Isaiah 65–God’s New Heaven and New Earth

Isaiah 65 is a difficult chapter.  It is broken into several parts. It begins with a promise of restoration for the remnant of Israel.  It is a breath of fresh air for those exiled to Babylon.  In the short term it describes the return after exile in nice and hopeful detail.

There is however a clear message of judgement for the rebellious.  God goes into detail about the peoples’ sin, their ignoring God, and worshipping other gods.  He even details eating pork and other non-kosher foods.  It is not God attacking the nation’s dietary laws, it is a Father exasperated by His chosen’s apparent disregard for their national identity and their covenant to trust and follow Him.

The final section, however, is the most wonderful part of the chapter.  It is the Father’s description of what lies ahead.  “See I will create a new Heaven and a new Earth!”  It was not only a promise to Israel, but it was a promise to all God’s chosen.  Face it, then and now there was pain, poverty, injustice, and death.  Families were in disarray, lives were wasted, and people were in states of hopelessness–SOUND FAMILIAR?  This was a loving Father’s reminder to His beloved that this is a dot on a very long line! What we must look forward to is a place of beauty, of love, and of peace.  No more injustice, no more pain, and no more separation from God.

For the nation of Israel, that was a promise that could not come too soon.  From their inception, they were always hated by the world, because they were different! They chose to follow one God and allow Him to dictate their journey! It seemed ludicrous to many and offensive to the rest.  Living lives of selflessness and humility had to be fake and pompous, right?  The promise is clear, if we will trust and follow our Lord, then we will enjoy eternity with Him.  We will live in a new Heaven and new earth without pain, without death, without ridiculous bickering, or injustice. I would humbly argue that such a promise is worth our love and devotion.  It was made for us, and planned for us by a Father that simply loves His own.  Embrace it and follow Him!

God Bless You


“See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
    will be heard in it no more.

20 “Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
    will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred
    will be considered accursed.
21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
23 They will not labor in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.

Isaiah 62–A Prophet’s Prayer

It is difficult to be gifted with the gift of prophecy.  Prophecy has two parts: foretelling the future and forthtelling the truth.  In part, many admire and are amazed at the accuracy of Isaiah’s prophecies about Jesus and about Israel.  Remember, at the time of these prophecies, Jerusalem, was prosperous and proud.  They were very sacrosanct and holy–they were just ignoring God.  They were checking boxes like mad, but had no heart for their Creator, Savior, and Provider.

Israel, like most still loved themselves more than God.  They did not mind making God a part of their lives as long as He did not interfere.  That is why much of Isaiah’s prophecy is simply calling them out for their sins of commission and omission. Here in chapter 62, We are blessed to see this prophet’s love for God and God’s chosen.  He personally prayed for their restoration.  for the return of their name and dignity.  The normally blunt and harsh prophet is now bearing his broken heart for these people, God’s Chosen.

We are also His chosen.  Isaiah wants us to also enjoy the blessing and restoration that is due God’s people.  When we trust the Lord as our savior, He will bring us into His family and, like Israel, will gather us and care for us.  This world is not our home.  We are being prepared for an eternal life in God’s presence.  Here there will be no fear, no darkness, no tears, and no regrets.  We will be new creations in the Heavenlies, in God’s loving family.  Like the Israel described in this passage, we will be restored and renewed in the image of our Lord.  What an amazing promise and gift.

God Bless You


Because I love Zion,
    I will not keep still.
Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem,
    I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her
    until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
    and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
The nations will see your righteousness.
    World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name
    by the Lord’s own mouth.
The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—
    a splendid crown in the hand of God.
Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”[a]
    or “The Desolate Land.”[b]
Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”[c]
    and “The Bride of God,”[d]
for the Lord delights in you
    and will claim you as his bride.
Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem,
    just as a young man commits himself to his bride.
Then God will rejoice over you
    as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.

O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
    they will pray day and night, continually.
    Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord.
Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work,
    until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.
The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength:
    “I will never again hand you over to your enemies.
Never again will foreign warriors come
    and take away your grain and new wine.
You raised the grain, and you will eat it,
    praising the Lord.
Within the courtyards of the Temple,
    you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.”

10 Go out through the gates!
    Prepare the highway for my people to return!
Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders;
    raise a flag for all the nations to see.
11 The Lord has sent this message to every land:
    “Tell the people of Israel,[e]
‘Look, your Savior is coming.
    See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’”
12 They will be called “The Holy People”
    and “The People Redeemed by the Lord.”
And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place”
    and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”

Isaiah 12–Isaiah Prophet and Worship Leader

Isaiah’s role as a prophet was a very multi-faceted role. Historian, truth teller, evangelist, battle strategist.  But on this day, Isaiah was a worship leader.  It must have been unique to see the future destruction and then the restoration of God’s people.  It would have been hard to keep from judging the sin of Israel or trying to figure out the mind of God.

Isaiah did neither of those things.  Isaiah simply spoke the truth.  To him, having a glimpse of God’s perspective that looks at all places and times at once, was a gift.  Isaiah was worshipping the Lord and watching God’s chosen worship the Lord, because God had, in fact, destroyed Israel’s enemy and returned them to their inheritance.  For Israel, the song was yet premature, they had not yet been exiled nor had the Assyrians and Babylonians been destroyed.  The Remnant had not left, much less been returned.  But this song that Isaiah wrote was an accurate ballad for a later date.  What is more, it was a promise for hope–when the history of Israel had become abysmal.

It grows more apparent, in these times, that the world is exploding.  Across the globe, God is systematically being excluded from government, education, and families.  In America, we are banning worship at church, but encouraging protesters by the thousand to gather in the streets. The great news is that God is patient.  He truly wants His people to humble themselves and to seek His face. As with Israel, God wants to restore us, His people, but that requires repentance and revival.  

We simply need to face the fact that our nation and our world is teetering on the brink of judgement–but, as with Israel, we can turn and be restored. Pray, seek God and His truth, walk humbly, and turn toward God and His plan. Do not turn away from God to do your own thing.  Then we can join Isaiah in worship and praise God for His restoration. Then we can walk in peace without fear.

God Bless You


In that day you will say:

“I will praise you, Lord.
    Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
    and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 9/10–Accountability is Not Pleasant

The next message from Isaiah was not as uplifting as was the Handel’s Messiah piece!  God said enough is enough.  God said the people’s sin and arrogance and walking away will cause destruction, famine defeat and decimation.  But, all of that will not be enough to stay God’s hand of judgement. God wanted to be clear to the leaders of Israel, Assyria, Philistia, to the false prophets and corrupt leaders–no repentance, then no relief.  

God needed the ship to turn.  So, the horrific message was that He was all out of patience.  As a leader of God’s chosen people–they should have been scared spitless.  Instead, the folks just sinned more intensely and ignored God even more loudly. So, God said fine! When his judgement raged, there was no doubt it was not going to be minor or quick–the 10 tribes were dismantled, and Judah was carted off into exile.  death, destruction, and servitude followed, and God’s people seemed doomed.

Still, in the intensity of God’s wrath on the chosen People.  His name and his love never wavered.  We need to take hope in that.  Whatever lies ahead, we can cling to the promise of salvation and eternal restoration as God’s own people.  The 4 promises in Romans 8 remind us He will never abandon those He loves.   1) Vs 1–There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2) vs. 18–present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 3) Vs. 28–All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. 4) Vs 38–Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

In these promises from the apostle Paul, we can all take hope in God’s never-ending love for us.  We are not promised an easy journey, but we are promised eternity with Adonai. This is a small spot on a long line, and we must never forget He will walk through this with us and carry us through. That is a promise worth living for.

God Bless You


The Lord has sent a message against Jacob.
    it will fall on Israel.
All the people will know it—
    Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—
who say with pride
    and arrogance of heart,
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
    but we will rebuild with dressed stone;
the fig trees have been felled,
    but we will replace them with cedars.”
11 But the Lord has strengthened Rezin’s foes against them
    and has spurred their enemies on.
12 Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west
    have devoured Israel with open mouth.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

13 But the people have not returned to him who struck them,
    nor have they sought the Lord Almighty.
14 So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail,
    both palm branch and reed in a single day;
15 the elders and dignitaries are the head,
    the prophets who teach lies are the tail.
16 Those who guide this people mislead them,
    and those who are guided are led astray.
17 Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men,
    nor will he pity the fatherless and widows,
for everyone is ungodly and wicked,
    every mouth speaks folly.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

18 Surely wickedness burns like a fire;
    it consumes briers and thorns,
it sets the forest thickets ablaze,
    so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.
19 By the wrath of the Lord Almighty
    the land will be scorched
and the people will be fuel for the fire;
    they will not spare one another.
20 On the right they will devour,
    but still be hungry;
on the left they will eat,
    but not be satisfied.
Each will feed on the flesh of their own offspring[b]:
21     Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh;
    together they will turn against Judah.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised…

Woe to those who make unjust laws,
    to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
    and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
    and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning,
    when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
    Where will you leave your riches?
Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
    or fall among the slain.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

Isaiah 6-The Call of a Prophet

It truly must have been a daunting vision. Isaiah standing in Heaven in the presence of God.  To that point, Isaiah had been a historian for the king. The king died and I am sure that Isaiah was wondering what was next for his journey–then Bam! Isaiah was standing in God’s presence in stark fear, knowing that Uzziah became a leper for simply going into the Holy of Holies and touching the incense.

BUT GOD, was in control. He purified Isaiah, and He also sent Isaiah on a mission.  The purification was by an angel that literally touched Isaiah’s mouth with an ember from the alter of Heaven–that is something one does not experience every day. Then God described his mission–Go tell a group of people that are not seeing, hearing, or understanding that they are in big trouble, what lies ahead.  Further, be assured that when you tell them they will not understand.  That is not a job one would get a plethora of resumes for on Indeed.

Isaiah did the job he was called to do–for Judah and for the world.  For as sad as the message to the people truly was, the hope of salvation was equally as exciting. With God, there is always hope–that hope centers on the person of Jesus Christ.

We cling to the fact that Jesus is the Savior, and not our own sinful attempts to control life.  As we follow the Lord humbly and intently; He will show us the way to do this life, and He will prepare us for what lies ahead in eternity.I would be less than honest if I did not admit that I would not want Isaiah’s job; but, I would do what God calls me to do daily. I know God’s call will be preparation for what is to come.

God Bless You


In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.
the whole earth is full of his glory!”[b]

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

Isaiah’s Commission from the Lord

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

“‘Keep on hearing,[c] but do not understand.
keep on seeing,[d] but do not perceive.’
10 Make the heart of this people dull,[e]
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes.
lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”

Let’s Be Clear–Genesis 7 Part 2

This was no ordinary rainstorm.  Inside the Ark, the world was a place of peace; outside, not so much.  It flooded for 150 days.  Not just rain from above, but blasting from every pore of the earth. Five months of cleansing the world of all evil that had touched the ground.  It had to be a mixture of grief and fear for the Noah and his family.  While they knew the evil of men and the destruction of the earth, they did not know what was next, or how things would be–after they reemerged.  Such unknowns had never faced men.  Noah and his family, while faithful, had never experienced the devastation or the destruction of the entire world.
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In our culture, we face unknowns–daily.  We know that with the technology that currently exists, men could easily wipe out much of the world as we know it–but, what is more disconcerting, is that God could and has every right to do the same.  We are easily as evil as the people of Noah’s time.  If I were the Lord, (Which, I am not–and am very glad about that!!!!!) I would lay awake thinking it has to be half past time to wipe us off the earth, once again!  If our humility is waning and we think we are all that and a box of Oreo’s–we need to take note of how little control we really have over our lives and our circumstances.  It is the realization of our need to trust and follow God–that frees us from the fear of the unknown, and the depression of not being able to assure our beloved destiny. 
 
We need to show reverence to the absolute power of God and his plan, but, we also need to rejoice at his ability to withhold his hand of judgement.  One need only remember the absolute nature of his judgement, to know we would rather have his mercy and grace!
Thanks you Lord–for withholding judgement on me–the worst of all sinners!
 
God Bless You

On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.[a][b] 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.