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God is building His Family for His Glory | January 29th Sermon | Isaiah 66:14-24



Read Isaiah 66:14-24

 

 

 

Isaiah makes one last point in the ending chapter of this prophetic book.  God is reminding His people that He will build His family for His glory.  This includes a “great commission” found in verses 19 where God will describe the nations He will rebuild as Israel.  Remember, Israel is fractured throughout the entirety of this time of Isaiah’s prophecy. 

 

The Point:  God is now promising to bring His family together and rebuild it as a community that will live set apart from the rest of the world and share God’s glory with the world. 

 

 

1.        The Lord reminds His people that He will judge the world; He will bring His perfect and Holy justice upon those who are lost and will end the world in His timing. 

 

 

“For behold, the Lord will come in fire and His chariots like the whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire, and His rebuke with flames of fire.  For the Lord will execute judgment by fire and by His sword on all flesh, and those slain by the Lord will be many.  Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens, following one in the center, who eat swine’s flesh, detestable things and mice, will come to an end altogether.” 

 

--Isaiah 66:15-17

 

In order to build a healthy family there must be a segregation between what is right and wrong.  This is why God doesn’t automatically save everyone.  He saves those who have put their faith in Him and follow Him.  As Isaiah says here, “those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens…” (vs 16).

 

We don’t just let ANYONE into our houses, we become protective, we become exclusive (maybe too exclusive in our culture) we put up boundaries around our homes in order to preserve our values and cultures in our homes—this is exactly what does with His people.  However, He doesn’t tell them to be HERMITS rather He wants them to go out into broken and evil cultures and change them with His glory (example of the promised land being in Canaan, Numbers 13-14).

 

God will burn and kill sin.  God will enact His justice on the world who rebukes Him and mocks Him.  God will cut that away and destroy it with His perfect judgement.  Isaiah 66:16-17 points towards the restoration of the New Heaven and New Earth, God’s final judgement in Revelation 20-22. 

 

 

“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, everyone of them according to their deeds.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, the lake of fire.  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

--Revelation 20: 14-15

 

Isaiah is pointing to two futures here, the future for the current community to be reconciled under the Messiah, Jesus Christ and later under the second coming of Jesus Christ in the last days.

 

2.        God will restore His people and make them even bigger, stronger and His glory will shine through them as a family under God Himself, Jesus Christ.

 

“For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all the nations and tongues.  And they shall come and see my glory.  I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations.  Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Tuabal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard my fame nor seen My glory.  And they will declare My glory among the nations…”


--Isaiah 66:18-19 (18-21)

 

This sounds an awful like the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20

 

“’And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  ]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.’”

 

--Matthew 28:18-20

 

 

God is continuing to build His family under Him.  In the last few verses in Isaiah God is telling His people that they will come together under a sign given to them by Himself.  God’s glory will work through them into surrounding nations and even into the coastlands.  God will bring His people together, united under God Himself, Jesus Christ. 

 

“The only "sign" that our Lord ever gave to the unbelieving Jews was "The sign of the prophet Jonah, that like as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights" (Matthew 12:39-40), in short, the Resurrection of Christ!”


–Coffman’s Bible Commentary

 

“They are sent to Tarshish (Spain, France and Italy) to Pul (a region in Africa) and to Lud, which according to some is the same as Libya, though it seems preferable to take Pul and Lud together for all of Africa. Tubal was a son of Japheth, whose descendants settled in north-eastern Europe or Russia and Javan is the biblical name for Greece.”


--Harry Bultema

 

As this text continues into verses 21-22 it shows are this small, saved remnant whom Isaiah is talking to will eventually be tasked on going out to the surrounding nations, including the gentiles, to share the good news and build a family under God.   This will eventually happen under Jesus Christ Himself and after His resurrection form death and ascension into heaven.


3.     God is with His people WHEN His people are with God; they become righteous and pleasing to God.

 

“For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make will endure before Me, ‘declares the Lord, so your offspring and your name will endure…all mankind will come to bow down before Me,’ says the Lord.”

 

--Isaiah 66:22-24

 

God makes it clear that mankind will know who God is through His people.  His people are called to go out and live according to God’s word, righteousness and commands.  This is why Jesus says in John 14:15,  If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”  The question comes forward:  “What if God’s people are living according to His commandments? What if God’s people look just like everyone else?”

 

This is why God warns His people with one final warning of judgement. 


“Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me.  For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.”

 

--Isaiah 66:24

 

God warns of eternal punishment in hell for those who are hypocritical in their worship—those who do not know Him and those who have turned away from Him and His love.  As Humans, we are free to do what we want, free to accept God’s mercy, grace and justice while turning to Him in repentance, or free to turn away from God and disown him.  (Or even worse, think we know God when we truly don’t know Him and offer ourselves to false worship and teachings from the world). 

 

God burns away what is lost and sinful but God will also restore His repentant family.  God builds His church, God is pleased by His church, and God is living in and through His family.  God’s glory shines through His people and the lost world will notice that.  They will either ask to be part of that or they will abhor and mock that about God’s people.  It is clear, from Isaiah’s final prophecy, that God will build up His people under Christ the King (God Himself) comes back to enact one final piece of judgement upon the world.  It isn’t simply the end of times rather it is the beginning of times, a new life in the restored Earth, heaven wrapped in God’s full glory fully reconciled back to Him. 

 

It is also the beginning of an eternal wrath of punishment for those in Hell.  The question is, where do we sit as individual? Do we accept God’s mercy and grace running back to Him in daily repentance?  This is a serious question and the reason why God spoke through His humble prophet of Isaiah to His people.  God loves His people so much that He is telling them the consequences of their actions and choices, He is telling the truth to bring them back to Him. 


The Point:  God is now promising to bring His family together and rebuild it as a community that will live set apart from the rest of the world and share God’s glory with the world. 

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