Restoring the Breach

A Study of Isaiah's Message

BY W. R. FRENCH

Repairing the breach is the keynote of Isaiah's prophecy, as indeed it has been of all the holy prophets since the world began. Isaiah is called the prophet of hope; for accom­panying all predictions of judgment or disaster he forecasts restoration, salvation, redemption, and hope. Ezekiel is the only other prophet who mentions the breach, or gap.

The word "breach," as used in the Bible, sig­nifies a disaster or punishment inflicted in war or in judgment. When God smote Uzza it was said, "The Lord had made a breach upon Uzza." 1 Chron. 13:11. The name of the place was called Perez-uzza. When David smote the Phi­listines, he called the name of the place Baal­perazim, which means a place of breaches. The Hebrew word perets is translated, "To break down, to destroy, to scatter, to disperse, hostile forces, to break forth upon."—Gesenius's He­brew Lexicon,. Another word that is used al­most synonymously with "breach" is "wound." (See Isa. 30:26 and 14:6.) When a wound is inflicted by striking, a breach has been made. Jer. 14:17.

According to Isaiah, a breach has been made against the people, against the city of David (Isa. 22:9), the whole land of Palestine with its cities, against the temple (Isa. 64:11), and against the law (Isa. 58:1-3, 12, 13). This is the breach that is to be healed or repaired. In the record of Isaiah, the breach had been made by the king of Babylon. (See Isa. 14:4-6.) The breach made by Nebuchadnezzar was against all Israel and all the nations round about. Nebuchadnezzar was the "woe" of the book of Isaiah, as found in chapters 10 and 13 to 33. He smote the nations and left their land deso­late. He smote Israel, laid Jerusalem in ruins, burned the temple, and carried the people into bondage.

The restoration of this breach is the theme of the book of Isaiah. To heal or restore this breach, Cyrus was raised up. God says, "By whom shall I comfort thee? Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets;

. . they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God." Isa. 51:19, 20. In answer to His own question, God says, "There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she bath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up." Verse 18. Therefore God called "a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country." Isa. 46:11. God raised up Cyrus, His "shep­herd," "His anointed," His king, His servant from the east (Persia), and caused him to de­stroy Babylon, to restore the "outcasts of Is­rael" (Isa. 56:8), to rebuild the city and lay the foundations of the temple (Isa. 44:28), and all to be done "not for price nor reward" (Isa. 45:13).

This restoration of Israel to her national home, the rebuilding of her city and temple, and the restoration to true monotheistic wor­ship under Cyrus, is the theme of God's serv­ant from chapters 40 to 50. But this "breach" by Nebuchadnezzar is not the real and primary breach of Isaiah. Nebuchadnezzar, "king of Babylon," is used in a typical sense for Lucifer. (See Isa. 14:4, 12, and compare with "The Great Controversy," p. 660.) It is this breach, or stroke, of Lucifer, the real king of Babylon, that forms the basic prophecy of Isaiah. Satan is described as having smitten God's people with a continual stroke, with having turned the earth and its cities into a wilderness, with hav­ing perverted the worship of the true God, with having turned the people away from God's law and His Sabbath. This stroke began in heaven. It is this stroke, or attack, upon His govern­ment that God has sworn to heal or restore. (See Isa. 45:23; 30:26; 49:8; 58:12; 61:4.)

All this work of repairing the breach—un­doing the havoc which sin has caused—is to be done by "Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; 11:1-10), "the seed of David," upon whom God hath laid the iniquity of us all. He shall truly restore all things—the outcasts of Israel, the Gentiles, the earth (Isa. 62:1-7), the city and the sanctuary (Isa. 60:13, 14). Eye hath not seen nor ear heard what this restoration will be like. He will destroy real Babylon, and let the captives go "without money and without price."

This restoration of the real breach is the theme of the entire book of Isaiah, but climaxes in chapters 52 to 66. God will cause all who re­turn to Him and allow Him to write His laws in their hearts, to "ride upon the high places of the earth," and will feed them "with the heritage of Jacob."

What constitutes the breach has been de­scribed above, and also the healing. No native son of man could do this work, so "God sent forth His Son" to redeem and restore the desolate heritages. What it will be like when it is healed is described in Isaiah 11:6-10, and chap­ters 35, 65, and 66. At "that time," when God has restored the breach, His people will "have a song" (Isa. 30:29) and the song they will sing is found in chapter 26:1-4, and chapter 12. "The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isa. 35:10. In contemplation of this grand and glorious restitution, we cry out as did John the revelator, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

Washington, D. C.

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BY W. R. FRENCH

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