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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. 66:1-4

7/1/13 V. 1, In Rev 4:2 and 20:11 John saw God sitting on his throne in heaven as king and judge of all. God is so exalted that the entire created universe isn’t enough to contain him. So for human beings to imagine that we could ever make a place worthy of him is ridiculous.

V. 2, Everything that exists does so because God created it by his own power. And even though God did give us directions for building him a house and rituals for worshiping him, what he is actually looking for are not the house and the rituals. He is looking for humility and submission and respect for his word.

V. 3, Those who participate in the rituals of worship without humility, submission, and respect are actually being sacrilegious. To kill an ox for sacrifice when our hearts are disloyal to God is like murder. For the insincere to sacrifice a lamb is as much an insult to God as sacrificing a dog. For the impenitent to offer God a gift is a desecration to his temple. Why? Because rather than choosing God’s ways, the wicked, even while purporting to be loyal to God, in fact choose their own ways. Their delight isn’t in the Lord it’s in their own abominations.

V. 4, Therefore, since they have chosen their own ways God will choose for them their punishment. The very things they dread God will bring upon them. God has called but they refused to answer or even listen, choosing instead to do evil and everything displeasing to the Lord. This is the picture we see in Rev 3:20 where God is standing at the door knocking. If we will listen he will come in.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 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. 65:11-14

6/27/13 V. 11, But some will not accept the rest that God offers. Some forsake the Lord and forget his holy mountain, which is a figure of speech for the dwelling place of God. Is it possible, too, that there could be an allusion to Mt. Sinai and, therefore, the Ten Commandments? The idea of forsaking the Lord by being disobedient to his commands is entirely consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Those who rebel against God are also pictured here as setting a table for “Gad” and serving wine to “Meni.” YLT keeps the Hebrew usage in translation, KJV translates the words as troop and number, while the NKJV has reverted to the original Hebrew words. Others like NIV, ESV, NASB, and NET translate them as Fortune and Destiny. The Septuagint uses devil and Fortune.

The meaning is clear enough. Those who forsake the Lord are relying on chance.

V. 12, But chance will have nothing to do with the outcome of their lives. Just as God has predestined everyone to be conformed to the image of God and be saved (Rom 8:29-30), those who choose not to avail themselves of so great a salvation will receive a new destiny. God will destine them for death and destruction.

And everyone who comes to this point will be without excuse for God has called but they refused to answer. They refused to listen to him and instead chose to do evil and live in ways displeasing to God.

V. 13-14, God makes a distinction between those who remain loyal to him and those are disloyal. In the end God’s faithful people will eat, drink, rejoice, and shout with joy, while the unfaithful will hunger, thirst, be shamed, and wail. Even when things are difficult and physical food and water and joy are in short supply for God’s people, spiritually speaking we will be filled with “food that you know not of” and filled with joy in the Lord.

Physically speaking, too, God always cares for his people. That doesn’t mean we don’t have wants. Jesus himself experienced hunger and thirst. But ultimately God will take care of our needs.

At the end of time, Revelation presents the scenario of apostate Christianity, in league with the nations of the world, attempting to force its system of worship upon everyone. God’s people resist and they are persecuted and killed for their trouble. They experience hunger and thirst and suffering and mourning. But then the plagues are poured out by God and the tables are reversed. Then it is the wicked who “gnaw their tongues in agony” (Rev 16:10), and who will mourn and cry “Woe!” (Rev 18).

 
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Posted by on June 27, 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. 65:5-6

6/25/13 V. 5, Then we have the arrogance to say to others and perhaps even to God himself to keep away because I am holier than you. Even paganism has its “holy” men whom others fear because of their witch-doctor powers. Evidently, having gone through some pagan rites, they felt themselves holy.

The LXX renders this, “Depart from me, draw not nigh to me, for I am pure.” This changes the tone to more of a rejection of God himself, saying essentially, “I don’t need you for purification. I’m good enough on my own.”

Young’s Literal Translation renders it, “For I have declared thee unholy,” which sounds more like they are declaring God or someone else unholy. Other translations use the word qedashti correctly, but YLT still captures the essence of the situation because to tell someone else that I am holier than you at the same time declares them unholy.

Those who do and say such things, God says, are like a fire that burns all day sending smoke into his nose. That’s an apt description. God’s reaction to such people is immediate and searing to his holy character. He must distance himself from them just as someone standing in smoke has to get out of the smoke in order to breathe.

The high priest of Israel has written on his forehead “Holiness to God.” In Revelation 17 the woman riding the scarlet beast is acting the part of a priest and on her forehead is written “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” It becomes clear in the story that this woman is claiming holiness and is pitting herself against God himself. In the end, she will be burned and the smoke of her torment will rise forever.

Also connect is Rev 2:20 where the woman Jezebel calls herself a prophetess, yet leads God’s people into sexual immorality and eating unclean foods. This ties in with the next verse.

V. 6, All these things are written before God in the books of heaven (Rev 20:12). And God promises that he will not keep silent about this situation. He will repay this people for the evil deeds they are committing. This is the same promise made to Jezebel and everyone who joins with her in Rev 2:23.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 64:8-12

6/23/13 V. 8, God is our Father. We are like clay and he is like the potter who made us. But in the end his rod of iron, in Rev 2:27, breaks the vessels that are unfaithful.

V. 9, And so we plead with the Lord not to be too angry with us but to forgive our sins and look upon us once again as his people.

V. 10, Since God has turned away from us his holy cities have become a wilderness. Israel’s enemies conquered all of the cities of Israel, all of which would have been included a holy, since they were part of the inheritance given to Israel by God. However, the Septuagint renders holy city in the singular, which seems to fit the parallelism better since in the following lines it’s Zion or Jerusalem that has become a wilderness desolation. This is as Dan 9:26-17, 11:31, 12:7-11, Mt 24:15, and Mk 13:14 predicted would happen at the end of time, when an abomination that causes desolation would set itself in God’s temple. Rev 11:1-2 foretold the same situation.

V. 11, The holy and beautiful temple where God’s people used to praise him was burned and turned to ruins physically speaking. And spiritually speaking also, (if the reader will understand, Mt 24:15, Mk 13:14) this has happened and will happen in the future.

V. 12, And as the saints under the altar ask in Rev 6:10 we also ask if God will allow these things to happen. How long will God keep silent and allow his people, not to mention his temple, be trampled.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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