The Glory of the New Jerusalem
How did the prophet describe the new Jerusalem?
The double imperative, “Arise, shine” (60:1), was God’s “wake-up call” to Zion. The prophet painted a picture of Zion as an island of light reflecting the glory of God in the midst of a sea of sin (60:2). This light is a reference to Zion’s mission to the nations. Zion was to reflect the glory of God to the end that other nations would be drawn to her (60:3).
A second double imperative, “Lift up your eyes … and see” (60:4), was God’s call for Zion to behold the multitudes of people (60:4) converging upon her and to rejoice (60:5). The prophet envisioned camels bearing riches and people bearing sacrificial offerings to Zion (60:6-7).
In addition, the prophet envisioned the return of some of Zions sons and daughters on ships of Tarshish laden with silver and gold (60:8-9).
Practical Consideration: Believers have a responsibility to shine in a dark world.
Zion was to reflect God’s glory to the end that other nations would be drawn to her. Our lives should reflect to those around us the wonderful difference that makes in the lives of those committed to Him. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
In verses 10-14 the prophet spoke of Zion’s restoration to her former glory. Even foreigners and kings contribute to the rebuilding and restoration of Zion (60:10). The gates of the city remain open to facilitate the receiving of tribute from other nations (60:11-13). All people, including sons and former oppressors, call Zion by her new name, “the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (60:14).
Verses 15-22 contrast Zion past and future. Zion was forsaken and hated in the past but would be a glorious place in the future (60:15). Zion was once like a motherless child but would be nourished by the milk of nations (60:16). She would experience the benefits of being governed by peace and righteousness and would be a place free of violence and destruction (60:17-18). The Lord Himself will be the source of light for the city (60:19-20 and see also Revelation 21:23-25), which will be inhabited by the righteous (60:21-22).