Daily Devotional

November 25, 2018

Daybreak: Isaiah 66:1-24

“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:13)

There is no one better at administering comfort than your mother. Just ask Nick Anderson. One fateful night in 1995, the Orlando Magic guard missed four free throws in the final seconds of his team’s NBA Final’s game against Houston. Those free throws could have sealed the win, but missing them put the game into overtime. With seconds to go and the close game still undecided, one of the Houston guards blew past Anderson for an easy lay-up and scored. Orlando lost the game and eventually the championship.

Understandably, when he got home, Anderson was upset and unhappy. “My mom put her arm around me,” Anderson later said, “and told me, ‘You’ve got nothing to put your head down about. You’ve pulled your team through many other times.’”1 His mother had just the right words to bring him comfort.

Like Nick Anderson, I’ve experienced the comfort of a mother, and know that it is like no other. As a child, whenever I fell down, scraped my knees or hurt myself in pretty much any way at all, I immediately ran to my mom. She was the source of my consolation — the one who would dry my tears, put on a Band-Aid, and offer me solace. I could count on her unwavering love and care in any situation. 

Given this ability of mothers, it makes perfect sense that in our focus verse, Isaiah compares the comfort God gives to that of a mother. God is love; in addition, He is omniscient — the perfect combination for the supreme source of comfort and care. Despite Israel’s past failure, God extends comfort to her, and one day she will revive and flourish.

While the verse specifically points to the comfort God promised to bring to His people during the Millennial Reign, we too have the privilege of looking to God for solace. God is not just the Comforter for Jerusalem, but for us as well. He is standing by today, ready to offer the encouragement, support, and comfort we need. 

Background

The Northern Kingdom of Israel was taken into captivity by Assyria in 722 B.C. In this chapter, Isaiah looked beyond the judgment which would descend on Judah in 587 B.C., when Judah would be conquered by Babylon, to describe the blessings in store for God’s people during Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. At that time, Israel will take center stage on the international scene, and is described in verse 7 as being born in a day. The nation, which is compared to a nursing baby, will find health and peace in the arms of the Lord.

While God’s hand will bring blessing to His servants, there will be “indignation toward his enemies” (verse 14). The Day of the Lord will be a storm of judgment with fire and whirlwinds, and those who disobeyed God’s Law and turned to pagan idols and practices will be punished.

In this chapter, Isaiah reached the climax of his teaching, bringing once again a message of both impending doom and future deliverance. This book of powerful poetry ends in prose. The prophet’s closing words describe the religion of the last days as an abomination, which literally means “the hateful thing.” Because of this, God will pour out judgment on the wicked and unrighteous nations of the world. 

At the same time, messengers will go to the ends of the earth to announce what God has done for Israel (verse 19). The result will be that many will come to Jerusalem to bring offerings to the Lord. All mankind will come to worship Him, but the bodies of those who rebelled against the Lord will be scattered over the land.

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) 
              4.   The prosperity of believers in the Millennium (66:1-24)
                    a.    The condemnation of the unrighteous (66:1-6)
                    b.   The blessings of the righteous (66:7-24)
                          (1)   The birth of the new Israel (66:7-9)
                          (2)   The comfort of Jerusalem (66:10-14)
                          (3)   The punishment of wickedness (66:15-17)
                          (4)   The prominence of Jerusalem (66:18-21)
                          (5)   The perpetuity of Israel (66:22-23)
                          (6)   The punishment of the wicked (66:24)

A Closer Look

  1. What qualities will be present in the person God says He will look to?
     
  2. What will Jerusalem experience during the Millennial Kingdom?
     
  3. In what ways has God given mother-like comfort to you?

Conclusion

God promised that His comfort will be extended to Israel during His Millennial Kingdom. How grateful we should be that God’s comfort is available for us today too!

Reference Materials