Scripture reading – Isaiah 65; Isaiah 66

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Isaiah 65

Salvation Offered to the Gentiles (Isaiah 65:1)

Isaiah 65 opened with the LORD saying, “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, Unto a nation that was not called by my name” (65:1).

The Lord’s heart was evident toward an unholy people whom I believe were Gentiles. Out of His love and compassion for sinners, the LORD allowed himself to be called by those who did not ask and found by those who had not sought. Indeed, though His own were estranged because of their sins, the Lord still sought His people through the prophet’s words.

Israel Rejected the LORD, and He Would Use Babylon to Punish His People (Isaiah 65:2-5)

Though the LORD opened His hands to Israel, the people refused His invitation, rebelled, and walked “in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts” (Isaiah 66:2). They turned to idols (Isaiah 65:3), practiced the occult and consulted with dead spirits “among the graves” (Isaiah 65:4; Isaiah 8:19). They disobeyed the law and ate “swine’s flesh” (Isaiah 65:4b; Isaiah 66:3, 17; Leviticus 11:7). They were proud, and self-righteous, and said, “Come not near to me; for I am holier than thou” (Isaiah 65:5a). As a nation, they had become a stench, “a smoke” in the LORD’s nose (Isaiah 65:5b).

The Millennial Kingdom

God’s Warning to the Rebellious (Isaiah 65:6-7)

Isaiah revealed that the LORD records our sins (Isaiah 65:6a). He warned that He will judge our sins and “not keep silence, but will recompense [repay]” (Isaiah 65:6). Indeed, the sins of every generation will be punished (Isaiah 65:7). Yet, the LORD is loving and forgiving and promised He would “not destroy them all” (Isaiah 65:8).

Understanding a grape gatherer does not destroy all the grapes due to a few sour grapes, the LORD will not condemn all men but will save a remnant (Isaiah 65:8-9), for some would seek the LORD (Isaiah 65:10-16).

A Prophetic Portrait of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom (Isaiah 65:17-66:24)

Isaiah 65 concluded with God affirming He would make all things new (Isaiah 65:17). We know the effects of sin on our earth and acknowledge that the curse of sin and the depravity of man have infected and affected all creation (Romans 1:18-32). Nevertheless, Isaiah prophesied there was coming a day when “the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind,” for the LORD promised, “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17). In that day, believers will rejoice, and “the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying” (Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 7:17; 21:4). The citizens of the Millennial Kingdom will not know death in the same way we understand death today (65:20).  

The people of the Millennial Kingdom will be engaged in meaningful work, and their labor will be blessed (Isaiah 65:21-23). Believers will enjoy fellowship with the LORD and want for nothing (Isaiah 65:24). I can think of nothing more picturesque of the peace of God than when all nature will dwell together in peace: “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, And the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: And dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 65:25).


Isaiah 66


The Incomparable Glory of the LORD (Isaiah 66:1-2) 

Our study of Isaiah concludes with Isaiah 66. This final chapter begins with a striking truth: 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?” (Isaiah 66:1). In essence, the LORD challenged Israel that no Temple constructed by men can contain the majesty of His person. He dwells in heaven, and the Earth was but a footstool in His sight (Isaiah 66:1).

Of a truth, Israel was guilty of forgetting the sanctity and holiness of the Lord. Yet, He Who was Creator of heaven and earth looks for those who are “poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at [His] word” (Isaiah 66:2). He seeks the heart that is “poor” (humble), the spirit that is “contrite” (broken), and the one who “trembleth” (fears and reveres) Him (Isaiah 66:2; Psalm 51:17).

Second Coming of Christ (Isaiah 66:15-21)

The LORD Despises Hypocrisy (Isaiah 66:3-4)

The sacrifices of the wicked are unacceptable to the LORD (Isaiah 66:3). He despises those who worship Him with less than a humble, broken, and reverential heart (Isaiah 66:4).


The LORD is Judge (Isaiah 66:5-6)

Believers who sincerely “tremble,” revere, and obey the Word of the LORD would be hated by some they call brethren (Isaiah 66:5a). Isaiah foretold how some who faithfully identified with the LORD’s name would be cast out (Isaiah 66:5). Yet, “the LORD [will] be glorified” and the wicked put to shame (Isaiah 66:5).  The prophet prophesied the LORD would punish His enemies (Isaiah 11:6).


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

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

On that day, Jerusalem will be at peace, and Gentile nations will come to the city where Christ reigns and will be nourished and comforted (Isaiah 66:12-13; 2:2; 60:4; Revelation 21:24-26). There will be justice when the hearts of God’s people rejoice and His enemies are punished (Isaiah 66:14).

Second Coming of Christ (Isaiah 66:15-21)

The coming of the LORD will be terrifying 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” (Isaiah 66:15). The wicked will perish “by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead [pass judgment] with all flesh.” Many will be “slain [by] the Lord” (Isaiah 66:16), and the wicked who thought to purify themselves by idolatry “shall be consumed together, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 66:17).


Eternity (Isaiah 66:22-24)

Declaring “the new heavens and the new earth” (Isaiah 66:22), the children of God are promised they will continue as His people forever (Isaiah 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”). On that day, “all flesh” will come to Jerusalem to worship the LORD (Isaiah 66:23).


Closing thoughts

Some believe hell and the lake of fire are limited to the New Testament (Luke 16:23-24; Revelation 20:11-15). Isaiah 66:24, however, recorded a perpetual place of fire and torment for those who transgressed God’s Commandments and rejected His offer of salvation.

Isaiah 66:24 – “And 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.”

Remember, the end is only the beginning! Where will you spend eternity?

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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