The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 65 Part 2

Isaiah

The first reading this week is found in Isaiah 65:8-16

v8: The new wine is found in the cluster: In the vineyards, when the grapes are ready to be harvested, the grapes are found clustered together on the vine. 

  • Do not destroy it: Each cluster of grapes has the potential to produce wine. 
  • A blessing is in it: There is a tradition in Israel where a cup of new wine (or a cup of grape juice) produced by the grapes can be used to sanctify/bless the name of the L-rd. This cup of wine symbolises fruitfulness. Isaiah is speaking symbolically of Israel. Israel is seen as grapes, and, in the clusters, there is a potential for blessing.
  • So will I do: ‘Thus’ or (literally) ‘yes’ is a word of agreement. G-d is not going to destroy all of Israel. 
  • For My servants’ sake: In Israel there has always been a remnant who are faithful to G-d (1 Kings 19:18). G-d does not completely destroy Israel for the sake of His servants – the faithful remnant. G-d preserves a remnant so that He can fulfil His covenantal promises to Israel. 

v9: Descendants (literally: A seed): Offspring. The word used here is very significant. It is the same word that is used to refer to the seed of Abraham. It is a word that speaks of those who have a covenantal relationship with Messiah – those who are part of His Kingdom family (which we become a part of through faith – Gen 15:6). 

  • Judah: The tribe who were given the Messianic promise (Gen 49:10). Judah is mentioned here as a way of emphasising the Messianic promise. 
  • An heir: One who inherits. A remnant of Israel (the Jewish people) is going to inherit. 
  • My mountains: Referring to the seat of G-d’s Kingdom, the place where His authority/government will sit – ie Jerusalem. Jerusalem is associated with worship.
  • My elect: Romans 11:5 tells us that there is an election, and this election is based on grace (the message of G-d’s grace is found in the gospel). We are not elected into the family of G-d simply by G-d’s choosing. We are elected into it when G-d responds to us – as we respond to Him through the gospel message, His offering of grace. 

v10: Sharon: An area just north of Tel Aviv.

  • Flocks: Referring to G-d’s people. 
  • Valley of Achor: Also known as the Valley of Trouble or Disturbance (Joshua 7:24-26). 
  • A place for herds to lie down: A place of rest. A place of safety.
  • Sought: Inquired of, pursued, investigated. G-d desires that His creation will seek Him, pursue Him, investigate Him (Matt 6:33). 

v11: You are those who forsake the L-RD: The remnant responds with faith to G-d’s revelation, but many (the majority) people do not respond to Him. 

  • Those who forsake: Those who have departed from, those who have left. They have not done this in innocence. They know what the truth of G-d is, but they refuse to submit to His truth, revelation or instruction. 
  • Forget My holy mountain: They have ignored G-d or have forgotten about worshipping Him. We become a changed or transformed people when we worship G-d. 
  • Gad: ‘Fortune’. A pagan deity. 
  • Meni: ‘Destiny’. We should be more interested in fulfilling G-d’s will than concerned re our own destinies. The Israelites were looking for their destiny and their portion in the things of this world. This is the wrong place to be looking. These were the wrong tables to be eating and drinking at. 

v12: Number (literally: Destine): There is a play on words here. They were looking for their own destinies, but G-d destined them or appointed them (numbered them) for something else. 

  • Slaughter: Massacre.
  • I called: G-d is not the One who is lacking here. He did His part. 
  • Did not answer…did not hear: They did not answer G-d or listen to Him because they were too intent on doing their own evil things, which, in their own eyes, appeared right to them. 
  • (What I delight in you have not chosen): What kinds of decisions are we making? Are we choosing the things that G-d is delighted with? Or are we neglecting G-d’s revelation (His Word) and choosing those things which are desirable to us, things which please our flesh?

v13: Note: In this verse G-d’s servants are contrasted with those who are not His servants. There is a difference between what the servants of G-d receive and experience and between what those who do not serve G-d receive and experience. This may not be evidenced in this life, but it will become very evident eternally. 

  • My servants shall eat: The servants of G-d are going to be satisfied in the Kingdom of G-d. G-d is going to do great things for those who are His faithful people. Faith in G-d, believing in His Kingdom promises, causes us to be His obedient servants. 

v14: Sing (literally: shout): The word used here is a word that shows great emotion – a great excitement that G-d is acting on behalf of His people. 

v15: You shall leave your name as a curse: G-d is making a promise. Those who are not His servants are going to have their names set as a testimony before G-d’s elect re how not to do things. 

  • Call His servants by another name: This could also be translated ‘they will call to G-d in another name’. They are not going to call G-d the G-d of Judgment, but He will be known as the G-d of faithfulness. See also Revelation 2:17. 

v16: Truth: Literally the word ‘amen’. The word ‘truth’, ‘amen’ and ‘faithfulness’ are all derived from the same root. When someone says ‘amen’ what they’re saying is that what has been said can be believed. It is a truth that needs to be received, by faith. 

  • Swears: Takes an oath.
  • The G-d of truth: The G-d of Amen (2 Cor 1:20). G-d is faithful. We need to recognise His authority and submit to it. 
  • The former troubles: The things of this world. This world, and the things of this world, are going to come to an end. G-d promises that all the troubles we face in this world are going to be in the past, behind us. 
  • They are hidden from My eyes: G-d is not going to allow our former troubles to be present in His Kingdom. Our former troubles are going to be hidden from His eyes. This is an idiom that means that they will be things that no longer exist. G-d is going to bring about a new reality – an eternal reality. 

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