Daily Devotional

November 24, 2018

Daybreak: Isaiah 65:1-25

“And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” (Isaiah 65:19)

March of 2000 was a special time for members of my family — we took a trip to the Holy Land. One of the outstanding places we visited was the Jewish Holocaust Museum just outside of Jerusalem. We were deeply moved by what we viewed. I wandered off alone, looking and reading of this horrific time in history. When I went into the Children’s Museum it became very dark. The only lights in this large area were five candles; the walls and ceiling were all mirrors. I could not count the reflections of candles as I walked through. Each candle reflection represented a Jewish child who did not live through the Holocaust. In somber voices, a man and a woman would recite the name of a child, the child’s age, and the country he or she lived in. It is estimated that as many as 1.5 million children were killed during the Holocaust. 

As I looked and listened, tears came to my eyes. I wondered how many of those terrified, little children had received the hope of a better day that God is preparing for all His children. Whatever their knowledge, His love is great for each person of any race who calls on Him. A loving God received these little children: the One who will make a new Heaven and earth where there will be no sorrow or tears, but just great joy. They are now in the arms of Jesus, far removed from the grief and trauma of their brief lives on earth.

All through the Book of Isaiah, the basic theme is God’s faithful love. Over and over the people turned away from God, were punished, and were made to go through hard things, but then in loving mercy God called after their hearts. When the people repented, He received them with joy. In this chapter Isaiah brought his prophecy to a climax. He described the day when faith and hope will come to its ultimate fruition for those who believe. 

When sorrow comes and terrible events happen in this wicked world, it is important that we keep our eyes on the goal. There is a wonderful hope of a day when our Lord will show us what He intended for us from the beginning before sin came into the world. When we are bombarded with the news and events of the day, let us remember that God will have the final say and is preparing a place for those who love and serve Him.

Background

Most Biblical historians believe this chapter is a continuation of the preceding chapter. God continued to show His righteous anger in regard to the Jews, and especially with reference to the unrighteousness and disregard for God described in the preceding chapter. God gave the reasons why He had afflicted the people, but went on to encourage the righteous among them with the hope of great future prosperity and safety.

Because God’s own people were backslidden and living rebellious and wicked lives, He called another people who had not sought him, and extended the blessings of salvation to those who had been strangers to His name. In the previous chapter, because their nation had been in a covenant with God, the people felt that He should save them. Yet they did not repent. God showed an important principle here. They were not to be saved because they were Jews. He said that other nations that had not known Him would be introduced to His favor, while He would reject His ancient covenant people. The Jews were slow to believe this; as Paul stated in Romans 10:20. Isaiah was “very bold” in advancing so unpopular a sentiment.

God states the true reason why He had punished them (verses 2-7). It was not because He was changeable, or was unjust in His dealings with them. He had punished them and had resolved to reject a large portion of them, because of their continual backsliding and returning to wickedness. He specified that they had been a rebellious people, and He had stretched out his hands to them in vain, inviting them to return. They had constantly provoked Him by their idolatries, their abominable sacrifices, and by eating the things which He had forbidden. They were proud and self-righteous. God’s justice demanded that He should not pass by such offences.

Yet, God ended by giving hope. The whole nation would not be destroyed. There were still a few who would follow their Lord and be saved, even though the wicked portion of the nation would be cut off. 

Verses 17-25 bring hope for a glorious future and prosperity, for which the saints of all ages are waiting. The chapter closes with the promise that God will create “new heavens and a new earth” where there will be rejoicing, peace, security, and happiness. Isaiah pictured a remnant of the ancient Jewish people preserved through all their sufferings. The people will enjoy the fruit of their own labor without hindrance, and their prayers will be speedily answered — even while they are speaking. 

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
IV.   The message of consolation: The Holy One of Israel comforting, redeeming and
       enriching 
       C.   The provision for deliverance (future glory) 
              3.   The prayer of the remnant for mercy 
                     b.   The prayer answered (65:1-25)
                           (1)   Jehovah’s complaint against Israel (65:1-7)
                           (2)   The two destinies for Israelites (65:8-16)
                                  (a)   For the righteous remnant (65:8-10)
                                  (b)   For apostate Israel (65:11-12)
                                  (c)   The states contrasted (65:13-16)
                           (3)   The future blessings for the remnant (65:17-25)

A Closer Look

  1. What did God, speaking through Isaiah, promise to create? 
     
  2. How does this prophecy of Isaiah reinforce the fact that the blessings we receive are dependent upon us?
     
  3. What promise can encourage you the next time you feel discouraged at the terrible things happening in the world today?

Conclusion

Let us keep focused on the hope of eternal life in the place that God has been preparing for us.

Reference Materials