Isaiah 65-66 forms the LORD’s response to the Prophet Isaiah’s prayer contained in Isaiah 63-64. The LORD not only repeated the warnings of judgment but also the blessings of salvation. This oracle of judgment and blessing was not only for the Jews but also for the Gentiles. Today, we examine God’s present and future work among the Gentiles (65:1, 17, 20–25; 66:6, 15–17, 22–24).
The LORD’s present work among the Gentile nations is stated in 65:1: “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name.” God is revealing himself to non-Jewish people, and for a while he is choosing saved Gentiles instead of Israel to perform his will (Romans 9-11).
But what of God’s future dealings with the Gentiles? Isaiah addressed this issue in 65:17, 20–25; 66:6, 15–17, 22–24). The entire world will be subjected to universal punishment and then to perfection.
The punishment will take place during the tribulation (66:6, 15-17). God will take vengeance upon His enemies. He will come to the earth and bring His judgment.
What will follow will be peace of the Millennial Kingdom (65:17, 20–25; 66:22–24). Some features of the Millennium include:
- There are no infant deaths (65:20a).
- All but the rebellious live to celebrate their 100th birthdays (65:20b): Only sinners die young.
- A time of great prosperity (65:21–23): They live in their own houses, eat from their own vineyards, and are blessed by the Lord.
- A time when prayers are instantly answered (65:24): Before the prayers are spoken, God answers them.
- The wolf, lamb, lion, and ox dwell in perfect harmony (65:25).
- The permanent creation of new heavens and earth (65:17; 66:22): No one thinks of the old ones anymore, for the new ones are so beautiful and will last forever.
- Universal worship of God (66:23): Everyone worships God regularly.
- A sober reminder of the holiness of God (66:24): The rebellious are devoured by worms and are destroyed by fire.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “In several ways the Lord’s response to the remnant’s prayer sums up the message of the entire Book of Isaiah. The Lord said that though He had constantly been presenting His love to Israel, they had rejected Him which made judgment necessary (65:1–7). However, in that judgment, a remnant will be preserved (vv. 8–12). The consequences of righteous living differ from those of wicked living (vv. 13–16). The Lord will establish a glorious kingdom in which peace and righteousness will flourish (vv. 17–25). Throughout the chapter, as well as throughout the book, the prophet implicitly pleaded for the people to place their trust in the Lord, their covenant God, and to live righteously.”
Have you placed your God given faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ in order to be justified by grace alone, through faith alone? If not, repent of your sin and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior (John 1:12-13).
Soli deo Gloria!