“Then will your light break forth as the morning,And your healing will spring forth speedily,And your Righteousness will go before you,The glory of Yahweh will be your rear guard.”

It is if they do these things that God will hear them and respond, with the result that light will break in on them, they will enjoy full well-being, and they will be protected to the rear (from those acting behind their backs) by His glory .

Reference to light breaking forth probably has in mind the coming deliverance which will be hastened by godly response (60.1), but also includes the idea of blessing in the shorter term (2.5; 8.20). Jesus would tell His disciples that they must let their light shine before men, that they may see their good works and glorify their Father Who was in heaven (Matthew 5.16). Reference to healing springing forth refers to the same. Such light and healing is always the product of godly and truly charitable living. The reference to righteousness going before, and Yahweh taking up the rear, probably has in mind the pillar of fire and cloud which during the journey through the wilderness after the Exodus from Egypt represented the presence and protection of Yahweh over His people (compare 4.5; 52.12). Those who walk in God’s ways will enjoy a new Exodus, and their righteousness, and the righteousness imputed to them (53.11), will go before them as their guide and protector, while Yahweh Himself will protect the rear. Every generation can enjoy a new Exodus.

It may be that in this context ‘your Righteousness’, portrayed as an active person, is intended to be an indicator of the Servant, the One Who provided righteousness for them (53.11). He Who was their righteousness went before them. For elsewhere it is Yahweh Who goes before and behind (52.12).

As we recognise that Isaiah’s vision of the future was of a wide scope, including all God’s saving activity through the centuries, all seen as one, so do we see these promises as applying to the Old Testament elect, and then to the true church of Jesus Christ and then to the final acceptance into glory. Light will continually break forth for the righteous; healing, especially of the soul, will be their lot; they will be protected by the righteousness of God and of Christ, and God will watch over their backs.

Light is the opposite of darkness (5.20), and includes the idea of life as a light (Psalm 27.1; 36.9). They will enjoy God’s life at work within them. The days of darkness will pass from His own, and the way before them become illuminated by God’s illumination (42.16; 51.4). Light will come to them through the Davidic king and the Servant (9.2; 42.6; 49.6).

Righteousness here gains its meaning from deliverance in righteousness (e.g. 45.24-25; 46.13; 51.5; 53.11; 56.1), and stresses that the man who experiences God’s righteous deliverance and thus becomes righteous (48.18) will be protected by that righteousness, the very righteousness of God (54.17), a righteousness provided by the Servant (53.11), which goes before men, protecting and guiding them (52.12). It is very much an active, protecting righteousness, indicating the presence of the Righteous One and the Redeemer (52.12).
obedience obedience Reviewed by Anonymous on 01:28:00 Rating: 5

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