This week in our review of Isaiah Decoded we’ll begin our look at Chapter 4, Jacob/Israel, Believers in a Creator-God. This chapter in Isaiah Decoded is probably the most important chapter to understand because it provides the foundation of ascent not only for Believers who are just “opening their eyes”, but for those who are already on the pathway to be saviors of the House of Israel. Scattered throughout chapter 4, Dr. Gileadi makes consistent references to the law God gave to Israel as the condition to progress from Jacob to Israel, and then to Zion/Jerusalem in chapter 5.
To restate, then, returning to the law God gave to Israel is the key condition to progress from Jacob to Israel and then to Zion. Essentially, one becomes Israel when their eyes are opened and embrace the law given to Israel, which then culminates when a person keeps the law in the fullness of Messiah, overcomes personal sin and becomes Zion/Jerusalem. Dr. Gileadi explains this concept –
“According to Isaiah, “Israel” represents those who have renewed the covenant but who haven’t yet ascended higher. “Jacob” represents those who believe in God but who haven’t yet renewed the covenant.” “…[they] can ascend to the next level (Zion/Jerusalem) by keeping God’s law and word.” – p. 115
So this sequence looks like this –
Moreover, an essential aspect of “keeping the law” is that the law is kept in the fullness of Messiah – Matt. 5:17. We’ll go over this in detail when we get to chapter 5.
Reference to the Law in Chapter 4
Let’s review some of the statements Dr. Gileadi makes on the law in chapter 4.
“God asks them to renew their allegiance to him and keep his law and word.” – P. 110
“After pronouncing the blessings and the curses of the covenant, Moses counseled them to keep the law of the covenant, to choose life instead of death.” “But Moses also predicted that at the end of the world— in “the last days”—they would “repent” and “return.” When they again kept the terms of the covenant, God would gather them from wherever he had scattered them, and they would repossess the lands of their inheritance. (Deuteronomy 28–30.)” – P.114
“By resuming their covenant identity at the last, they could yet participate in God’s redemption of humanity.” – P. 115
“What began with a cursed consequence of ancient Israel’s breaking the covenant could end with the blessed consequence of modern “Israel’s” renewing the covenant.” – P. 115
“Both groups, however, can ascend to the next level by keeping God’s law and word.” – P. 115
“Like Noah, we obtain deliverance when we observe God’s law and word.” – P.118
“Isaiah asks, “Who is it that hands Jacob over to plunder and Israel to despoilers, if not Jehovah, against whom we have sinned? For they have no desire to walk in his ways or obey his law.” (Isaiah 42:24.)” – p. 119
“Like Moses, he [Servant] instructs them in the law of the covenant and the word of God before leading their return to the Promised Land. God requires that they obey God’s terms before he can bless them as he has promised.” – P. 121
“Whatever invites us to love God—to covenant with him to keep his law and word—is of God, and whatever entices us away from God, to break faith with him, is evil.” – P. 122
“In living God’s law, then, we walk a fine line between keeping our own counsel and standing up for what we believe.” – P. 122
“All blessings from God, including the endtime salvation of his people, come from keeping the terms of his covenant. As mentioned, the blessings and curses of the covenant never fail; they are as relevant today as when Moses first pronounced them in the Sinai wilderness. Blessings, or good fortune, follow keeping God’s law, and curses, or misfortune, follow its breaking. Divine protection from a mortal threat, together with permanent lands of inheritance and an enduring posterity, constitute three fundamental blessings of the covenant. Isaiah, therefore, describes God’s covenant as a divine assurance of blessedness, both in this world and in the world to come. (Isaiah 54:2–3, 5–10, 13–17; 55:1–3.)” – P. 123, 124
“The key to our healing and “salvation,” therefore, is that God forgives us as we again live his law.” – p. 131
A Higher and Lesser Law ???
Another concept that needs to be addressed is the idea of a higher and lesser law that Dr. Gileadi briefly mentions on pages 117 and 124. There is a higher and lesser law but not in the sense that one replaces the other, which is referred to as supersessionism, or that one law is better than another. The proper understanding is that one builds on the other. Israel’s law code lived in the fullness of Messiah - the Sinai Covenant - was designed to overcome Universal and Personal Sin; whereas, under the Davidic Covenant – a higher law, those who are proxy-saviors must additionally overcome Inherited Sin and reach a state of perfection to qualify as suitable proxy-saviors. What we also see in this higher law is a fullness of the Abrahamic Covenant.