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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 65: Present day Judgment and the future new world


v.1-7 The Lord confronts the ongoing sin in the land

v.8-10 The faithful remnant will know blessing

v.11-16 Outcome distinctions between the faithful and the unfaithful

v.17-25 The new world that the Lord will bring into being


[Preliminary notes: The chapter appears to be a response of the Lord, possibly to what Isaiah has been praying. Instead of just pouring out future blessing, there has to be a present-day accounting. The Lord points out that He had created Israel, even though they had not looked for Him [v.1] and despite their obstinacy [v.2], even up to the present time as they still indulge in idolatry [v.3,4] and false spirituality [v.5], all of which He has recorded [v.6,7]. However, if he finds a small number of faithful ones He will preserve and bless them [v.8-10]. He then takes time to distinguish between those who are faithful and those who are not [v.11-16]. In the final phase of the chapter the Lord reveals His plans for what we must assume is the end of time when He creates a new world of rejoicing, freedom from tears, and a life of peace and blessing [v.17-25], reminiscent of that found in Rev 21:1-4, a wonderful new age of mankind with their God.]



v.1-7 The Lord confronts the ongoing sin in the land


v.1 The Lord responds

v.1  ‘I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
    I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name,
    I said, “Here am I, here am I.”

v.2 He points out that His hands have been open and welcoming to His people…

v.2  All day long I have held out my hands
    to an obstinate people,
who walk in ways not good,
    pursuing their own imaginations –

v.3,4 … although they continue to ignore Him and worship idols

v.3  a people who continually provoke me
    to my very face,
offering sacrifices in gardens
    and burning incense on altars of brick;

v.4  who sit among the graves
    and spend their nights keeping secret vigil;
who eat the flesh of pigs,
    and whose pots hold broth of impure meat;

v.5 Their false spirituality offends Him

v.5  who say, “Keep away; don't come near me,
    for I am too sacred for you!”
Such people are smoke in my nostrils,
    a fire that keeps burning all day.


v.6 He's written down the extent of their sins deserving His punishment

v.6  ‘See, it stands written before me;
    I will not keep silent but will pay back in full;
    I will pay it back into their laps –

v.7 These are past and present sins of idolatry for which they will pay

v.7  both your sins and the sins of your ancestors,'
    says the Lord.
‘Because they burned sacrifices on the mountains
    and defied me on the hills,
I will measure into their laps
    the full payment for their former deeds.'



v.8-10 The faithful remnant will know blessing


v.8 If there is a little good left in my people I will spare them…

v.8  This is what the Lord says:

‘As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes
    and people say, “Don't destroy it,
    there is still a blessing in it,”
so will I do on behalf of my servants;
    I will not destroy them all.

v.9 …so they may yet have future generations

v.9  I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
    and from Judah those who will possess my mountains;
my chosen people will inherit them,
    and there will my servants live.

v.10 The desolate land will yet be a place of blessing

v.10  Sharon will become a pasture for flocks,
    and the Valley of Achor a resting-place for herds,
    for my people who seek me.



v.11-16 Outcome distinctions between the faithful and the unfaithful


v.11 But those who still forsake, that's something else…

v.11  ‘But as for you who forsake the Lord
    and forget my holy mountain,
who spread a table for Fortune
    and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,

v.12 …for you will fall by the sword for your ongoing sins

v.12  I will destine you for the sword,
    and all of you will fall in the slaughter;
for I called but you did not answer,
    I spoke but you did not listen.
You did evil in my sight
    and chose what displeases me.'


v.13 Understand, the faithful will be fed, the unfaithful will suffer

v.13  Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘My servants will eat,
    but you will go hungry;
my servants will drink,
    but you will go thirsty;
my servants will rejoice,
    but you will be put to shame.

v.14 The faithful will sing with joy, the unfaithful will only know anguish

v.14  My servants will sing
    out of the joy of their hearts,
but you will cry out
    from anguish of heart
    and wail in brokenness of spirit.

v.15 You unfaithful ones will only be remembered badly as you die…

v.15  You will leave your name
    for my chosen ones to use in their curses;
the Sovereign Lord will put you to death,
    but to his servants he will give another name.

v.16 …but my faithful ones who cry out to me will know a new day

v.16  Whoever invokes a blessing in the land
    will do so by the one true God;
whoever takes an oath in the land
    will swear by the one true God.
For the past troubles will be forgotten
    and hidden from my eyes.



v.17-25 The new world that the Lord will bring into being


v.17 See, I'll make everything new, the old will be forgotten

v.17  ‘See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.

v.18 You can rejoice over the wonder of what Jerusalem will be

v.18  But be glad and rejoice for ever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.

v.19 So rejoice in my city that will then know no more tears…

v.19  I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
    will be heard in it no more.


v.20 … and then lives will be preserved, in birth and to old age

v.20  ‘Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
    will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach a hundred
    will be considered accursed.

v.21 They will build, plant and flourish

v.21  They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

v.22 The days of property being taken by others will have gone

v.22  No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.

v.23 Their work and their families will prosper

v.23  They will not labour in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.

v.24 And when they call, I will be there instantly

v.24  Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.

v.25 There will be complete peace and harmony in my Creation

v.25  The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent's food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,'
says the Lord.



Continue to Chapter 66