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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah

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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 66: An Accounting on idolaters, blessing on the faithful of the world

 

v.1,2 The real house – faithful people – who will be saved

v.3-7 Judgment will come on the idol worshippers

v.8-14 Blessing & salvation will come by God's plan on His real people

v.15-17 But judgment will fall on the idol worshippers

v.18-24 His plans also involve bringing seekers from all over the world

    

[Preliminary notes: The final chapter distinguishes again and again between the faithful and the unfaithful (idolaters). The Lord points out that He is bigger than One who only dwells in a manmade building [v.1] and He's more concerned with people [rather than buildings] who will come with right hearts [v.2]. Judgment WILL come speedily on rebellious, mocking idolaters [v.3-7]. However, equally speedily, blessing will come for the faithful [v.8-14], peace, provision, and comfort. But He reiterates, judgment WILL come on all idolaters [v.15-17]. As has been noted in earlier chapters, this blessing will mean people from all over the world will be drawn to Jerusalem [v.18-24]. A chapter that continues to distinguish between the righteous and unrighteous with strong warnings to the latter.]

  

 

v.1,2 The real house – faithful people – who will be saved

   

v.1 Think big about me, how can you build me a house?

v.1 This is what the Lord says:

‘Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
    Where will my resting-place be?
   

v.2 Are not the remnant saved by God's mighty hand

v.2  Has not my hand made all these things,
    and so they came into being?'
declares the Lord.

‘These are the ones I look on with favour:
    those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
    and who tremble at my word.
    

   

v.3-7 Judgment will come on the idol worshippers

   

v.3 False worship and sacrifice is an abomination

v.3  But whoever sacrifices a bull
    is like one who kills a person,
and whoever offers a lamb
    is like one who breaks a dog's neck;
whoever makes a grain offering
    is like one who presents pig's blood,
and whoever burns memorial incense
    is like one who worships an idol.
They have chosen their own ways,
    and they delight in their abominations;
   

v.4 Because they ignored and rejected me, I will punish them

v.4  so I also will choose harsh treatment for them
    and will bring on them what they dread.
For when I called, no one answered,
    when I spoke, no one listened.
They did evil in my sight
    and chose what displeases me.'

 

v.5 You unfaithful ones who mock my faithful ones will be shamed

v.5  Hear the word of the Lord,
    you who tremble at his word;
‘Your own people who hate you,
    and exclude you because of my name, have said,
“Let the Lord be glorified,
    that we may see your joy!”
    Yet they will be put to shame.
    

v.6 Listen for what is coming, God dealing with His enemies

v.6  Hear that uproar from the city,
    hear that noise from the temple!
It is the sound of the Lord
    repaying his enemies all they deserve.

 

v.7 It will happen speedily

v.7  ‘Before she goes into labour,
    she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her,
    she delivers a son.
    

 

v.8-14 Blessing & salvation will come by God's plan on His real people

   

v.8 What's this, Jerusalem in anguish bringing a new future?

v.8  Who has ever heard of such things?
    Who has ever seen things like this?
Can a country be born in a day
    or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labour
    than she gives birth to her children.
   

v.9 Do I start something and not finish it?

v.9  Do I bring to the moment of birth
    and not give delivery?' says the Lord.
‘Do I close up the womb
    when I bring to delivery?' says your God.
    

v.10 You who love Jerusalem, rejoice over what is coming

v.10  ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
    all you who love her;
rejoice greatly with her,
    all you who mourn over her.
   

v.11 You will know provision and blessing in abundance

v.11  For you will feed and be satisfied
    at her comforting breasts;
you will drink deeply
    and delight in her overflowing abundance.'

   

v.12 Peace and provision by the world is what is coming

v.12  For this is what the Lord says:

‘I will extend peace to her like a river,
    and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will feed and be carried on her arm
    and dandled on her knees.
   

v.13 You will know my comfort

v.13  As a mother comforts her child,
    so will I comfort you;
    and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.'

 

v.14 When you see this you will know and you will rejoice

v.14  When you see this, your heart will rejoice
    and you will flourish like grass;
the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants,
    but his fury will be shown to his foes.
     

 

v.15-17 But judgment will fall on the idol worshippers

 

v.15 Watch out, the God of judgment is coming

v.15  See, the Lord is coming with fire,
    and his chariots are like a whirlwind;
he will bring down his anger with fury,
    and his rebuke with flames of fire.
    

v.16 The judgment will come with fire and the sword

v.16  For with fire and with his sword
    the Lord will execute judgment on all people,
    and many will be those slain by the Lord.

 

v.17 All who turn to idolatry will come to an end

v.17  ‘Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things – they will meet their end together with the one they follow,' declares the Lord.

 

 

v.18-24 But His plans also involve bringing seekers from all over the world

 

v.18 And I will bring seekers of my glory from all over the world

v.18  ‘And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory.

 

v.19 I will send messengers out across the globe…

v.19  ‘I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations – to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations.

 

v.20 … and first they will return my people to their home

v.20  And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord – on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,' says the Lord. ‘They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels.

 

v.21 They will become my servants in my temple

v.21  And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,' says the Lord.

 

v.22 They will be part of the new world that I am bringing

v.22  ‘As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,' declares the Lord, ‘so will your name and descendants endure.

 

v.23 Throughout every month the world will come to me here

v.23  From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,' says the Lord.

  

v.24 And they will see all those consigned to death for rebellion

v.24  ‘And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.'