The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 66 Part 1

Isaiah

On to Isaiah 66:1-4

This final chapter deals primarily with one theme: Kingdom change – all the things that G-d’s going to do to bring about Kingdom change. This is what we should be longing for, passionate about and living for. Are we people who are expecting G-d to move mightily and powerfully in these last days?

Note: When Isaiah speaks about the Kingdom, he uses a phrase ‘the new heavens and the new earth.’ John uses this same phrase in Revelation to speak of the New Jerusalem – the Kingdom in its final state. However, before the New Jerusalem there is the millennial Kingdom. For the most part, this is the Kingdom that Isaiah is referring to. The reason we know this is because:

  1. Isaiah still places an emphasis on the Torah – the written word and commandments of G-d (ie the Law). Although the Torah has absolute significance and relevance in this dispensation, as it will have in the Millennial Kingdom, it is not eternal (Matt 5:18, 2 Cor 3:7-11, Heb 8:7-13). The rabbi’s teach that in the millennial Kingdom the Torah is going to be seen as if it is new. The people are going to see it through G-d’s eyes and understand it from His perspective. They are no longer going to view it through the limitations of man. 
  2. In the New Jerusalem there is no temple and no sacrifices. It is a Kingdom of perfection and because it is perfect it can be eternal. The millennial Kingdom is not eternal. It is only one thousand years in length. There is a functioning temple in the millennial Kingdom. Sin and death are still present. These are some of the differences between the millennial Kingdom and the New Jerusalem. When we know what these differences are it’s easy to see that Isaiah is emphasizing the millennial Kingdom rather than the New Jerusalem.  

v1: Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool: There is a connection between heaven and earth. G-d is connected to both aspects of His creation. G-d’s throne and rule are set in the heavens. However, currently there is a limited connection between G-d and this creation – the world/earth. G-d wants this to change. He wants to ultimately dwell with His people (Rev 21:3) and not be distant from them. 

  • House: Temple. 
  • Rest: A word which is related to the Sabbath (‘Sabbath’ is a Kingdom word). 

Note: One of the things that Judaism teaches, based upon this chapter, is that G-d wants a dwelling place in this world – where humanity is. G-d wants to dwell intimately with us. That is why He wants a house, a place for His rest. He wants to be with us, and He’s going to bring about His desire when He establishes His Kingdom.

v2: Those things: The heavens and the earth (ie creation). 

  • All those things exist: G-d is the architect and the creator for everything that exists. All things exist because of His power and authority (Col 1:16). 
  • Look: This is not the normal word for looking or for seeing. It is a word which means to gaze with intent at something or someone. It is a word of scrutinizing – looking at in a very serious way.
  • A contrite spirit: The word used here is the word for a disability – a disabled spirit. It is probably speaking about a man who is not at peace with the world. He is not functioning well in the world and not comfortable in it. We were created to live with G-d, to be in His Kingdom (the garden of Eden). We should not be comfortable with this world and the things which are passing away within it. 
  • Trembles at My Word: This means those who take G-d’s Word seriously. They hear revelation from G-d’s Word, and they respond (shake) – they give it priority and importance.

v3: Note: In this verse we see a major change or shift happening in mindset. G-d is going to emphasise obedience above sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22). 

  • Kills a bull: A ritualistic killing of a bull for sacrifice in the temple, upon the altar. The ox/bull was seen as the greatest or most precious sacrifice a person could make. A time is coming when this slaughtering of an animal for sacrifice will be seen in the same light as killing a man. 
  • Sacrifices: Referring to a temple offering. 
  • As if he breaks a dog’s neck: There are two ways that dogs are viewed Scripturally. A dog can be seen as an animal that hangs out in a pack, eats rubbish, is unclean and threatening and should be avoided. The second way is a domesticated dog who lives among us and is part of the family. The domesticated dog, much loved pet, is what this verse is alluding to here. 
  • Incense: Associated with prayers (Rev 8:3). 
  • (Wickedness): This is not a word that refers to idols but is a word used for ‘wickedness’. 
  • Abominations: What G-d sees as unrighteous, unholy and repulsive.

v4: Delusions: Deceit. They have been deluded and are walking in a deceitful way. There are going to be consequences for this. 

  • No one answered: They did not respond to G-d in a positive way. Instead, they responded negatively – doing evil and those things which G-d did not delight in.  

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