Friend, if you haven’t realized it by now, we are living in the last days. These last 2 chapters of Isaiah are very timely. Written in 700 BC, Isaiah foretells the end times. Not only that, he tells us, very clearly, who is a friend and who is an enemy of God. He also includes 3 traits of “the friend of God” that go together. Here, too, we get a description of the New Heaven, the New Earth and the New Jerusalem. Let’s dig in…
Isaiah 65 – Judgment and Final Salvation
The Lord says,
“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
to a nation that did not call on my name.
2 All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.
But they follow their own evil paths
and their own crooked schemes.
3 All day long they insult me to my face
by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens.
They burn incense on pagan altars.
4 At night they go out among the graves,
worshiping the dead.
They eat the flesh of pigs
and make stews with other forbidden foods.
5 Yet they say to each other,
‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
an acrid smell that never goes away.
6 “Look, my decree is written out in front of me:
I will not stand silent;
I will repay them in full!
Yes, I will repay them—
7 both for their own sins
and for those of their ancestors,”
says the Lord.
“For they also burned incense on the mountains
and insulted me on the hills.
I will pay them back in full!
8 “But I will not destroy them all,”
says the Lord.
“For just as good grapes are found among a cluster of bad ones
(and someone will say, ‘Don’t throw them all away—
some of those grapes are good!’),
so I will not destroy all Israel.
For I still have true servants there.
9 I will preserve a remnant of the people of Israel
and of Judah to possess my land.
Those I choose will inherit it,
and my servants will live there.
10 The plain of Sharon will again be filled with flocks
for my people who have searched for me,
and the valley of Achor will be a place to pasture herds.
11 “But because the rest of you have forsaken the Lord
and have forgotten his Temple,
and because you have prepared feasts to honor the god of Fate
and have offered mixed wine to the god of Destiny,
12 now I will ‘destine’ you for the sword.
All of you will bow down before the executioner.
For when I called, you did not answer.
When I spoke, you did not listen.
You deliberately sinned—before my very eyes—
and chose to do what you know I despise.”
13 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“My servants will eat,
but you will starve.
My servants will drink,
but you will be thirsty.
My servants will rejoice,
but you will be sad and ashamed.
14 My servants will sing for joy,
but you will cry in sorrow and despair.
15 Your name will be a curse word among my people,
for the Sovereign Lord will destroy you
and will call his true servants by another name.
16 All who invoke a blessing or take an oath
will do so by the God of truth.
For I will put aside my anger
and forget the evil of earlier days.
17 “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
18 Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
Her people will be a source of joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and delight in my people.
And the sound of weeping and crying
will be heard in it no more.
20 “No longer will babies die when only a few days old.Isaiah 65 NLT
No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life.
No longer will people be considered old at one hundred!
Only the cursed will die that young!
21 In those days people will live in the houses they build
and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.
22 Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses
and confiscate their vineyards.
For my people will live as long as trees,
and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains.
23 They will not work in vain,
and their children will not be doomed to misfortune.
For they are people blessed by the Lord,
and their children, too, will be blessed.
24 I will answer them before they even call to me.
While they are still talking about their needs,
I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
But the snakes will eat dust.
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
- God opened His arms to everyone, yet people rejected Him and went on with their evil ways. You might be thinking, “I’m not ‘evil’!” To God, all sin is evil. It is of the devil.
- “Servants” = Born-Again Believers
- “Enemies” = Non-believers (It is that simple!)
- All creation groans — Paul wrote that in Romans 8:22: “For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
- Imagine a place with no more inequities — and it does not mean Socialism or Marxism! It’s the Kingdom of King Jesus. A monarchy, not a democracy.
- There will be peace between animals. All carnivores will become vegan, just like it was in the Garden of Eden before the curse and even before the flood. Think about it. How do you think Noah was able to put lions and sheep in the same boat?
- There will be a whole new earth! That means that all the climate-change fanatics can relax. All they have to do is believe in Jesus and they’ll get their new earth! Wow!
And the final chapter is the most profound…
This is what the Lord says:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Could you build me a temple as good as that?
Could you build me such a resting place?
2 My hands have made both heaven and earth;
they and everything in them are mine.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
“I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts,
who tremble at my word.
3 But those who choose their own ways—
delighting in their detestable sins—
will not have their offerings accepted.
When such people sacrifice a bull,
it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice.
When they sacrifice a lamb,
it’s as though they had sacrificed a dog!
When they bring an offering of grain,
they might as well offer the blood of a pig.
When they burn frankincense,
it’s as if they had blessed an idol.
4 I will send them great trouble—
all the things they feared.
For when I called, they did not answer.
When I spoke, they did not listen.
They deliberately sinned before my very eyes
and chose to do what they know I despise.”
5 Hear this message from the Lord,
all you who tremble at his words:
“Your own people hate you
and throw you out for being loyal to my name.
‘Let the Lord be honored!’ they scoff.
‘Be joyful in him!’
But they will be put to shame.
6 What is all the commotion in the city?
What is that terrible noise from the Temple?
It is the voice of the Lord
taking vengeance against his enemies.
7 “Before the birth pains even begin,
Jerusalem gives birth to a son.
8 Who has ever seen anything as strange as this?
Who ever heard of such a thing?
Has a nation ever been born in a single day?
Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment?
But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin,
her children will be born.
9 Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth
and then not deliver it?” asks the Lord.
“No! I would never keep this nation from being born,”
says your God.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem!
Be glad with her, all you who love her
and all you who mourn for her.
11 Drink deeply of her glory
even as an infant drinks at its mother’s comforting breasts.”
12 This is what the Lord says:
“I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity.
The wealth of the nations will flow to her.
Her children will be nursed at her breasts,
carried in her arms, and held on her lap.
13 I will comfort you there in Jerusalem
as a mother comforts her child.”
14 When you see these things, your heart will rejoice.
You will flourish like the grass!
Everyone will see the Lord’s hand of blessing on his servants—
and his anger against his enemies.
15 See, the Lord is coming with fire,
and his swift chariots roar like a whirlwind.
He will bring punishment with the fury of his anger
and the flaming fire of his hot rebuke.
16 The Lord will punish the world by fire
and by his sword.
He will judge the earth,
and many will be killed by him.
17 “Those who ‘consecrate’ and ‘purify’ themselves in a sacred garden with its idol in the center—feasting on pork and rats and other detestable meats—will come to a terrible end,” says the Lord.
18 “I can see what they are doing, and I know what they are thinking. So I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see my glory. 19 I will perform a sign among them. And I will send those who survive to be messengers to the nations—to Tarshish (Spain and Portugal), to the Libyans and Lydians (Africans) (who are famous as archers), to Tubal (Russia) and Greece, and to all the lands beyond the sea that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. There they will declare my glory to the nations. 20 They will bring the remnant of your people back from every nation. They will bring them to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord. They will ride on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. 21 “And I will appoint some of them to be my priests and Levites. I, the Lord, have spoken!
22 “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain,Isaiah 66 NLT
so will you always be my people,
with a name that will never disappear,”
says the Lord.
23 “All humanity will come to worship me
from week to week
and from month to month.
24 And as they go out, they will see
the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me.
For the worms that devour them will never die,
and the fire that burns them will never go out.
All who pass by
will view them with utter horror.”
3 Traits that Go Together
This is what it takes to get on God’s good side: humility, repentance and a healthy fear of the Lord. I found an excellent explanation of these crucial 3 traits in a Bible study from the free YouVersion Bible app, “The Gospel of Isaiah”…
The three traits go together. If you are humble, then you will be contrite in spirit, and you will tremble at God’s Word. If you are contrite in spirit, then you will be humble, and you will tremble at God’s Word. If you tremble at God’s Word, then you will be humble, and contrite in spirit. The three traits go together and reflect a profound surrender and submission to God.
Who are the humble? Humble people know that everything good in their life comes from God. The humble are dependent on God, even desperate for God. There is no sense of self-reliance, self-promotion, or self-exaltation. These are the people who humble themselves before God in surrender and humble themselves before other people in service. The humble person is focused not on himself but upon God and other people.
What about the contrite in spirit? People who are contrite in spirit are broken because of their sin. When the Spirit of God gently exposes some sin in their life, there is not hardened defiance before God but tender brokenness. There is the same spirit that the tax collector exhibited in Luke 18, when he felt too broken to even lift his eyes toward heaven, but simply cried out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” The contrite in spirit are quick to confess their sins to God.
What does it mean to tremble at God’s Word? These are the people who have a deep reverence and respect for the Bible as the living Word of God. They know that this is not a human book, but God’s book; therefore, they treasure it. They prize it. They savor it. And, most importantly, they obey it. They feel such a responsibility before a holy God to obey whatever they read in His Word.
Is this you? Humble? Contrite in spirit? Trembling at God’s Word? These are the people who delight the heart of God.Jeff Wells, https://www.woodsedge.org/
- It’s all about the attitude of the heart NOT religious rites. God hates religious rituals and rites that have no meaning.
- God repays His enemies. You do NOT want to be counted as an enemy of God.
- Verse 7 was fulfilled on May 15, 1948, when the nation of Israel was born in one day! Fighting didn’t start until the nation was born when the surrounding Arab nations attacked Israel. They didn’t have an army, yet, God protected them.
Pastor Sandy Adams explains about the Arabs….
And over the last  years the Israelis have fought six more conflicts with their Arab neighbors. The latest was in Gaza. Today, Israel is in more danger than ever. Realize, Israel and its territories contain 6 million Jews in little over 10K square miles. Whereas, the Arab League consists of 22 nations, 422 million people, and occupies a land mass of over 5 million square miles. A vast area – all of North Africa and the Middle East – from the Atlantic to the Euphrates. And all I’m counting are the Arabs – there are non-Arab Muslim countries. And yet, the Arabs can’t find room for a Palestinian state? They want Israel to give up their land to do so?
Today, the Arabs, who have vowed to drive Israel into the sea, continue to arm themselves to the teeth. Iran, who is not a member of the Arab League, but hates Israel, may already have nuclear capabilities. When you see the odds that are stacked against Israel, you wonder, “How can they possibly survive?”Sandy Adams
In verse 9, God pledges to defend the nation against its enemies. God fights for Israel. In the end, even us Gentiles will enjoy the Shalom in Jerusalem.
Related: New Heaven and a New Earth
It’s YOUR Choice!
You either have the 3 traits, or you are an enemy of God. And the whole worms that never die thing is gross. Those are maggots. Yuk! I’m glad I won’t end up that way. However, friend, you have a choice. Here’s what you have to do…,
- Humble yourself before the Lord.
- Sincerely repent of your sins and ask the Lord’s forgiveness. Promise you’ll stop sinning!
- Respect the Word of God — the Bible. Be in awe of God’s power — especially that power you’ll get with the Gift of the Holy Spirit when you are born again. Get closer to God by reading the Bible daily. Get a good Study Bible – here are my recommendations (Christianbook Affiliate)
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…