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What is Still To Come | January 15th Sermon | Isaiah 66:3-13

Read Isaiah 66:3-13


God is leaving His people with one final promise.  The rest of this chapter is going to be focused on what will happen in the future for the people of Israel, the city of Jerusalem.  We have to remember that when God makes a promise, that promise will come true, even if it comes true after our lifetime.  Whatever God says will happen is going to happen. 


Again, therefore God begins this chapter by telling His people to “come with a contrite spirit and to tremble at His word.” 


This promise should give us the fear of God and the hope of God at the same time.  Our fear of God will drive us closer in relationship with God to make sure that we have a good relationship with God himself.


The Point:  God doesn’t abandon His people.  God will offer salvation for those who are repentant and judgement for those who turn away from Him.  God will come back for His people.



1.     God will judge those who choose to mock and disobey Him.  He will purify the world by burning away the sin.  God is the perfect Judge.


“But he who kills an ox is like one who slays a man;He who sacrifices a lamb is like the one who breaks a dog’s neck;He who offers a grain offering is like one who offers swine’s blood;He who [b]burns incense is like the one who blesses an idol.As they have chosen their own ways,And their soul delights in their abominations,4 So I will choose their [c]punishmentsAnd will bring on them what they dread.Because I called, but no one answered;I spoke, but they did not listen.And they did evil in My sightAnd chose that in which I did not delight.”


--Isaiah 66:3-4


Again, we have to remind ourselves of what we learned last week. “God wants genuine hearts in worship of Him, fully in love with Him, and in fear of Him.  God must be both revered and loved.”  God demands are full hearts and attention.  He loves us but He also wants us to love Him.  He wants to know us.  He doesn’t want performance or “perfect worship” on a Sunday morning with hearts full of habitual sin and mockery towards him (false worship of other gods).  God wants our full, genuine selves.  He wants us to let Him into those dark secret moments that we can know His grace and peace amid our struggles.  Judgement has come upon God’s people in Isaiah because of their false worship (hypocritical worship towards God Himself).  God’s people abandoned God in their hypocrisy.


The type of people described in this collection of versus are people who take advantage of God, who have chosen their own way, they love their wrongdoings, their worship is as good as breaking a dog’s neck (event though it looks correct). 


This all proves that God is after our hearts.  He’s not after our actions, if our hearts are in love with Him then our actions will glorify Him. 


Verse 4 describes the fate that is reserved for this type of person.  God will judge them and correct their hearts.  They will get what they deserve in regards to how they treat God.


“So I will choose their punishments, and will bring on them what they dread. Because I called and no one answered; I spoke and they did not listen.  They did evil in my sight.”


--Isaiah 66:3-4


The definition of the word, evil, in Hebrew is:  adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, displeasure, distress

It comes from the word ra’a which means:  bad, evil (natural or moral), wretchedness, wickedness, wrong.


This isn’t a flippant word.  To do evil in the sight of God is cause calamity, displeasure and distress.  It is to be wicked and wrong in the sight of the Lord.



2.     God is pleased with those who listen to His call.  God will save those who are with Him and in His family.  He will do this through Jesus Christ.


“’Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word:“Your brothers who hate you, who exclude you for My name’s sake,Have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’But they will be put to shame.6 “A voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple,The voice of the Lord who is rendering recompense to His enemies.

7 “Before she travailed, she brought forth;Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.8 “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?Can a land be [d]born in one day?Can a nation be brought forth all at once?As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.9 “Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord.“Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.’”


--Isaiah 66: 5-9


God is telling His people to be patient here.  God will give a true “deserving reward” to His enemies.  In the meant time God’s people are not to take things into their own hands.  God has the control, God’s victory is coming.  Trust in God.


This portion of scripture is written directly to God’s people, “those who tremble at my word…,” it is true that God’s people will be mocked, they will be persecuted and yet the are not to fret or worry during these times.  Rather they get to look forward to God’s ultimate promise:  God is coming for His people, He is coming to save them and God’s people will be reconciled to Him. 


“Before she was in labor, she gave birth: Isaiah prophesies a day when the victory will come easily to Jerusalem, when she will be as the promise of Romans 8:37more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Here, she gives birth – but without pain! Truly, who has heard such a thing?”

--Enduring Word Commentary


Verses 7-9 point to the end times promise of Jesus reconciling the church back to God.  This is establishing a new covenant; there is one day a victory in the God/ Child whom will be born of a mother. It’ll take time, so wait be patient, and understand that God’s promise will come true.  This happens when Christ is born (Matthew 1 + 2) as the saviour of the world to fulfill Abraham’s promise in Genesis 12.  Isaiah is re-iterating this prophecy and reminding God’s people of when this prophecy will come true.


3.     God will restore His sinful people.  God will restore the city of Jerusalem; the city of His people because God love His people; God loves Jerusalem. 


“Rejoice with Jerusalem: All God’s people are called to share in Jerusalem’s joy. The time of deliverance, victory, and vindication have come! Be glad with her, all you who love her! If God’s people will do this, it will be a blessing for them also: that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom.”

--Enduring Word Commentary


Remember, God’s people are dividing among each other in Isaiah.  Ephraim (Israel) wants to attack and take over Judah early on in Isaiah (Jerusalem is located in Judah) then the Assyrians invade Judah (Isaiah 7-10) later on Babylon will have invaded Judah and destroyed the Jewish temple (Isaiah 39-41). This is not the end of Jerusalem because God will restore both Jerusalem and His people.  God loves His people so much He is giving them a safe place to live; a place to call home since they have been forced into exile as a part of God’s judgement because of their hypocritical worship.



Isaiah ends with this promise of how God’s people are to love Jerusalem.  They are to love being in a relationship with God.  Jerusalem will be a centre of spiritual conflict until Christ comes back the second time.  This is because God loves Jerusalem and the world is against God. 


As Christians, we are to love and pray for the Jewish people, God’s people, and their home in Jerusalem.


This intense, great, rejoicing may sometimes make the world uncomfortable and make us the target of mocking.


“Very seldom are believers nowadays charged with being fanatical, nor even with being too enthusiastic; and this is a sign that we are below the right heat. When the world calls us fanatics we are nearing that point of ardour which is our Lord’s due.”

--Charles Spurgeon


Do you love what God loves?  Are you a fanatic for God?  Are you too scared of being called a Christian fundamentalist?



The Point:  God doesn’t abandon His people.  God will offer salvation for those who are repentant and judgement for those who turn away from Him.  God will come back for His people.



In the end, God is coming back for His church.  He is coming to judge those who mock His church and save those who are mocked.  Today I want to remind you and ask you, are you spending time with God? Is God the centre of your life? Or do you perform for God instead of taking care of your heart?  Are you hypocritical in your worship?  When Reading Isaiah 66 these are questions that we need to ask ourselves as we look to God’s promises written in this last chapter.




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