be part of the greatest revival ever seen on earth.
One way or another God will have His House of Prayer, watchmen, musicians, and prophetic singers just as king David had. They will cry out for Is 62:5-7 to be fulfilled in Jerusalem but also in Rockford. Jerusalem and Rockford and many other cities of refuge will cross the line together as the great and awesome days of the Lord play out. God will shake everything that can be shaken.
We know from John that there will be martyrs as well as overcomers. The enemy will oppose the saints. God will test His watchman too and all those who say yes. He is going to have a bride for His Son – dedicated lovesick worshipers. The bride will make herself ready (Rev 19:7).