God knows the difference between people with pretense religion and people who confess they are sinners but still seek Him. Conduct reveals the case. God had revealed Himself in His holiness to every person in Judah (65:1), but most seek otherwise (65:2). Sin is first a thought, so they practice idolatry as an affront to Yahweh (63:3). They deny the living and holy God through sorcery and rejecting instructions for their own good (65:4). Rather than seeking holiness from Him, they claim a “holier than thou” holiness toward others (65:5a), a burning stench to God (65:5b). He cannot keep silent. What they have paid to Him in debauchery will be “repaid” in depth (65:6-7).
Judgment Day, however, is a day of salvation for the faithful. There are some “in the cluster” of Israel who know the Lord. He will act in a saving way for these few (65:8). The land of promise will be their inheritance (65:9), prosperity for all who seek Him (65:10).
Salvation and judgment illustrate the principle of deed and consequence. Choices by His servants and choices by the rebellious will each bear their natural fruits. Followers of gods like Fortune and Destiny will find their fortune in the destiny of the sword (65:11-12). His servants will be provisioned, but the rebellious will be impoverished. Servants will rejoice in goodness, but the rebellious will be shamed in brokenness (65:13-14). The name of the rebellious will become a curse word, but the servants’ name will mean blessing (65:15). Trust in God is trust in the true God who truly forgives (65:16).
Announcement of a new heaven and a new earth goes out to all who will hear what God is about to do, presumably so they can respond to Him appropriately (65:17). For the exiles, Jerusalem will rejoice with new purpose (65:18). God will dwell with His redeemed people and rejoice with them. Pain and death that marked the old creation will be no more (65:19). Life in length and prosperous quality will flourish (65:20-21). Fear and want give way to assurance (65:22). Children grow into adulthood, unscarred by war or disaster (65:23). God will anticipate their every need (65:24). He promises an age where peace thoroughly saturates His creation, a world that dwells in harmony, and a world where evil and harm have been disarmed (65:25; 11:1-10). For the remnant first, for all the faithful to come.
Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: email@example.com
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