“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.” Isaiah 65:17
Our final study in the book of Isaiah assures us that God’s Deliverer, the Messiah, will accomplish the dual work of redemption and restoration. Not only will He redeem and restore the hearts of men, He will ultimately provide a new creation, of parallel power and majesty to God’s first creation of the world. “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind” Isaiah 65:17.
Isaiah 65:17-25 A New Heavens and a New Earth
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”
This is the great hope that motivated God’s people in the Old Testament.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16
Isaiah 66 – God’s People can be Certain of God’s Ultimate Victory
Isaiah 66:1, 2: The greatness of God and the proper response of Man.
Thus says the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, says the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.
Isaiah 66:3-4 God’s Answer to Meaningless External Rituals
I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12
Isaiah 66:5, 6 The Lord repays His enemies; those who have persecuted His people.
Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that renders recompense to his enemies.
Isaiah 66:7-11 God will deliver and vindicate Jerusalem.
“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her” Isaiah 66:10
Isaiah 66:12-17 The Lord brings peace and comfort to His people, but indignation to His enemies
“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river…As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” 66:12, 13
The hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants, and His indignation to His enemies. 66:14
Isaiah 66:18 Divine Magnet: the Lord will draw the faithful from among Jews and Gentiles unto Himself
“For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.”
“Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion… At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.” Jeremiah 3:14, 17
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it. Revelation 21:23, 24
Isaiah 66:19 God’s people will be Missionaries to the Gentile world
I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations… And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. 66:19-21
The Jews who were dispersed after the Assyrian destruction and the Babylonian captivity became missionaries in the countries to which they were exiled. Centuries later, when Christ came, He gave His disciples the great commission and the apostles took the gospel to the ends of the then known world in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Genesis 49:10
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
Isaiah 66:21 All the Remnant, both Jews and Gentiles will be priests and Levites unto God.
And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the Lord. 66:21
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 2 Peter 1:9, 10
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5, 6. Also Revelation 5:10
Isaiah 66:22, 23 So Shall Your Seed and Name Remain
“For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “so shall your descendants and your name remain.” 66:22
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”…And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:3, 4, 10
And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord. 66:23
In Isaiah 1:13, 14 God stated that He hates the feasts of the New Moons and the Sabbaths because His people are a rebellious and disobedient people. Imagine a holy God’s revulsion when He looked down and saw His rebellious, disobedient people coming as hypocrites to offer Him sacrifice. But now, in the new earth where righteousness dwells, His transformed people come to offer Him true worship.
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:11-13
This is God’s gift of hope to mankind and the theme of Isaiah. God will solve the sin problem through His Son and Servant the Messiah, the Anointed One. The change Messiah brings will be radical – nothing less than new hearts and new minds given to all who do not reject His saving work. Christ’s work will find its glorious culmination in the New Heavens and New Earth wherein righteousness dwells.
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:3-5