The End is Only the Beginning (Isaiah 66)

Scripture reading – Isaiah 66

Our study of Isaiah concludes with today’s Scripture reading of Isaiah 66. Our next Scripture assignments will put in a historical context, the life and times of Isaiah.

Isaiah 66

The final chapter of Isaiah begins with a striking reminder: The Incomparable Glory of the LORD (66:1-2). The LORD declared, “the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: Where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?” (66:1).

The Lord dwells in heaven, yet He asked His people to consider His glory, reminding them that all the heavens were His, and the Earth was but a footstool in His sight. Of a truth, His people had forgotten the sanctity and holiness of the Lord. They had forgotten that the Lord looks for those who are “poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at [His] word” (66:2). God seeks a man of humility whose heart is “poor” (humble), “contrite” (broken), and “trembleth” (fearing and revering) Him (66:2; Psalm 51:17).

God Despises Hypocrisy (66:3-4)

To worship the LORD with less than a humble, broken, and reverential heart is repugnant to the LORD. The sacrifices of the wicked are unacceptable to the LORD! (66:3)

God is Judge (66:5-6)

The LORD chooses the punishment of the wicked, and we should remember He is just (66:4). Believers who “tremble,” revere, and obey God’s Word, will be hated by some they call brethren (66:5a). Isaiah foretold, there will be some who will “cast you out” of the congregation for faithfully bearing the name of the LORD (66:5b). Yet, “the LORD [will] be glorified,” the wicked “shall be ashamed” (66:5), and God will punish His enemies (11:6).

Jerusalem: Her Travail, and Homecoming (66:7-14)

There are various opinions on the interpretation of Isaiah 66:7-14; however, I believe the most fitting is that Jerusalem is typified as the woman in labor in these verses. Though torn and divided by war in our day, Isaiah prophesied there would be a day when Jerusalem would be a city of rejoicing (66:10), worship, and comfort (66:11).

In that day, Jerusalem will be a place of peace, and Gentile nations will come to that city where Christ reigns, and will be nourished and comforted (66:12-13; 2:2; 60:4; Revelation 21:24-26). The hearts of God’s people will rejoice, and His enemies will be punished (66:14).

Second Coming of Christ (66:15-21)

The coming of the LORD is a terrifying picture to lost sinners, and a triumphant expectation for believers. Isaiah foretold “the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, To render his anger with fury, And his rebuke with flames of fire” (66:15). The wicked will perish “by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead [pass judgment] with all flesh,” and many will be “slain of the Lord” (66:16). The wicked “shall be consumed together, saith the LORD” (66:17).

Eternity (66:22-24)

Declaring again “the new heavens and the new earth” (66:22), the children of God are promised they will continue as God’s people forever (66:22b). The worship of the LORD will be continual, from month to month (“one new moon to another”), and week to week (“from one sabbath to another”). In that day, “all flesh” will come to Jerusalem to worship the LORD (66:23).

Closing thoughts – Lest some believe hell and the lake of fire are limited to the New Testament, Isaiah 66:24 reminds us of a perpetual place of fire and torment for those who have transgressed God’s Commandments, and rejected Christ as Savior.

Isaiah 66:24 – “24And they shall go forth, and look Upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: For their worm shall not die, Neither shall their fire be quenched; And they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”

Reminder: The end is only the beginning! (Revelation 20:11-15)

Where will you spend eternity?

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith