Summary of passage: God revealed himself to those who did not seek Him and said, “Here am I.” God has consistently through the ages held out His hands to His people who refused Him, who went their own way, who offered sacrifices to other gods, who sought help from the dead, who eats pork, and who told me to “keep away” because they believe themselves to be more holy. Such people are smoke in God’s nostrils and He will pay back their sins.
God will not destroy them all. He will bring forth His chosen people to inherit the land–those people who seek Him. Those who forsake the Lord will be destined for the sword–those who did not listen, did not answer, and chose evil.
God’s servants will eat, drink, rejoice, sing out their joy, be given another name, and have their past troubles forgotten. Those who disobey will go hungry, thirsty, be put to shame, cry out from anguish and brokenness, and their name will be a curse. Ultimately, they will be put to death.
3a) Isaiah beseeches God to come down and save them, His people in 63-64. Yet God says He revealed Himself to those who did not ask for Him, the nation who did not call on His name (the Gentiles). God tried to help His people by holding out His hands to an obstinate people who continued to follow their ways and not His. So God looked elsewhere.
b) God held out His hands but His obstinate people refused to take it, instead chose to go their own way. His people continually provoked Him by worshipping other gods, sitting in cemeteries seeking help from the dead, eating pork in a ceremony to other gods when it is forbidden by God, and who tell God to keep away because they think they are too sacred for Him.
c) People refuse to forgive themselves. They think whatever they did is so egregious that God is not big enough to handle it. Shame and pride get in the way of God. They refuse to accept God’s help when it is freely offered. People think they know better and can do better. They erroneously believe they don’t need God in this life. People think they are not good enough for God. That God is “too good” for them. Also, people think they don’t deserve such a God (they are unworthy of such a God), which we don’t, but He loves us so much He makes us worthy. I think people don’t understand who God is, what He wants for our lives, and how simple grace truly is.
4a) 65:2-7: The Lord will judge the people fully for their actions.
65:8-10: God will not destroy all His people; He will leave a remnant (those who serve and seek Him) and bless and restore them.
65:11-12: All who forsake the Lord, who did not listen and did evil, shall die
b) God’s servants shall eat, drink, rejoice, sing out of the joy of their hearts, be given another name, and have their past troubles forgotten and forgiven. Those who refuse Him (you) shall go hungry, go thirsty, be put to shame, and cry out from anguish of the heart and brokenness of the spirit. Your name will be a curse and you will be put to death.
5) Personal Question. My answer: The description of God’s servants. I am seeking Him and He is faithful. I eat, drink, rejoice, and sing out the joy of my heart. I have been forgiven, which I readily receive, and am blessed beyond compare. I accept God and Jesus and although I am far from perfect, I have the Holy Spirit within to guide me in my triumphs and failures.
Conclusions: I love how Isaiah touches on the same themes: Life will end for the evil but I (God) will preserve a few. There will be peace for all. All will know about God. I picture life in the future (at the end) as life was in the beginning in the Garden.
I liked how the first question brought in Lesson 28. Some parts of Isaiah are so random you think it is out of order but this part ties in beautifully.
This is a great picture of hope in our time and of life to in the future. There is something to look forward to even when today there may not seem like there is nothing because we are blinded by our circumstances. But the fog will clear and hope does reign.