Isaiah 65:13-66:24

Isaiah 65‑66
Though God has to pronounce judgment upon the evildoers, which must be executed in due time, He delights in the mercy and blessing that He bestows upon His true servants. This He makes manifest in the passage which begins with verse 13. We notice, of course, that earthly blessings and earthly judgments are in view; food, drink, rejoicing and song on the one hand; hunger, thirst, shame and sorrow on the other. A curse and death will come upon them; their very name being considered a curse, while the chosen servants will be called by another name.
This will be fulfilled in days to come, but it is remarkable how we can see a fulfillment of it even in our day, which is explained by what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-1614For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 16Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. (1 Thessalonians 2:14‑16). On the other hand a remnant, according to the election of grace, is still being called out of that people and incorporated with elect Gentiles as the church of God. Upon such another Name is called, for they are CHRISTIAN.
As far back as chapter 42, we had Jehovah’s declaration, “New things do I declare” (verse 9), and now we discover the wide scope of that declaration. There is to be a complete sweeping away of the old order and the creation of new heavens as well as a new earth. The verses that follow show that the millennial age is referred to and not the eternal state, which is announced in Revelation 21:11And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1).
At present the heavens are the seat of Satan’s power, as Ephesians 6:1212For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) indicates. They will be in a new condition when those evil powers are cast out, and heavenly saints are installed, as from the New Testament we know they will be. When the Messiah acts as “the Arm of the Lord”, and His dominion extends to the ends of the earth, it will be a new earth indeed. In comparison therewith the old order will be so horrible that men will banish it from their minds.
The remaining verses of the chapter give a description of the happy conditions that will characterize the millennial age, beginning with the joy and blessing of Jerusalem, which will be then, as always intended, the center of earthly blessing. Yet it will not be an age of absolute perfection, as verse 20 shows. For the righteous, life will be greatly prolonged, yet it will be possible for sinners to be discovered and come under a curse. Still those who are the elect will have their days as the days of a tree, and we know how many a tree does not grow old for centuries.
Hence earthly blessings will be enjoyed to the full; houses, vineyards, fruit, and above all they will be in close touch with Jehovah their God. So much so, that not only will He hear them while they are yet speaking to Him, but He will answer their desires even before they express them by calling upon Him. This indicates that a place of remarkable nearness to Him will be theirs.
Moreover mercy will be extended even to the animal creation, which at the outset was placed under man, and so has suffered as the result of his fall. No longer shall strong animals slay and devour the weak. Those most opposed, like the wolf and the lamb, will feed together, and the most voracious, like the lion, will be satisfied with vegetable food. All hurt and destruction shall cease.
To this there will be just one exception. The serpent was used by Satan in deceiving Eve, and the curse upon it ran, “Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (Gen. 3:1414And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (Genesis 3:14)). Now this sentence is not to be revoked. It seems that in the ranks of the lower creation it will be retained as a sign and reminder of the tragic effects of sin. The serpent will not be able to hurt nor destroy, but its degraded and miserable state will remain.
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