“ Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. ”—(Isaiah 32: 15- 17)
Often the LORD speaks in allegories for a reason. Proverbs 25:2 says it is the glory of God to conceal a matter but it is the honour of kings to search it out.
These words by the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 32: 15-17 were very instructive of what the LORD would do at the new birth. And though many have inferred that the ‘outpouring’ mentioned in Isaiah 32:15 referred to the believer’s second experience—the anointing of the Holy Ghost—which is manifested in the speaking of other tongues, the import of this word of prophecy really points to the first experience, the new birth.
Notice, it says when the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, the wilderness will become a fruitful field and the fruitful field would be accounted for a forest. A wilderness refers to a fruitless land or a desert. And He says here that the fruitless desert will become fruitful and that it would be accounted for even more fruitfulness—which refers to the potential of the fruitful field to become a forest.
Furthermore, the word says judgement (or a just verdict) will abide in the wilderness while righteousness will abide in the fruitful field.
Wait a minute! Didn’t He say the wilderness will become a fruitful field? So why did He say that judgment will dwell in the wilderness and righteousness will abide in the fruitful field? He said so because He was referring to the mystery of the Old Man (the sinner that you were) and the New Man (the saint that you are).
The Old Man was judged, damned and exterminated in Christ Jesus. The Bible says, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation—that didn’t exist before—old things are passed away. Behold all things are become new. (2 Corinthian 5:17)
The Word further says in 2 Corinthians5:21 that God made Christ Jesus to be sin that knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Only at the new birth, when a previously unsaved person confessed the Lordship of Jesus does this judgement and impartation of righteousness ever take place. The Old Man is judged and the New Man is made the Righteousness of God simultaneously. You ceased to be and become a new man, blameless and in the class of God himself.
‘…the fruitful field be counted for a forest’ refers to spiritual maturity which we will broach later.
But there’s more as this awesome allegory continues in verse 17. It says “…the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”
First, let’s look at a few words to grasp a better understanding of what God is saying exactly. The Hebrew words translated, ‘work’ and ‘effect’ also mean end-product and by-product respectively. While the easier-to-understand synonyms for peace, quietness and assurance are completeness, rest and trust.
In other words Isaiah 32: 17 could read: And the work (end-product) of righteousness shall be peace(completeness; a state of nothing missing and nothing broken); and the effect (by-product) of righteousness quietness(rest; a cessation of struggle) and assurance (trust) for ever.”
Picture it this way: Righteousness is a labourer working on a fruit field (the New Creation) and on that field, He produces completeness as finished product. And apart from completeness, He also produces a rest and trust as secondary products. Wow, this is wonderful!
But as with every other Bible truth, there is a God-ward part which has been finished and a man-ward part which we must enter into. Righteousness is not just produce Completeness, Rest and Trust without your wanting it to, The Bible says Righteousness shall dwell in the fruitful field. That’s God’s part and He has finished it in Christ Jesus. Getting Righteousness to produce Peace, Quietness and Assurance on your part is going to take some effort on your part.
Let’s look at Hebrews 5:12-14 from the Complete Jewish Bible:
“ For although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the very first principles of God’s Word all over again! You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who has to drink milk is still a baby, without experience in applying the Word about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by continuous exercise to distinguish good from evil.”
Here it is. Getting righteousness to produce Peace (a state of completeness or Spiritual Maturity); to produce Quietness (rest; a struggle free life) and Assurance( an endless capacity to trust God for anything, in any situation) depends on your experience in applying the Word about Righteousness.
Joshua 1:8 tells us how to garner experience in applying the Word about Righteousness. You’re going to have to take out your Bible, get a Concordance and a note pad. Also get seasoned teachings about the subject of righteousness. Note every scripture on the subject of Righteousness and begin meditation sessions. I recommend you do this once every three months for at least 2 weeks. You’ll find that God’s righteousness endures forever. And that you have made tremendous progress in your spiritual life.
Patrick N. Igbinijesu