The feet of them that bring good tidings

December 12, 2012

Isaiah wrote,

Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Four things are brought together in the prophecy: good tidings, mountains, the feet of the messenger, and the fact that God reigns. The meaning of good tidings was identified by Paul, who applied the scripture to those preaching the Gospel. [Rom. 10:15-16]

Commenting on the mountains referred to in Isaiah 52:7, J. A. Alexander wrote: “The mountains meant may be the mountains round Jerusalem, or the word may be more indefinitely understood as adding a trait to the prophetic picture.”  Evidently, he was somewhat mystified by the reference to mountains in the prophecy. Other commentators have struggled to explain why the prophet refers to mountains in this verse.

In another prophecy Isaiah spoke of mountains as becoming a way. “And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.” [Isa. 49:11]

The idea of mountains becoming a way or a highway underlies the prophecy that John the Baptist proclaimed, which he borrowed from Isaiah.

Isaiah 40:4-5
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

A metaphorical highway to God is “departing from evil.”

Proverbs 16:17
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

Removing stumblingblocks out of the way is a similar idea. Isaiah wrote:

Isaiah 57:10-11
… but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;
And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.

In Isaiah’s prophecies, mountains represent the blessings and promises of God, and revelations of a spiritual nature. There is something beautiful about the feet of the saints upon the mountains because it implies that they possess those promises. One of the great promises of Jesus was that the Spirit will guide his saints to all truth. [John 16:13]

The mention of feet in Isaiah 52:7 alludes to the walk of believers, and the direction of their lives.

God promises to direct those that put their trust in him. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

God will “keep the feet of his saints.” [1 Sam. 2:9] That is, he guides them. David said men are blessed according to where they walk, stand, and sit. [Psa. 1:1-2]

God keeps the feet of his saints from falling, [Psa. 56:13] and lights the path of their feet by his word. [Psa. 119:105]

The righteous refrain their feet from evil. The psalmist wrote, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.” [Psa. 119:101] Paul said the saints’ feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. [Eph. 6:15]

They seek the holy city Jerusalem, and Christ’s kingdom. The psalmist wrote, “Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.” [Psa. 122:2] They have come to the heavenly Jerusalem. [Heb. 12:22]

Ezekiel said God will search for his sheep and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered, and feed them on the mountains of Israel.  [Ezek. 34: 12-13]

Proverbs 4:26 says, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”

God gives strength to his people; Habakkuk wrote: “The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” [Hab. 3:19]

The prophet Nahum wrote using almost the same words that Isaiah used: “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!” [Nah. 1:15] In the last part of the same verse he wrote: ” O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”

Paul wrote, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” [Rom. 16:20]

The prophecy of Isaiah 52:7 is about the feet of those who declare to Zion that God reigns, which implies that this is not generally known in the Church. Some dispensationalists deny it, for example. But many Scriptures confirm it. The following Scriptures that refer to mount Zion all apply to the Church, as Hebrews 12:22 says, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.”

Psalm 2:6
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

Psalm 48:2
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

Jeremiah 8:19
Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her?

Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Jesus is king, in the heavenly Jerusalem, and in his Church. When he ascended to heaven after his resurrection, Jerusalem and mount Zion were also raised up, and established in the top of the mountains, above the hills, as foretold in Isaiah 2:1-2. “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” [Psa. 11:4] In the present age, the Church is the temple of God. [Eph. 2:20]