THE RIGHTEOUS MAN FROM THE EAST
Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. Isaiah 41:2
The man of whom Isaiah writes in this record is most likely Abraham whom the LORD called out of Ur of the Chaldees which is to the east of Judea. Abraham was ordained by GOD to be the father of many nations, but most specifically that nation which the LORD called HIS own, and was seen as righteous in the eye of HIM who gave him faith to believe GOD. “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Rom 4:3) The LORD raised him up out of no reputation and called him while he was yet in unbelief and made him to rule as a mighty man and a father of Israel.
He was the recipient along with “his SEED” of all of the promises of GOD. Yet Abraham being a mere mortal passed from this world and returned back to the dust from whence he came, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Heb 11:13) So he cannot be that one through whom the promise of GOD is manifested and applied in an everlasting fashion.
We read in the book of Galatians, “The blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Gal 3:14-
So while this “man from the east” is by way of illustration, Abraham; yet all of the blessings ordained for the sons of GOD, come to them through that ONE who is the SEED of Abraham, even JESUS CHRIST the only begotten SON of GOD. There is no benefit which is afforded to those, whom the GOD of Abraham loved with an everlasting love, that is not applied to them in the person of JESUS CHRIST; even those enjoyed by Abraham himself. Did HE not say to the proud Pharisees, (when they asked, “Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead?”), “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:53,56)
Though JESUS CHRIST was the offspring of Abraham, after the flesh, yet even the gift of faith, which was bestowed on Abraham, and his calling out of pagan darkness in Ur of the Chaldees, was the result of his having been loved by CHRIST with an everlasting love and chosen in HIM before the foundation of the world. Abraham was as much a recipient of the grace of GOD as any of those who are found among those called of GOD and ordained unto eternal life.
The Jews thought, (and I might add, still do), that they were the chosen people of GOD based on their lineage being traced from Abraham. Many, so called, biblical scholars and prophetic experts express the same notion, disregarding the clear teaching of Paul who said, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Rom 2:28-
Those children who are the heirs of the promise are not those who are born of Abraham’s natural seed but those who are born again (i.e.; from above) by the power of the HOLY GHOST. Even as John testified, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-
Those who are Abraham’s natural seed boast of their lineage. The sons of GOD, on the other hand, have nothing to boast in, but the cross of CHRIST, recognizing that they were grafted into the family of GOD according to the riches of HIS grace and not by any prior relationship to that, which is the product of GOD’s own purpose and grace, which HE freely bestowed on them before the foundation of the world. They were created as the sons of GOD and have not become the sons of GOD through any action, merit, or natural relation.
This is that Israel of which Isaiah goes on to speak saying, “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa 41:8-
This is that same promise which is reiterated by Paul when he said, “For whom he did foreknow (i.e;loved beforehand), he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. “ (Rom 8:29-
Therefore that “righteous man from the east” in whom all our hopes and expectations rest is not the natural Abraham, but is that ONE who imputed righteousness to Abraham even as HE has imputed the same to all of those children which were HIS from everlasting.
A Man there is, a real Man, With wounds still gaping wide,
From which rich streams of blood once ran, In hands, and feet, and side.
’Tis no wild fancy of our brains, No metaphor we speak;
The same dear Man in heaven now reigns That suffered for our sake.
This wondrous Man of whom we tell, Is true Almighty God;
He bought our souls from death and hell; The price, his own heart’s blood.
Gadsby #23, by J.Hart