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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 66

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-4

ISAIAH - CHAPTER 66

ZION RENEWED AND JUDGMENT EXECUTED

This final chapter appears to be broad in scope - reviewing the principles so forcefully enunciated throughout, previewing both the first and second advents of Messiah, the judgments connected with the assumption of His kingly role and the establishment of His glorious reign of righteousness over all the earth. Though some things in this chapter, as in others before, are a bit difficult to comprehend, the prophet has effectively set forth the greatness of the coming King and Kingdom - urging upon all men the wisdom of bowing before Him with humble hearts and loving adoration.

Vs. 1-4: A DIVINE PROTEST

1. How utterly ridiculous do men make themselves in attempting to force the infinite and sovereign Lord of heaven and earth into a shabby mold of finite human concepts! (vs. 1)

a. Heaven is His throne; the earth His footstool, (1 Kings 8:27; Psalms 139:7-16; Jeremiah 23:23-24; Matthew 5:34-35; Acts 7:48-50).

b. Since the "heaven of heavens" cannot contain the omnipresent God, it is surely presumptuous insanity for rebel sinners to imagine themselves building a house for His dwelling! (2 Samuel 7:5-7)

c. Magnificent, beautiful and impressive as was Herod’s temple (of which the Jews were so proud), God would not be pleased to make it His dwelling, and it would soon be destroyed! (Matthew 24:1-2; comp. John 2:20).

2. The Creator of heaven, earth and all things therein (40:26), will be pleased, however, to dwell with anyone whose heart is humble and contrite toward Him, (vs. 2; Isaiah 57:15; Psalms 34:18; Psalms 147:3; Luke 18:13-14); and who "trembleth at His word", (Psalms 119:120; Psalms 119:161; Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20).

3. But, the proffered worship of those who choose their own way -whose hearts are not bowed before Him - is ABOMINABLE! (Psalms 51:15-17); He views them as nothing more than a "sacrificial cult"! (vs. 3).

a. An ox offered by such a person is as abominable as if he. presented a human sacrifice!

b. Nor is his offering of a sheep more acceptable than the offering of a dog, whose neck has been broken!

c. Whoever so presents a meal offering (though he may be very meticulous to present it exactly according to the prescribed pattern), might as well offer the blood of a SOW!

d. And whoever, with a stubborn, willful and rebellious heart, presents an offering of frankincense before the Lord, will be regarded as if he blessed an idol!

e. Where there is no whole-hearted love and reverence for the Lord; wherever one’s heart is not bowed in humble awe and adoration before the majesty of His throne, ANY WORSHIP OR SERVICE OFFERED TO HIM is regarded as AN ABOMINABLE SIN!! (John 4:20-24; Philippians 3:3).

1) Under Satanic deception and delusion, man has always been able to corrupt God’s revelation and ordinances.

2) So today, religious exercises which men see as beautiful, impressive, and spiritual, are most often ABOMINABLE TO GOD -being contrary to His word, and appealing to the flesh; they do not glorify Him!

4. As a result of their willfullness, God will mock such rebels in the hour of their distress - bringing upon them the things they have most feared.

a. Have they not refused to answer His call? (Matthew 11:28-30)

b. Have they not refused to heed His voice? (Luke 19:14)

c. Have they not delighted themselves in that which was evil in God’s sight?

d. Should they, then, be surprised when He disregards their cries? (Proverbs 1:24-33)

Verses 5-6

Vs. 5-6: THE VOICE OF THE LORD’S JUDGMENT

1. The Lord addresses those who truly fear Him - who tremble before His sacred word, (vs. 5a; Deuteronomy 10:12; Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 Samuel 12:14; Psalms 25:12; Psalms 31:19; Isaiah 50:10; Malachi 3:16; Acts 10:35).

2. He is aware of the high-minded self-righteousness of those who have "cast out" His people - causing them to suffer for His sake, (Matthew 5:10-12; Matthew 24:9; Luke 21:12; John 9:34-41).

a. They have done it hatefully, (Matthew 10:22; John 15:18-20).

b. They have mocked, shamed, and ridiculed the expectation of the faithful, saying: "Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy!" ASV ’

c. But the real shame belongs to those who so act, (comp. Luke 13:10-17; Psalms 25:3; Psalms 119:78; Isaiah 25:11).

3. The Lord will array Himself for battle against those who so deal with His people; His voice sounds from the city and temple -rendering recompense to His enemies! (Isaiah 59:16-18; Isaiah 65:6-7).

Verses 7-9

Vs. 7-9: RESURRECTION AND RENEWAL VIEWED AS A BIRTH

1. I submit that this prophecy may NOT have been fulfilled in Israel’s becoming a sovereign state on May 14, 1948!

2. The earth (not Israel, or the church) is here seen "bringing forth" in connection with the Lord’s coming, a time of vengeance and the ushering in of the millennial glory.

3. Anyone who will carefully follow the scriptural usage of the figure here employed will find the "birth", "begetting", or "regeneration" here described as representative of: resurrection, quickening, renewal, ransom, and redemption from the grave, (Psalms 2:7; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5-6; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:18; Matthew 19:28; Philippians 3:20-21; Ephesians 1:13; comp. Luke 22:53; John 12:27; Colossians 1:12-13; Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 51:11; Isaiah 35:10; Romans 8:23; Psalms 111:9).

4. Here is, indeed, a NEW NATION (a new race) - composed of resurrected saints from every age and people-that will truly walk in the light of the Lord and show forth His praise!

Verses 10-14

Vs. 10-14: PEACE IN JERUSALEM

1. The new, Messianic Age will be characterized by abundant satisfaction, (vs. 10-11).

a. Those who love Jerusalem (the City of the Great King) are called to rejoice with her, (vs. 10; Deuteronomy 32:43; Isaiah 65:18; Romans 15:10; Psalms 26:8; Psalms 122:6; comp. Psalms 137:5-6).

b. So abundant are her provisions that, as a mother, she delightfully shares her nourishment, consolation, and glory with her children, (vs. 11; Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 60:16; Joel 3:18; Isaiah 60:1-2; Isaiah 62:2).

2. The blessings of the Lord are upon His people, (vs. 12-14).

a. He gives them PEACE, (Psalms 72:3-7; comp. Isaiah 48:18; John 14:27; John 16:33).

b. The glory (abundance) of the nations is presented to her -like an overflowing stream; they will serve her with the utmost devotion, (Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 60:4).

c. The Lord Himself, like a loving mother, will comfort His people in Jerusalem, (vs. 13; Isaiah 12:1; Isaiah 40:1-2; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 51:3; comp. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

d. Under the gentle and tender hand of the Lord His people will be joyful (Zechariah 10:7) and prosperous, (vs. 14a); a crown of glory, and a royal diadem, in the hand of the Lord, they will share His authority and rule, (Isaiah 62:3; Isaiah 49:2; Psalms 149:9).

e. But His indignation will be turned upon His enemies, (vs. 14b; comp. Isaiah 13:5; Isaiah 30:30; Isaiah 34:1-5).

Verses 15-21

Vs. 15-21: THE LORD’S NAME EXALTED IN JUDGMENT

1. The Lord is pictured as coming with the majesty and power of a mighty Conqueror, (vs. 15-16; Revelation 19:11-16); by fire and sword He executes judgment, (Daniel 7:10-11; Revelation 19:20; Malachi 4:1-3; Isaiah 30:27-30; Matthew 13:40-42; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).

2. As One who judges "without respect of persons", He deals with those of His own people who have corrupted themselves with idols, (vs. 17; Isaiah 1:28; Isaiah 1:31; Psalms 73:27).

3. In His unprecedented overthrow of the international military host sent to oppose Him, the nations will see His glory and power, (vs. 18; Revelation 19:17-20; Revelation 16:13-16; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Joel 3:9-21).

4. In His great mercy, God will spare some of the enemy hosts who, acknowledging the justice of His judgment, will bear the news of Jehovah’s power and glory to the nations, (vs. 19; comp. Isaiah 42:12; 1 Chronicles 16:23-34).

5. These, in turn, will bring His elect ones from every nation -presenting them, as an offering, to Jehovah in His holy mountain, (vs. 20; Isaiah 49:22; Isaiah 60:4).

6. There having already been a necessary change of priestly order (Hebrews 7:11-17), the Lord will take priestly servants from among the Gentiles -to offer up spiritual sacrifices in His kingdom, (comp. Romans 12:1-2; Romans 15:16; Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9).

Verses 22-24

Vs. 22-24: ALL THINGS NEW

1. The resurrection of saints and restitution of a corrupted creation are closely associated with the restoration of the Theocratic rule under the Messiah of God, (vs. 22; Daniel 12:2; Isaiah 25:8; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57; Isaiah 65:17; Hebrews 12:26-29; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1); those exalted to share a position of blessedness and glory in the New Order will be forever secure therein, (Isaiah 56:5; Isaiah 61:8-9; Isaiah 65:23; comp. John 10:27-29; 1 Peter 1:3-5).

2. In the coming New Age "all flesh" will come, joyfully, to worship before the Lord! (Isaiah 19:21-23; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 49:7; contr. Isaiah 1:13-14).

3. By way of contrast, with the blessedness of the faithful, the Gospel prophet sounds a final note of warning; the way of the transgressor is hard, (vs. 24; comp. Mark 9:43-48; Daniel 12:2; Proverbs 13:15).

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 66". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/isaiah-66.html. 1985.
 
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