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Is. 65:21-25

6/30/13 V. 21, We will build houses to live in in the new earth. We will plant vineyards and not have to leave before being able to enjoy the fruit.

V. 22, The way it often works in this sinful world now we work hard and someone else reaps the benefits because we move away, or someone takes it, or we die. But in the earth made new that won’t happen. We will build and plant and enjoy our work ourselves. Even in life now, those who obey the laws of God and the laws of health live longer. Then, of course, since we will have access to the tree of life, which will prolong our lives forever.

The last phrase says literally that God’s people will “wear out” the work of their hands. Most translations render the Hebrew word bala as “long enjoy.” That captures the intended idea well enough but wearing something out does give a slightly different impression concerning length of days. We won’t just enjoy the work of our hand for a long time, we will be there long enough to wear it out.

V. 23, Our work won’t be fruitless or useless. Neither will bear or bring forth for trouble or calamity. Most translations add the word children to this phrase, which is correct both because the way the word yalad is usually used in the Old Testament is in genealogies and because the next phrase clarifies this. So when we have children we will not need to fear for them because they will not be in danger. Our children will be blessed and our children’s children after them.

Concerning having children, in Mt 22:30 Jesus said that things will be different in heaven in that we won’t be marrying and giving in marriage, which must also affect having children. This part of the prophecy would have been fulfilled for Israel, but since God’s promises always comes to pass we can only speculate as to what he has in mind for us. Could it be that during the millennium the situation will be one way and when the earth is re-created then could God’s original plan for marriage be restored at that time? We can do nothing else but wait and see and be pleased by the fact that we cannot imagine the wonderful things God has in store for us. (See also discussion in Is 60:22).

V. 24, We often read and use this verse alone, separated from the context, and we apply it to our situation now. This probably does no violence to the spirit of the text, and yet the verse does seem to indicate that this is a promise for the future. Particularly if one translates the beginning of the verse, “And it shall come to pass…”

Translators seem to be pretty evenly split on how to begin this verse. Is it, “And it shall come to pass that before they call…” or simply  “Before they call…?” The first way seems to indicate that one day in the future this will be the situation, while the second way (when used out of context) may be more easily understood to be the situation now.

Either way, God promises that his relationship to us will be so close that he will anticipate every need even before we ask. Of course he is able to do that now as well as later.

V. 25, This is an amazing picture of life in the new earth. Violence even between animals will be gone. Carnivorous creatures will return to being vegetarians.

But even while all of God’s creation is restored, the curse placed upon the serpent in Gen 3:14-15 will remain forever. This does not mean that Satan will continue to exist. That he will be destroyed is clear. However, this could be looking at the millennium in particular. In Rev 12:7-9 and 20:2-3, the serpent/dragon is bound for a thousand years. While in heaven most things will have been set to right again. But there will still be the problem with the serpent that must be dealt with after the thousand years.

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Posted by on June 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 65:17-20

6/29/13 V. 17, This promise of creating a new heavens and a new earth John, in Rev 21:1-5, sees in vision being fulfilled. The former things, particularly sin, God again promises, will pass away forever.

V. 18, For eternity we will be filled with gladness and joy at God’s new creation because God originally created us for joy and gladness in him. Rev 11:15-18 and 19:1-6, examples of this rejoicing, are cross-referenced with this verse.

V. 19, God himself will also rejoice and be glad in us. Nowhere in all of God’s vast creation will there be sorrow and weeping, which reminds us of the promises to wipe away every tear Rev 7:17 , 19:1, and 21:4. And this is in contrast to Babylon, in Rev 18:22-23, where the merchants weep and mourn over her and it is promised that the sound of music and the voice of celebration “will never be heard in her again.”

V. 20, Clearly the preceding verses deal with the end of time from our perspective, but had Israel fulfilled the purpose for which God had predestined it, these preceding promises would have been fulfilled to great degree even before the Second Coming.

This verse shows some of the things that would have come about had Israel remained faithful. Infant mortality would have disappeared. No one would die accidentally, and instead everyone will be able to live a full life of at least 100 years.

Even though this promise was not fulfilled, God’s promises always come to pass eventually. And this promise will not only be fulfilled but will be fulfilled on an even grander scale because we shall live forever, reigning with God (Rev 11:15, 22:5).

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 65:15-16

6/28/13 V. 15, Throughout eternity this time of evil will not be forgotten, and the name of the wicked will live on as a curse. They will be destroyed by God. However, the people of God shall receive new names (Rev 3:12).

Names in Scripture are often connected character. In Rev 14:1 and 22:4 we see that they have the Father’s name written on their foreheads. In other words, God’s people have become in character like God. We were, after all, originally created in his image.

The wicked, on the other hand, have the name of the beast on their foreheads and hands (Rev 13:16, 14:9).

V. 16, In the new earth there will not be any of the former evil. Everyone who blesses or swears (makes an oath or promise) will do so in the God of “amen.” It’s possible that this is judgment language, which would tie in with Rev 20:4 where God’s people are given judgment and reign with God.

Even though the time of evil will never be forgotten (we will always have the scars of Jesus, after all) the former troubles will be forgotten. In other words, we will be heal and the former things will not continue to cause us pain. These things will be hidden by God himself.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 65:7-10

6/26/13 V. 7, Because her sins are so many and because they have persisted in them for so long, God will eventually judge her. The sin of bold unfaithfulness to the Lord by following after other gods and blaspheming him is the theme of many OT prophets. The actions of the little horn power in Dan 7:25 and beast in Rev 13:1 and 16:11 are both cross-referenced with this verse.

V. 8, However, not all among apostate Israel have followed after other gods. Among the grape harvest (Rev 14:18-19) there are some good, which God will separate out. He will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. God, who is able to read the heart, will divide the good from the bad, as in Jesus’ parable of separating the good fish from the bad in the net and separating the sheep from the goats. In Mt 24:22 Jesus, speaking of the time of Jacob’s trouble, says that he will cut short those days for the sake of the elect.

V. 9-10, As always, God will have a remnant people that he shall bring through the trials and difficulties. His purpose is to bring from humanity a people whom he will call his own children as heirs to his kingdom. That means that God plans for us to inherit the place he has promised us, which, as we have seen before, is heaven itself. We will dwell with God (Rev 21:3) and rule with him (Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6) and we and the whole universe will have rest.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 64:5-7

6/22/13 V. 5, He will meet those enjoy doing works of righteousness. It’s one thing to grudgingly do what is right, it’s entirely another to rejoice in it. In everything God’s people must remember his ways. That is to say that we consider what God would have us do, we think of what is the right thing to do and do that.

Unfortunately, we don’t always do this. We have done the opposite and have sinned. Not just once, either, but for a long time. How, asks Isaiah, can we possibly be saved?

V. 6, We are unclean people. Every act of righteousness we may do is like a filthy garment. Rev 19:8 says the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints, but this fine linen is given to the saints, which is why John sees them in Rev 7:13 wearing white robes. But this not the result of our own works, it’s the gift of God. We are, instead, like Rev 3:17-18 describes us as pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore, we wither like a leaf and we are blown away by the wind of our own sinfulness.

V. 7, We do not call upon the name of the Lord as we should. If we did he would answer us and come to our aid. But since we do not call upon him with our whole hearts he hides his face from us. In other words, he withdraws his presence to some degree and allows the consequences of our choices to afflict us.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 63:13-16

6/19/13 V. 13, We ask where is the one who in the past has led his people through the depths of whatever experience they passed through. Because of his leading they didn’t stumble and fall. They were able to press forward by his strength and guidance.

V. 14, Like cattle in green pastures, without anxieties and worries, the Spirit of the Lord gives his people rest. It’s only when we will not be content with the Lord’s leading and try to make our own way that we end up in trouble. But when we follow where he leads our lives, through whatever kind of experience, are filled with peace. And, again, he does this not only for our sake but for his own, for his reputation, for the vindication of his character.

V. 15, And so, like the saints under the altar in Rev 6:9-10, we call upon our God to look down from heaven and see us. We want to know how long he will wait to avenge our blood. We want to see his compassion for us. We want to see his love and zeal for us exhibited in miracles on our behalf.

V. 16, As a child has a right to expect such compassion and care from his earthly father, so we have the right to expect it from our heavenly Father. We have the right to call out to him in our distress. Even when our earthly fathers or our family or our friends refuse to recognize us, our heavenly Father will always be there to hear and redeem us. Redeemer is his name, redemption is his character.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 63:11-12

6/18/13 V. 11, When God allows the results of our choices to fall upon us it is divine discipline. And eventually, God’s people remember the ways that God has led in the past, his miraculous diliverances in our lives and in the lives of others. And we begin to ask, where is God? Where is the one who brought his people up out of the depths of the sea?

Is appears that translators are unsure how this part of the verse should read. Should it be “brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd…” (NIV, NET, KJV) or “brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds…” (NRSV, ESV, NASB) or “brought them up from the sea the shepherd…” (LXX) or “bringing them up from the sea, the shepherd…” (YLT)? So it’s unclear who the shepherd(s) is/are. It might refer to God or it might refer to the leaders of God’s people like Moses. Both options would fit the verse, since Moses is mentioned at the beginning and the Holy Spirit is mentioned at the end.

In the midst of the trials we face as the result of our choices we also ask where is the one who, in the past, has put his Holy Spirit in among his people.? The Holy Spirit is the promised comforter, and when we don’t have peace we ought to wonder what happened to the comforter.

V. 12, We ask where is the one who guided by his glorious arm, his strength, to guide those like Moses in the past? He divided the waters before them not only for their sake but for his own sake, that his name would be glorified in the earth. In a way the drying up of the Euphrates in Rev 16:12 is a similar situation for God’s people at the end of time. And he does it not only for our sake but for his own sake, that his name will be glorified in the universe.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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