While we study the Bible we are to keep in focus that it is God breathed and as St Paul writes to Timothy (2 Ti.3:16) it is to be treated as instruction in righteousness. God is a Spirit and consequently when we study spiritual significance of any passage intended for the reader it is His righteousness we want to acquire and develop. Spirit which is of God must instruct and it is different from moral instruction that is of the world. Law of gradation is a tool to separate the two. For example the light which God separated from darkness (Ge.1:3) and creation of the sun to divide the day from night (Ge.1:14). One is with regards to the glory of God. It is in this sense we approach it while we consider the holy city of God in eternity.”And the city had no need for the sun…for the glory of God did lighten it (Re.21:23) This is what we are to hold of for the righteousness of God gives the Lamb, the saints and everything therein an altogether different light. It was only revealed by the Son of man to the three disciples on the mount of transformation as a foretaste of the glory. Thus while we study eternity and the entire description we are to see the bodies of saints, priests and kings are to be spiritual understood, as spiritual beings and not as physical beings. This is how Jesus explained to those who questioned him on resurrection,”For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven(att.22:30)”.
When Isaiah writes about Zion he also mentions trees of righteousness. and they are planted by the Lord “…That they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified(v.3)”. We are to interpret therefore passages in their correct order comparing spiritual with spiritual things. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God./Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual(1 Co.2:12-13).
Before we move onto the next chapter we shall discuss another aspect that the Book of Isaiah comes up with often. It is of time sequence. The Holy Spirit in organizing narratives from God the Father and the Son . Consider the verse 10. It directly touches upon the revealing of New Jerusalem coming down from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. As a prophet what Isaiah was to speak under the prompting of the Spirit so instruction in righteousness for man is settled in the verity of the verse and is outside the circumstances of the prophet. For example let us look at a tree mentioned in the first Psalm. Blessedness of the man who diligently studies the law of the Lord is compared to a tree. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Comparing this with the tree of life by the river of pure water (Re.22:1-2) is on sure grounds since it serves the purpose of the Scripture: instruction in righteousness. The Psalmist in writing it must have seen so many growing fertile by the water than a scrub in the wilderness. However his life experience has no bearing how we view it or the spiritual lesson learned by another. Now let us examine the verse from Isaiah “ I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels”. He would have spoken it for his immediate audience but it has another purpose and context validated by God the Spirit.
Since Time is of God, study of the Bible for consolation, correction and for rebuke is not limited by time. It serves all time. Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.