Isaiah 65-66: Tremble at God’s Word
September 25, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The end of Isaiah is cosmic in scope, but at its heart it has a spiritual principle that is picked up by Paul over and over again in his letter to the Romans, and is centered on the ministry of Jesus. God was found by those who did not seek him (65:1), while he spread out his hands to a rebellious people (65:2). What is going on is that Israel, God’s people, who apparently seek God, are actually keeping God at arm’s length. They say (to God!) “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you” (65:5).
But God will reach out to all nations to bring all peoples to himself. Grace is at work, and those who submit to God and his grace, not salvation by works or their own self-righteousness, will be saved. Such is the pattern that goes through these chapters.
Salvation is a surprising thing. Plus, it is an eternal thing. There will be a new heaven and a new earth (65:17), and “the wolf and the lamb shall graze together” (65:25). There will be peace between warring peoples, and the basic animosity—prey and predator—that pervades nature, human and animal, shall one day be removed. Who then is it that God favors?
“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2)
They shall “declare my glory among the nations” (66:19), and such will live forever:
“For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain.”
While, at the same time, those who reject God’s grace will be cast into the hell about which Jesus spoke (66:24; Mark 9:48). Let us then be those who are humble and contrite in spirit and tremble at God’s Word!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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