Spiritualize This

Several years ago I wrote a lesson simply quoting Scripture that pointed out that at some future time Israel would return to their land and prosper, never again to be forced to leave. I received a scathing reply from a Christian brother who had been taught that Scripture should be interpreted figuratively, or spiritually, and not literally.

Well, here I go again. The following are quotes from Isaiah chapter 60, with some words or phrases defined according to the 21st Century. I have also emphasized certain phrases. How can this prophecy be spiritualized? How can this prophecy be applied to the Church?

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear [be in awe], and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted [turned] unto thee, the forces [wealth, strength] of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.”

[The “abundance of the sea” may be the wealth of international shipping and commerce, as indicated by “the ships of Tarshish.”] - Isaiah 60:1-7

Surely the isles [other coastlands] shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers [foreigners] shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces [wealth, strength] of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought [led in procession]. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. - Isaiah 60:9-12

The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. - Isaiah 60:14-15

Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. - Isaiah 60:21

The Lord is faithful and true. He does not change. (Malachi 3:6) May He be praised forever!

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