A Remnant Prepared
As a result of the judgments of God from the previous chapter, the daughters of Zion will have few men to choose as a husband. There will be so few men that seven women will chase after one man. They will want marriage so desperately that they will provide for themselves. They who found their satisfaction in their past finery will now find satisfaction just to have the name of a man. Least they have the reproach of being unmarried and childless.
The “Branch of the Lord” is a title of the Messiah and is speaking of Jesus Christ. We see this same message from the Prophet Jeremiah. “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5) The idea of the branch is that it will bring forth fruit and life. Jesus used this same image in the Gospel of John. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Isaiah is not saying the Messiah would come in the days of this judgment but the promise would be more beautiful to them in the midst of their suffering. For those who have persevered through the judgment, the fruit of the land will be more excellent, as the promise of the Messiah is more beautiful and life-giving. The good fruit will come from the branch of the Lord if they would trust in God’s promise.
In the last Chapter, the daughters of Zion were called beautiful, delicate, attractive, fashionable, but they were not called holy. “Christ’s holiness shall be both imputed and imparted unto them: he shall both expiate their sins and heal their natures, pay their debts, and give them a stock of grace and holiness so that men shall call them a ‘holy people.’” (Trapp) This is a vision of the day of the reign of the Messiah. In that day the daughters of Zion shall be called holy. The term holy does not mean super spiritual or sinless perfection. Neither does it mean they will be spiritually superior and holier than thou. What it does mean is a heart and life that is separated unto the Lord. It is a life that lives separated from the heart and thinking of this world, the sinful desires of the flesh and submitting to the temptation of the devil. It is a life that is lived apart for the Lord.
When the Branch of the Lord reigns there will be a cleansing but it will not come easy. It will come by judgment and by the spirit of burning. “Sin is the excrement of the soul, the superfluity or garbage of naughtiness, the devil’s vomit. From this abominable filth, Christ hath ‘loved and washed his with his own blood, that he may make them kings and priests unto God and his Father.’” “He not only washes his people from their sins but takes away their swinish natures, whereby they would else return to their former wallowing in the mire.” (Trapp)
When the Branch of the Lord reigns He will have a tangible presence just as the day of the Exodus. God’s presence is as real as the cloud of the day and the pillar of fire by night. (Exodus 13:21-22) It will be a time of protection from the Lord. In that day the people of the Lord will be safe and secure, washed clean and abiding in the presence of the Lord. “Nothing is more necessary than that we follow our calling, and perform our duty faithfully. It belongs equally to the condition of the good and of the bad that they suffer man inconveniences; but bad men have no refuge, no place of concealment in which they may hide themselves, and they must be utterly overwhelmed. But blessed is the condition of the godly; for although they endure heat and cold, still they have a safe refuge in God.” (Calvin)