Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 66

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-24

  1. Intro:
    1. Israel Trip –
      1. Donna English update:
    2. Isaiah closes the book with a description of the millennium & true worship under Messiah’s rule.
      1. Its emphasis God’s Greatness & the need for people to repent to enjoy fellowship w/Him. (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.99)
  2. PEACE LIKE A RIVER! (1-24)
    1. ​​​​​​​JESUS ENTHRONED! (1-4)
    2. (1,2) He is so majestic no earthly temple could contain Him.
      1. Besides, how do you build a house for the Lord when He made everything?
        1. I’ve seen some of the greatest houses of worship man has devised in which to worship God.
        2. Like: The National Cathedral in Washington D.C.(stained glass impressive); St. Peters basilica in Rome(the art & statues remarkable); The Jade Buddha Temple in shanghai; Hindi temples in India; The Muslims 5th holiest site The Doom of the Rock Mosque(They believe this is where Abraham almost sacrificed Ishmael not Issac).
      2. Again, how do you build a house for the Lord when He made everything?
        1. I’ve seen some of the greatest “systems” of worship man has devised in which to worship God.
          1. Sabbath Elevators – I was trying to push the buttons!
      3. He is so great he uses the earth as His ottoman/footstool!
      4. Yet, He condescends to fellowship w/those who are humble & heed His word.
        1. Ex: Like Jesus refusing to stay at the King David Hotel (Best in Jer.) instead desires to stay at your humble abode!
      5. [1] Humble –
      6. [2] Contrite spirit – Deeply repentant.
      7. [3] Tremble at God’s Word – “Tremble means to respect what God says & fear to disobey it.”
        1. Ps.119:120 “My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.”
        2. Phil.2:12 “…work out your own salvation(Christian life) with fear and trembling;”
      8. Some have responded just the opposite to the Word of God! Jer.36
        1. Like King Jehoiakim who didn’t tremble but trashed the Word of God. (As a king of Israel/Judah he should have been copying it & heeding its message Deut.17:18-20)
        2. Instead he destroyed what Jeremiah spoke, & Baruch wrote.
        3. He had it read to his a his winter house(22) w/a fire burning in his hearth.
        4. After 3 or 4 columns read, he cut it with the Scribes knife & cast it in the fire(23).
        5. God simply had Jeremiah…get another scroll. Told him to write the same things with an addition…the kings judgment!
          1. “Any king who thinks he can silence God w/a knife & fire, has a very high opinion of himself, & a very low opinion of God!” (www)
          2. What he could not reach w/knife & fire was of course…their author.
    3. The story is told of a college professor who visited the Fiji Islands. Being agnostic, he critically remarked to an elderly chief, "You're a great leader, but it's a pity you've been taken in by those foreign missionaries. They only want to get rich through you. No one believes the Bible anymore. People are tired of the threadbare story of Christ dying on a cross for the sins of mankind. They know better now. I'm sorry you've been so foolish as to accept their story."
      The old chief's eyes flashed as he answered, "See that great rock over there? On it we smashed the heads of our victims. Notice the furnace next to it? In that oven we formerly roasted the bodies of our enemies. If it hadn't been for those good missionaries and the love of Jesus that changed us from cannibals into Christians, you'd never leave this place alive! - You'd better thank the Lord for the Gospel; otherwise we'd already be feasting on you. If it weren't for the Bible, you'd now be our supper!
    4. (3,4) The Lord who sees the heart, condemns hypocritical worship!
      1. Show Luther clip! – crumbles the indulgence.
        1. Substituting spiritual worship…for any system.
        2. Isaiah is rebuking all empty “churchiness”! - All dependence upon mere ritual & religious observance.
        3. Maybe our climbing of the steps would be “Lord, I’ll read more; I’ll go to church more; I’ll pray more; I’ll tithe more; I’ll witness more!”
      2. Q: What is the outward rite to God when the spirit has fled?
      3. Despite their offerings(3); the hypocrites ignored the Lord & sinned against Him(4b).
      4. So God would punish them(4a).
    5. THE MOTHERHOOD OF GOD! (5-13)
    6. (5) Don’t be discouraged when you are scorned.
      1. The remnant feared the lord & trembled at His word…& they were hated because of it.
      2. So, the Lord would judge them by allowing the Babylonians to destroy the Temple(6).
        1. And it will reoccur during the Tribulation.
    7. (7,8) The restoration of Israel’s kingdom will be as sudden & joyful as the birth of a baby.
      1. The travail of their tribulation will give birth to glory.
    8. (10,12) Jerusalem will be preeminent, exalted above the nations as the supreme city of the world.
    9. (12) “I’ve got peace like a River” – came from this verse.
      1. 2nd stanza, “Love like an ocean” – 3rd stanza, “Joy like a fountain”.
    10. (13) The motherhood of God’s nature!
      1. What was God’s response to Zion thinking they were forgotten or forsaken? Is.49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.”
      2. The Great Shepherd gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them in his bosom.
    11. FLOURISH OR PERISH! (14-24)
    12. (16) Many – Mt.7:13 “…wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”
    13. (19) The Lord’s final missionaries carrying the knowledge of Him to Europe, Asia, & Africa.
      1. Tarshsish = S/W Spain; Pul/Put = Libya/N.Africa; Lud = Lydia in Asia Minor; Tubal = N/E Asia minor; Juvan = Greece.
    14. (23) All flesh – those who are the Israel of God, not merely by descent, but in heart & life.
      1. Phil.3:3 “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.
    15. (24) Isaiah ends the book on a somber note, emphasizing the need for repentance & a genuine response of the heart to the Lord’s gracious invitation.
    16. The Message bible graphically interprets this “And then they’ll go out and look at what happened to those who rebelled against me. Corpses! - Maggots endlessly eating away on them, an endless supply of fuel for fires. Everyone who sees what’s happened and smells the stench retches.” (retches = a spasm of vomiting without bringing anything up)
    17. We visited again in Israel The Shrine of the Book that was built to house the scroll of Isaiah.
      1. 100bc (1000 yrs older than the oldest biblical manuscript before the finds at Qumran)
    18. The “Deathless Book” has survived these great dangers:
      1. [1] The negligence of its friends.
      2. [2] The False systems built upon it.
      3. [3] The warfare of those who hated it. {Isaac Taylor}
    19. Bird Dog Story: A man had a favorite bird dog that was special to him – got separated, had to leave – remembered a trick an old dog trainer told him, he took his shirt put it under some leaves under a bush – came back next day(worried) to find him curled up on it with his nose under the sleeve.
      1. Q: When you get lost, do you have the trust to look for some part of God’s Word & curl up in it?
      2. And find once again, His Peace like a River!
    20. End: God desires a humble & contrite heart…nothing pleases Him more! And those who are the ones who will enjoy intimate fellowship w/Him!
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 66". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.