Isaiah 65-66; 1 Corinthians 14:26-40
Today’s chapters in Isaiah can almost stand alone as a summary of the whole book (and for the whole Bible, for that matter)!
Isaiah 65 begins with our faithful God calling out to his people. They would not listen and turned away towards their own pleasures and gods (65:1-7). God’s just judgment flows, but again, we see God’s grace as He preserves a remnant (65:8-12). He refers to this remnant as “servants,” and they receive great blessing. They shall eat, drink, rejoice and sing for gladness of heart (65:13-16)!
Now let’s pause and consider the jaw-dropping grace of our God. He was patient and long-suffering with His people.
Similarly, He was patient and long-suffering with the early church. Consider the topics that Paul has addressed throughout our reading in 1 Corinthians… Sexual immorality, idolatry, pride, greed, disrespect – and today we read that the Corinthian church was in such an extreme chaotic state that Paul actually had to teach them, “All things should be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40)!
But, don’t we deal with the same sins in our own hearts and churches today? Yes, God has also been patient and long-suffering with us! Isaiah’s words apply to us as well:
I spread out my hands all the day
to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
following their own devices… (Isaiah 65:2)
We must not belittle the grace of our God!! We must be grateful that we are counted among his remnant and be honored to be considered one of his “servants!” For through the writing of Isaiah, we have a hope that can’t be shaken – a future that will be full of joy and peace (Isaiah 65:17-25)!
And finally, Isaiah concludes his book by describing the way into this future glory… It is only through a humble and contrite spirit (Isaiah 66:1-6). We have no hope of attaining this future on our own – we need His help – His all-powerful, gracious, loving… help.
And then Isaiah describes the gathering of all people from all the ends of the earth. We will gather together to see His glory. And then we will worship (Isaiah 66:18-23), for what else can be done when in the very presence of God??!!
For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
shall your offspring and your name remain.
From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the Lord (Isaiah 66:22-23).
And the people said, “Amen!”