Isaiah 66 Commentary
Expand chapter 66 and you have the Book of Revelation. And that is just how rich Isaiah is!
If the LORD gave you a couple of days to represent Him and speak to the entire world, what would be your key lines? Well, Isaiah had 66 chapters to say it. And how awesome!
Using visions, prophecies, sermons, and biographical material, Isaiah the physical man and his institution have delivered to us an amazing volume. He has brilliantly mixed together future events and the past interactions of the LORD with Israel. Blending his own present and his own immediate past together, with his own immediate future, the book is one long complicated collection of tenses.
And when your own material becomes history even before you are done writing, how do you script the last chapter? The LORD shows you a movie of the distant future and you must inform the world about it; the cinema is a past event but the contents aren’t. Isaiah navigates such complex waters but how calmly and expertly!
The opening verse is a throwback to the good times of Israel’s first temple – Solomon’s temple. The LORD had promised His servant David an everlasting dynasty. David, for his part, had pledged to build the LORD a house. The task of building the LORD’s house fell to David’s son Solomon. The LORD would interact with Israel from this base.
What the prophet says here is revolutionary! Of course, Solomon had known the LORD of the universe could not be housed in a house made by humans. Yet the temple remained the central point of Israel’s worship until this announcement. So how will the LORD dwell among His people? That’s the message of the Book of Isaiah.
Without requiring the temple or the palace, Israel’s King would dwell among His own people in a simple and reachable form. Probably to ensure complete simplicity, the Shepherd-King would be born in a manger to an ordinary country couple. The Servant or the Son would take on multiple titles fitting just about every human need. Look up and see the LORD Jesus Christ as everything humanity has needed!
In the beginning, He created the heavens and the earth. He shall recreate them. He created Adam and Eve. He is creating sons and daughters from among the nations. We expect them to be put back in the Garden of peace and tranquility – exactly as originally intended. The LORD doesn’t have many Boardroom meetings!
In the meantime, the LORD has words for false worship. It’s about the religious rituals of the supposed children of God. Saints are warned to check if they are doing the right thing. Are you listening to God? Do you tremble at the word of the LORD?
“Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. Simply wonderful, isn’t it?
Isaiah began by stating the human problem. Yes, it is localized: Judah, Samaria, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Cush among others. Eventually, it is the entire world. It spans both time and space. And there is no one to intervene other than the LORD God Himself. He is called by all sorts of functional names, each name fitting the redemption role that he plays. He is the Mountain, the Branch, Immanuel, the Son, and the Servant with the government on His shoulders.
Jesus Christ is always breaking news on every channel and in every language. He is speaking on every platform. He is speaking to you and me – ever knocking on the door of your heart.
Isaiah ends here. Thanks for loving the scriptures. Up next is yet another interesting book: Jeremiah.
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