Summary of passage: The Lord says Heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool. His hand has made all these things. He esteems those who are humble, contrite in spirit, and tremble at His word. But those who choose their own ways and offer sacrifices out of mere ritual with no heart, the Lord will bring harsh treatment and dread upon them. They did not answer or listen to Him. They did evil in His eyes and chose actions that displeased Him.
For those who tremble at His word (the faithful): The Lord will repay the faithful’s enemies (those who hate His people because they worship Him) and be put to shame. One day the Lord will deliver Jerusalem without pain (as in the pain of childbirth). God will close up the wounds (womb) of Jerusalem upon His delivery.
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her. Love her. Those who do will be comforted, satisfied, and have an overflowing abundance. The Lord will bring peace to Jerusalem and to nations (the Gentiles) and will comfort them. You will flourish like grass and have the hand of the Lord known to you. God’s fury will be upon His foes. He will come with fire, anger, fury, flames, and sword in judgment and execute those found guilty.
9a) God is the Creator. He is above all things. He made us and can do what He wants with us. He can squash us with His foot if He so desires. We cannot possibly build God a house or a resting place. He is the builder and the provider of rest.
b) Humble (not prideful, insignificant) and contrite (penitent over sins) in spirit: Have a spirit of insignificance and penitent
Tremble at God’s Word: Have a healthy fear of God’s power. To know when God speaks you listen or face a time-out!
c) Personal Question. My answer: God has reiterated this year over and over the truth, power, and expected obedience to His word. That what God says you better do or face the consequences. That knowledge has created a new reverence for Him and His word in me. I stand more at attention when He speaks.
10a) The Lord esteems those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word. Those who tremble at His word (the faithful)–for those who hate you, they shall be put to shame and repaid all they deserve. Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her and love her for God will one day deliver her without pain (like in labor). Then you will be comforted and will delight in overflowing abundance. The Lord will grant peace to Jerusalem and to the Gentile nations and be comforted. You will flourish like grass. The Lord will make himself known to you but His enemies will be His foes. The Lord will bring judgment to all men and execute those found guilty.
b) Isaiah 66:7-9; John 3:3-8 Jerusalem (Zion) will be delivered and reborn; reborn when baptized and accept Holy Spirit in our lives
Isaiah 66:10-11; John 16:20-24 Rejoice for Jerusalem and receive comfort and abundance; from great pain comes great joy (from childbirth come baby)–from Jesus’s death comes great joy (salvation for all)
Isaiah 66:12; Romans 5:1 Jerusalem and nations shall have peace; through faith in Jesus we are justified and have peace with God
Isaiah 66:13; Corinthians 1:3-4 God will comfort us as a mother does; God comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others
Isaiah 66:14; Matthew 28:19-20 You will flourish like grass and know the hand of the Lord; be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and He will be us always to the end of time
c) Isaiah says the Lord is coming with fire, bringing His anger, flames, and rebuke. He will execute judgment upon all men and slay some with His sword and fire.
Matthew warns us to beware of false prophets and false Christs before the end time. He implies the coming of the Son of Man will be visible to all. The sun will be darkened, the moon will fade, the stars fall, and heavenly bodies be shaken. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all earthly nations will mourn. The Son of Man will descend from heaven with power and glory. Angels will announce His arrival with loud trumpet calls and they will gather His elect from all corners of the world.
Thessalonians reiterates Matthew, saying the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire accompanied with powerful angels. Jesus will punish those who do not know God and who have rejected Him with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord forever. At this time, He will give relief to those who are troubled and pay back trouble to those who trouble you.
Revelation says Jesus will be riding a white horse, bringing justice. His eyes are blazing and He wears many crowns. His robe is dipped in blood and He is followed by the armies of heaven. He will strike down the nations with His sword. His robe says King of Kings and Lord of Lords. An angel calls out to people to gather around at God’s table. The enemy (beast or Devil) comes against Jesus and His army but the beast is captured along with his cohorts. They were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest were killed by Jesus’s sword.
Not a pretty picture for unbelievers, evil-doers, or unrepentants.
Conclusions: God is all powerful and if you obey, believe, repent, have faith, love others, and do your best to be like Jesus, you’ll be fine. If not, watch out! The Lord lays it out what will happen in the Second Coming and none of it is pleasant.
I like how Isaiah includes the Gentiles in God’s almighty plan and will have the same benefits as His chosen people. I like how God says to rejoice for Jerusalem, God’s people, and if you do, you will have abundance. I like how God distinguishes those who follow Him from those who don’t by laying out, really, how simple it is to obey Him and then to receive His promised gifts. Great messages!
End Note: I changed 10b Matthew 28:20 and included 19-20 since being baptized is the quintessential symbol of being re-born and the culmination of accepting Jesus into your heart.