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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Isaiah 65

Verses 1-7

ISAIAH - CHAPTER 65

DIVINE RESPONSE TO ISRAEL’S SUPPLICATION

1. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Paul has applied verse 1 TO GENTILES who were willing to yield themselves, in faith, to the lordship of Jesus Christ, (Romans 9:30; Romans 10:19-20; Ephesians 2:12; comp. Deuteronomy 32:21).

a. Isaiah has already shown God’s willingness to save "unto the ends of the earth" - not Jews only, but Gentiles also, (Isaiah 45:22).

b. The Lord offers a ready welcome to all who are willing to walk in faith-obedience before Him - even though they have not, henceforth, been called by His name, (Hosea 1:10; comp. John 12:20-25).

c. The grafting of Gentile saints into the stock of Israel adequately solves the enigma, arising so often in the Scriptures, of Israel’s simultaneous loss and gain.

2. By way of contrast, with the faith-obedience manifested by the Gentiles, Isaiah depicts the obstinate unfaithfullness of the elect nation; throughout the age-long day, God has spread out His beckoning hands to a stubborn and rebellious people who insisted on walking in their own way, (vs. 2-5a; Romans 10:21; Isaiah 1:2-4; Isaiah 30:1; Isaiah 30:9; Isaiah 59:7; Psalms 81:11-16).

a. Their national life was characterized by gross idolatry through which they constantly provoked the Lord to His face, (vs. 3-4; Isaiah 3:8; comp. Isaiah 1:29; Isaiah 66:3; Isaiah 66:17).

b. Yet, in their bigoted blindness, they adjudged themselves more holy than others - refusing to associate with them, (vs. 5a; comp. Matthew 9:10-13; Luke 7:39-47; Luke 18:9-14).

3. The ultimate rejection of Israel was not brought about by the sins of a single generation; it was accumulative, (vs. 5b-7); from ancient times they had burned incense (to false gods) upon the mountains and defied the Lord upon the hills - a fact which demonstrates the justice of His judgment, (Proverbs 16:5; Isaiah 42:14; Psalms 50:3; Psalms 50:21; Jeremiah 16:18; Isaiah 22:14; Isaiah 30:12-14; Isaiah 57:7; Ezekiel 20:27-28; Jeremiah 5:29; Jeremiah 13:24-27).

Verses 8-12

Vs. 8-12: A CONTRAST BETWEEN THE FAITHFUL AND UNFAITHFUL

1. Within the nation that has forfeited its right to covenant fellowship with God, there is still a holy remnant through whom the promises of God will be faithfully fulfilled, (vs. 8-10).

a. God will not destroy the nation because of the holy remnant, (vs. 8; 1:9; Isaiah 10:21-22; Isaiah 48:9; Amos 9:8-9).

b. From Jacob, through the tribe of Judah, God will bring forth a true offspring, an "inheritor" of His mountains - the Christ (vs. 9a; Exodus 15:17; Psalms 2:8; Hebrews 1:2; Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15-18; Isaiah 65:9; Isaiah 63:17; Zechariah 2:12; Lu 132-33); since election is FOR SERVICE, His true servants (elect through identification with Christ - Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13) will share the blessedness and greatness of His kingdom, (vs. 9b; Matthew 25:31-40).

c. The blessings awaiting those who truly seek the Lord are illustrated by the rich fertility of Sharon, and the valley of Achor -which Hosea declares that God will give as a "door of hope", (vs. 10; Hosea 2:15).

1) At Achor the people of Israel humbled themselves to repudiate the sin of Achan and execute judgment as God required, (Joshua 7).

2) And there is hope for all who will humble themselves in the sight of God and reverently walk in the way of truth, (Psalms 33:18; Psalms 39:7).

2. Yet, those who have forsaken the Lord will bear the burden of their sins, (vs. 11-12; Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 1:18; Jeremiah 2:12-13; Deuteronomy 29:24-25).

a. Not only have they failed to "Seek first" the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), they have utterly IGNORED IT (comp. Isaiah 2:2-3) - spreading a table for one idol, and providing an abundance of mixed wine for another, (vs. 11).

b. The rebellious and negligent are, thus, destined for sword and slaughter, (vs. 12a; Isaiah 66:16).

c. They refused to answer God’s call, or to obey His commandment, (vs. 12b; Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 66:4; 2 Chronicles 36:15-16; comp. Proverbs 1:24-33).

d. By deliberate choice they aroused God’s displeasure - doing that which was evil in His eyes, (vs. 12c).

Verses 13-16

Vs. 13-16: THE DIFFERENCE GOD MAKES IS REAL

1. The Lord’s true servants will be adequately supplied with food and drink (Isaiah 1:19; Psalms 34:10; Isaiah 41:17-18; Isaiah 49:10; comp. John 6:32-35; John 7:37-39), while the wicked and rebellious will hunger and thirst, (comp. Isaiah 8:21; Isaiah 5:13).

2. While the faithful sing for joy of heart (Isaiah 61:7; Isaiah 66:14; Isaiah 51:11; Psalms 66:1-4), the rebellious idolators will be reduced to shame (Isaiah 42:17; Isaiah 44:9; Isaiah 44:11; Isaiah 66:5) - crying for sorrow of heart, and wailing for vexation of spirit, (Matthew 8:12).

3. Since Israel has acted as an adultress, her name will become a curse - referring to the oath with which the priest had to administer the water of jealousy (Numbers 5:21-24; comp. Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 25:15-18; Zechariah 8:13).

4. Henceforth, the Lord will call His servants by another name (Isaiah 62:2; 1 Peter 2:9-10), so that whoever blesses himself, or takes an oath, will do so by "the God of Amen" - the God who is faithful to His word, and who always fulfills His covenant.

5. The former troubles will then be forgotten - being hidden, forever, from the Lord’s eyes, (Isaiah 22:5; Isaiah 26:16; Jeremiah 31:12; Zephaniah 3:14-20).

Verses 17-25

Vs. 17-25: THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE KINGDOM

1. Linked with the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (under Messiah, the King) are some astounding events, leading to such blessedness and glory as are unequaled in the history of the world - resurrection (Daniel 12:2; Isaiah 25:8), and a new creation (Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22).

2. Again, it should be understood that "the heavens" and "the earth" are often used symbolically in the prophetic word.

a. "Heaven" is sometimes used figuratively of "honor, station, authority, majesty, power and political or civil supremacy", (see (Isaiah 13:10-13; Jeremiah 4:23-25; Ezekiel 32:7; Isaiah 34:4-5; Joel 2:10; Isaiah 14:12-15).

b. "Earth", when used figuratively, denotes the masses by which the political authorities are upheld, (Revelation 12:16; Genesis 6:11; etc.).

c. The "newness" involved is NOT that of something ENTIRELY DIFFERENT, but involves a "renewing or restoring", (comp. 1 Samuel 11:14; Isaiah 61:4; Psalms 103:5; 2 Chronicles 15:8; 2 Chronicles 24:4).

d. So remarkably delightful and satisfying will be the "new order" that remembrance of former troubles will completely fade from the minds of God’s elect, (Isaiah 43:18-19; Jeremiah 3:16-18).

3. Joy and gladness will characterize the City of God - where He dwells in the midst of His people (vs. 18; Isaiah 12:1-2; Isaiah 51:3; Isaiah 51:11; Isaiah 61:10); the voice of weeping will never again be heard therein, (vs. 19b; Isaiah 25:8-9; Isaiah 30:19; Isaiah 36:10; comp. Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4).

4. The Lord Himself is pictured as being satisfied with, and rejoicing in, His people, (vs. 19a; Isaiah 62:4-5; Jeremiah 32:41; comp. Deuteronomy 30:9-10).

5. Though sin and death are not yet fully abolished, they are seen (during the millennial era) as being under divine restraint - Satan being bound, and the life-span of man greatly increased, (vs. 20).

a. There will be no more dying in infancy.

b. Only because he rejects the provision made for his cleansing, will the sinner be cut off (accursed) at the end of 100 years.

6. Their fields no longer plundered by the enemy, God’s elect people will long enjoy the fruit of their labors, and will wear out the work of their hands, (vs. 21-23).

a. They are the "seed of the blessed of Jehovah", (Isaiah 61:9; Jeremiah 32:38-39; Acts 2:39).

b. Their offspring will be with them - to share the riches of His grace.

c. Their longevity will be "as the days of a tree", (vs. 22c; Psalms 92:12-14).

7. Every desire of God’s people will be anticipated and supplied -without their having to ask (vs. 24); their hearts will be in perfect harmony with God’s will.

8. So marvelous will be the renewal, and the restoration of divine order, that all animosities will cease; every harmful influence will be banished, (vs. 25; comp. Isaiah 11:6-9).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 65". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/isaiah-65.html. 1985.