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LIO 11/8: Reading – Isaiah 63-66

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CedarCreek Church

NW Ohio

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LIO 11/8: Reading – Isaiah 63-66

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Isaiah 63

(Click here to view commentary on this chapter)

Judgment against the Lord’s Enemies

63 Who is this who comes from Edom,
from the city of Bozrah,
with his clothing stained red?
Who is this in royal robes,
marching in his great strength?

“It is I, the Lord, announcing your salvation!
It is I, the Lord, who has the power to save!”

Why are your clothes so red,
as if you have been treading out grapes?

“I have been treading the winepress alone;
no one was there to help me.
In my anger I have trampled my enemies
as if they were grapes.
In my fury I have trampled my foes.
Their blood has stained my clothes.
For the time has come for me to avenge my people,
to ransom them from their oppressors.
I was amazed to see that no one intervened
to help the oppressed.
So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm,
and my wrath sustained me.
I crushed the nations in my anger
and made them stagger and fall to the ground,
spilling their blood upon the earth.”

Praise for Deliverance

I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love.
I will praise the Lord for all he has done.
I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel,
which he has granted according to his mercy and love.
He said, “They are my very own people.
Surely they will not betray me again.”
And he became their Savior.
In all their suffering he also suffered,
and he personally rescued them.
In his love and mercy he redeemed them.
He lifted them up and carried them
through all the years.
10 But they rebelled against him
and grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he became their enemy
and fought against them.

11 Then they remembered those days of old
when Moses led his people out of Egypt.
They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea,
with Moses as their shepherd?
Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit
to be among his people?
12 Where is the one whose power was displayed
when Moses lifted up his hand—
the one who divided the sea before them,
making himself famous forever?
13 Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea?
They were like fine stallions
racing through the desert, never stumbling.
14 As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley,
the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest.
You led your people, Lord,
and gained a magnificent reputation.”

Prayer for Mercy and Pardon

15 Lord, look down from heaven;
look from your holy, glorious home, and see us.
Where is the passion and the might
you used to show on our behalf?
Where are your mercy and compassion now?
16 Surely you are still our Father!
Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us,
Lord, you would still be our Father.
You are our Redeemer from ages past.
17 Lord, why have you allowed us to turn from your path?
Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you?
Return and help us, for we are your servants,
the tribes that are your special possession.
18 How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place,
and now our enemies have destroyed it.
19 Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you,
as though we had never been known as your people.

Isaiah 64

(Click here to view commentary on this chapter)

64 Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!
How the mountains would quake in your presence!
As fire causes wood to burn
and water to boil,
your coming would make the nations tremble.
Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame!
When you came down long ago,
you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations.
And oh, how the mountains quaked!
For since the world began,
no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!
You welcome those who gladly do good,
who follow godly ways.
But you have been very angry with us,
for we are not godly.
We are constant sinners;
how can people like us be saved?
We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
Yet no one calls on your name
or pleads with you for mercy.
Therefore, you have turned away from us
and turned us over to our sins.

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand.
Don’t be so angry with us, Lord.
Please don’t remember our sins forever.
Look at us, we pray,
and see that we are all your people.
10 Your holy cities are destroyed.
Zion is a wilderness;
yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin.
11 The holy and beautiful Temple
where our ancestors praised you
has been burned down,
and all the things of beauty are destroyed.
12 After all this, Lord, must you still refuse to help us?
Will you continue to be silent and punish us?

Isaiah 65

(Click here to view commentary on this chapter)

Judgment and Final Salvation

65 The Lord says,

“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
to a nation that did not call on my name.
All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.
But they follow their own evil paths
and their own crooked schemes.
All day long they insult me to my face
by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens.
They burn incense on pagan altars.
At night they go out among the graves,
worshiping the dead.
They eat the flesh of pigs
and make stews with other forbidden foods.
Yet they say to each other,
‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
an acrid smell that never goes away.

“Look, my decree is written out in front of me:
I will not stand silent;
I will repay them in full!
Yes, I will repay them—
both for their own sins
and for those of their ancestors,”
says the Lord.
“For they also burned incense on the mountains
and insulted me on the hills.
I will pay them back in full!

“But I will not destroy them all,”
says the Lord.
“For just as good grapes are found among a cluster of bad ones
(and someone will say, ‘Don’t throw them all away—
some of those grapes are good!’),
so I will not destroy all Israel.
For I still have true servants there.
I will preserve a remnant of the people of Israel
and of Judah to possess my land.
Those I choose will inherit it,
and my servants will live there.
10 The plain of Sharon will again be filled with flocks
for my people who have searched for me,
and the valley of Achor will be a place to pasture herds.

11 “But because the rest of you have forsaken the Lord
and have forgotten his Temple,
and because you have prepared feasts to honor the god of Fate
and have offered mixed wine to the god of Destiny,
12 now I will ‘destine’ you for the sword.
All of you will bow down before the executioner.
For when I called, you did not answer.
When I spoke, you did not listen.
You deliberately sinned—before my very eyes—
and chose to do what you know I despise.”

13 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“My servants will eat,
but you will starve.
My servants will drink,
but you will be thirsty.
My servants will rejoice,
but you will be sad and ashamed.
14 My servants will sing for joy,
but you will cry in sorrow and despair.
15 Your name will be a curse word among my people,
for the Sovereign Lord will destroy you
and will call his true servants by another name.
16 All who invoke a blessing or take an oath
will do so by the God of truth.
For I will put aside my anger
and forget the evil of earlier days.

17 “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
18 Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
Her people will be a source of joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and delight in my people.
And the sound of weeping and crying
will be heard in it no more.

20 “No longer will babies die when only a few days old.
No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life.
No longer will people be considered old at one hundred!
Only the cursed will die that young!
21 In those days people will live in the houses they build
and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.
22 Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses
and confiscate their vineyards.
For my people will live as long as trees,
and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains.
23 They will not work in vain,
and their children will not be doomed to misfortune.
For they are people blessed by the Lord,
and their children, too, will be blessed.
24 I will answer them before they even call to me.
While they are still talking about their needs,
I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
But the snakes will eat dust.
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Isaiah 66

(Click here to view commentary on this chapter)

66 This is what the Lord says:

“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Could you build me a temple as good as that?
Could you build me such a resting place?
My hands have made both heaven and earth;
they and everything in them are mine.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

“I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts,
who tremble at my word.
But those who choose their own ways—
delighting in their detestable sins—
will not have their offerings accepted.
When such people sacrifice a bull,
it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice.
When they sacrifice a lamb,
it’s as though they had sacrificed a dog!
When they bring an offering of grain,
they might as well offer the blood of a pig.
When they burn frankincense,
it’s as if they had blessed an idol.
I will send them great trouble—
all the things they feared.
For when I called, they did not answer.
When I spoke, they did not listen.
They deliberately sinned before my very eyes
and chose to do what they know I despise.”

Hear this message from the Lord,
all you who tremble at his words:
“Your own people hate you
and throw you out for being loyal to my name.
‘Let the Lord be honored!’ they scoff.
‘Be joyful in him!’
But they will be put to shame.
What is all the commotion in the city?
What is that terrible noise from the Temple?
It is the voice of the Lord
taking vengeance against his enemies.

“Before the birth pains even begin,
Jerusalem gives birth to a son.
Who has ever seen anything as strange as this?
Who ever heard of such a thing?
Has a nation ever been born in a single day?
Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment?
But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin,
her children will be born.
Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth
and then not deliver it?” asks the Lord.
“No! I would never keep this nation from being born,”
says your God.

10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem!
Be glad with her, all you who love her
and all you who mourn for her.
11 Drink deeply of her glory
even as an infant drinks at its mother’s comforting breasts.”

12 This is what the Lord says:
“I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity.
The wealth of the nations will flow to her.
Her children will be nursed at her breasts,
carried in her arms, and held on her lap.
13 I will comfort you there in Jerusalem
as a mother comforts her child.”

14 When you see these things, your heart will rejoice.
You will flourish like the grass!
Everyone will see the Lord’s hand of blessing on his servants—
and his anger against his enemies.
15 See, the Lord is coming with fire,
and his swift chariots roar like a whirlwind.
He will bring punishment with the fury of his anger
and the flaming fire of his hot rebuke.
16 The Lord will punish the world by fire
and by his sword.
He will judge the earth,
and many will be killed by him.

17 “Those who ‘consecrate’ and ‘purify’ themselves in a sacred garden with its idol in the center—feasting on pork and rats and other detestable meats—will come to a terrible end,” says the Lord.

18 “I can see what they are doing, and I know what they are thinking. So I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see my glory. 19 I will perform a sign among them. And I will send those who survive to be messengers to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (who are famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to all the lands beyond the sea that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. There they will declare my glory to the nations.20 They will bring the remnant of your people back from every nation. They will bring them to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord. They will ride on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. 21 “And I will appoint some of them to be my priests and Levites. I, the Lord, have spoken!

22 “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain,
so will you always be my people,
with a name that will never disappear,”
says the Lord.
23 “All humanity will come to worship me
from week to week
and from month to month.
24 And as they go out, they will see
the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me.
For the worms that devour them will never die,
and the fire that burns them will never go out.
All who pass by
will view them with utter horror.”

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