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Is. 66:5-9

7/2/13 V. 5, For those who do listen and tremble (respect) the word of the Lord, he has some words of encouragement. He knows that the fact that his people honor him, that others, even among Israel, hate, exclude, and mock them for that reason. In the end, though, God promises to put them to shame. Rev 3:9 says that they will bow before us and admit that God has love us.

V. 6, In that day there these be an uproar in the city and a voice from the temple because it is judgment day. We see this happening in Rev 14:15 and Rev 16:1, when judgment falls it is commanded by God’s voice from the temple.

V. 7, Israel is personified here as a woman in labor, however, her labor is not prolonged. So quickly does she give birth that it’s painless. God had planned for this to be the way that Israel was restored from her captivity. Had they all obeyed their restoration would have been fast and dramatic. In the final fulfillment of the prophecy, though, it will happen as God intends.

V. 8, In one day (or hour) God’s promised judgments fall upon the great prostitute (Babylon/Tyre) in Rev 18:8, 10, 17, 19. And this is also the rescue of God’s people. So in one day Babylon is destroyed and in that same day God’s people are vindicated and saved. Can a nation be brought forth all at once? Absolutely, when God is engineering the situation.

V. 9, God doesn’t make promises that he doesn’t fulfill. He never goes back on his word. What he has said will happen.

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Posted by on July 2, 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. 64:1-4

6/21/13 V. 1, Isaiah gives voice to all of God’s people who want this time of sin to be finished and for God to come to redeem his people. Even though Messiah had not come yet, Isaiah was clearly speaking of the Second Coming because the tearing apart of the heavens and the mountains quaking are associated with the parousia (Rev 6:14, 16:20, 20:11).

V. 2, The LXX also says that the mountains will melt as wax melts before fire and the fire will burn up the enemies, which is consistent with the picture even though it’s not in the Hebrew (Rev 14:11, 18; 19:3; 20:9, 14).

Just as fire kindles and grows so the name of the Lord will become known to God’s enemies. In other words, they will acknowledge him and will tremble in his presence (Rev 3:9, 11:11-13).

V. 3, Any time that God works his awesome deeds it is beyond anything that we are prepared for or expect. In the presence of God even the mountains tremble and quake before him (Rev 16:18).

V. 4, There never has been another God besides the living God of heaven. Nothing else that anyone has ever worshiped has been anything close to a god. And his enemies will see the way that he acts on behalf of those who trust and wait loyally for our God (Rev 3:9).

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 63:4-6

6/15/13 V. 4, This day of vengeance is in God’s heart. That is not to say that because it’s in his heart that it’s something he enjoys, but rather it’s in his plans. And the reason is because of his people who are being persecuted and killed due to their loyalty to him. In Rev 6:9-10 they cry out to him for justice, asking how long he is going to wait before he avenges their blood. That judgment is promised to his people in Rev 18:20 and one of several examples of God’s vengeance is found in Rev 11:13.

In Isaiah’s poetic parallelism the day of vengeance is also the year of God’s redemption. Judgment happens at the same time as salvation. On a side note, we can see the day for a year principle at work here.

V. 5, This reminds us of Rev 5 where a search was made for someone worthy to open the scroll of judgment. That there was no one to help and support is shocking to God. That God can be shocked is, of course, a figure of speech. And because no one was found with the authority to exact judgment upon the wicked, God himself does it.

V. 6, The harvest as judgment is a common theme in biblical eschatology. The reason for the comparison, evidently, is because of the redness of the grapes compared to the redness of blood.

The symbolism involved in the wine presses, sickles, grapes, and wine is, at least for me, difficult to get to the bottom of. Not that the idea is unclear. It’s quite clear. But there’s a depth to the imagery that merits deeper study.

In Rev 14:10 God causes the wicked to drink of the wine of his wrath, which turns out to be judgment by fire. Because they poured out the blood of the saints God will give the wicked blood to drink (Rev 16:6-19). And because of their insistence upon their wickedness, symbolized by drinking the wine of immorality in Rev 18:3, God gives them his wine of judgment.

It sounds like what God is doing is allowing them to experience the full, unmitigated results of their choices. If we give the grapes of wrath to others that’s what we will receive ourselves.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 63:1-3

6/15/13 V. 1, Rev 19:13-15 relies heavily on this chapter of Isaiah. If we want to understand why Jesus is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, here we find the explanation. This is a conversation, of sorts, with Jesus. Not that it’s to be a literal conversation, but it’s an effective literary device.

The question is asked, somewhat rhetorically, who it is that’s coming from Bozrah, the capital of Edom. Edom means red, which is likely Isaiah used for that reason. The picture is of Christ returning from judgment on the wicked and salvation of the righteous (Rev 11:17-18).

He is returning as a conquerer, dressed in majesty, marching in his strength. And he answers the question that it is he, the one who speaks in righteousness and is mighty to save. His purpose for what he has done, which will be explained, is to set things back to right again and to save his faithful people.

V. 2, The next question asked of Jesus is why he is dressed in red. He looks like he just came out of a wine press where he has been tramping down grapes.

V. 3, He replies that yes that is exactly what he was doing and he did it alone. No one has the authority to exact vengeance except him. But he does have that authority and so in his wrath he punished the wicked (Rev 14:19-20). In so doing he stained his clothes with their blood. In other words, this strange act (Is 28:21) is something that will reflect upon him.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 61:2-3

6/2/13 V. 2, We are also to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, which is reminiscent of the year of jubilee (Lev 25:9-13). The jubilee year was to be a major re-set for God’s people. Everyone who had sold his property and moved away was to return and his property would be returned to him. All debts were to be forgiven. All slaves were released. It was to be a year of vacation without working the fields because it was considered a Sabbath year.

Israel never did celebrate the year of jubilee as a nation, but we will and even are already. Jesus proclaimed the favorable day of the Lord. He is our jubilee. He freed captives, he forgave our debts of sin, he restored us to himself.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised one day to find that the millennium has some jubilee connections as well. When Israel was sent into exile for 70 years the land was given its Sabbaths (2 Chr 36:21). Could it be that the whole earth will receive its Sabbaths during the 1,000 years?

In addition to proclaiming the favorable year of the Lord, Jesus also warned us of the day of vengeance of our God. And we must warn the world as well that we will all be held accountable to God for our lives and the choices we made. Yes, there will be rewards for faithfulness but there will also be consequences for unfaithfulness (e.g. Mt 24:45-51).

We are to comfort those who mourn with the hope that we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been saved, we have hope beyond this life, our mourning will be transformed into joy.

V. 3, We who have suffered for the sake of Christ in this era of sin will be given a glorious crown instead of the ashes that now cover our heads. Ashes on the head was an ANE demonstration of extreme grief. Our mourning will be turned into gladness. Where now we faint with the burdens of sin and its consequences, then we will have spirits filled with praise (Rev 7:9-14).

We will be called “oaks of righteousness.” That must be a picture of strength, which we are anything but. And yet in the strength of our God we are strong though we are weak because the Lord is the one who planted us, so to speak. And he did it for the purpose of glorifying himself. And since God never fails he will be glorified in us.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 60:10-12

5/28/13 V. 10, Again, since the nation of Israel did not live up to the plan God had for it, this prophecy will find its fulfillment in the the new earth. The allusions in Rev 21 are unmistakable in this section. Therefore, some of the images portrayed take on an illustrative effect instead of being literal. For instance, foreigners building up the walls of Jerusalem would probably be better understood as God’s people not needing to build their own city. Others, in this case God himself, has done that (Rev 21:24).

The rulers of other parts of God’s universe will serve us, as we shall serve them. God’s government is founded on such principles.

Even though it’s true that God punishes and disciplines his people, he also has compassion on us and has great things planned for us.

V. 11, There will be no security concerns in the New Jerusalem. The gates of the city will always be open. They won’t close at night even, because there will be no night in the city (Rev 21:25). The nations, in the context of the new earth, refer to sons of God around the universe (Job 1:6). The picture is of beings from other parts of God’s creation coming in procession to the New Jerusalem bringing gifts to the human beings God has placed as kings and priests in his holy city (Rev 5:10).

V. 12, Not that it will be a big problem for the rest of eternity, but if anyone ever decides that they will not submit to us, as Satan once did with God, then they will perish and be ruined (Rev 2:26-27). While we may assign an OT context to Isaiah, Revelation is clearly dealing with a post-sin situation. So those who pitted themselves against us while on earth will face the punishment of God for their rebellion. But beyond that, this is interesting evidence that God will continue to allow complete freedom in his universe, and therefore, the possibility to sin will remain. However, sin will never again be allowed to reign as it did on earth. The universe has been through that and God will be at liberty to destroy those who rebel against his government without his creation living in fear of him.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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