Introduction: We have come to the end of our study of Isaiah. Isaiah
knows how to make a great ending to his book! He ends with a picture
of God’s final judgment and the reward of the righteous in the earth
made new. Let’s plunge into our study of Isaiah 65 and 66 and learn
about our future!
- The Choice
- Read Isaiah 66:1. Are we expected to build a resting place
- What problem would we face in building a home where
God could sit down and put up His feet? (God says our
earth is His “footstool!” He is too big and too
powerful for us to consider making a home for Him.
The implication is that He would instead build a home
- Read Isaiah 66:2. What kind of person “trembles” at God’s
word? (Someone who takes God’s words very seriously. God
says, “I am the Creator of everything. What basis do you
have for arrogance when it comes to Me?)
- Do most people today “tremble” at God’s word, or do
they expect God to conform to their wishes, desires
- How about you – do you accept those parts of the
Bible that you agree with – and reject those
that you consider inconvenient or wrong?
- If God’s word conflicts with your culture,
which do you follow?
- What point is God making when He talks about us
building a home for Him and trembling at His word?
(God wants us to understand the proper relationship
between Him and us. We cannot give God anything
(except our hearts). However, many humans believe
that they are in charge, they make the rules or
decide which rules to follow, and they give God the
respect they think He is due. God tells us that true
reality is not like that.)
- What kind of person does God esteem? Would you like
God to hold you in esteem?
- Read Isaiah 66:3. How can presenting God with a grain
offering be like sacrificing pig’s blood to God?
- Does God want pig’s blood? (Pig’s blood would be an
abomination to God. See Deuteronomy 14:8.)
- What message is God trying to teach us in verse 3? (I
think God says that these people count it all the
same – whether they sacrifice to God or kill a
person. Offering pig’s blood is just as good as
making a proper offering. God’s directives have no
influence on them. Another potential meaning of this
verse is that these people do terrible things and
think that offering the proper sacrifice makes up for
it. No need to worry about sin because you can just
sacrifice afterwards. Whichever is the best
interpretation, these people do not take God’s word
- Have you heard the teaching: “All choices are equally
valid. What is important is that you respect the
choice of others.” Is that the logic which God
- Consider the flow of God’s argument. He tells us
about the proper relationship between Him and us.
His power is way beyond that of us little humans.
Then He explains what He is looking for: humans who
take His words very seriously.
- Read Isaiah 66:4. What is the end for those who pay no
attention to what God says? (God will bring on them what
they dread might happen.)
- What do you dread?
- Why would God bring such a harsh result on them?
(These are people who are God’s enemies. They are
glad to oppose God. They delight in it. They are not
innocent bystanders in life.)
- God’ New Invitation
- Read Isaiah 66:18-19. Where does God go with His message
that has been rejected by those who want to follow their
own desires? (God’s glory is proclaimed to all nations.
Compare Acts 28:25-28.)
- Why would God go to others?
- Read Isaiah 65:1-4. What reason does God give here
for going to others?
- Read Isaiah 65:5. What kind of spiritual state do these
people claim? (They claim that they are better than
others! God rejects those who are spiritually arrogant and
disobedient. What an awful combination.)
- Read Isaiah 66:20-21. God not only goes to these “others,”
but He selects priests and Levites among them. What does
this mean? (That God now selects spiritual leaders from
those who are His “extended family.” Isaiah predicts that
the gospel will go to those who are not Jewish. It will go
to those who are willing to listen and obey. Those
willing to listen and obey become leaders in God’s work.
Compare Revelation 5:9-10.)
- God’s Reward
- In Isaiah 65:2-12 God speaks of the rebellion against Him
and His punishment for rebels. God then discusses His
reward for the faithful. Read Isaiah 65:14. How is your
life today? Would you like more joy? Do you know what it
is like to have so much joy in your heart that you just
feel like singing?
- Read Isaiah 65:17. What is the reason for all of this joy?
(God has created a new heaven and a new earth.)
- When we speak of “heaven,” is that our eternal
- Read Revelation 21:1-3. Where will we ultimately
- Where will God ultimately reside? (Between
Isaiah and Revelation we see that God will
create a new earth where the redeemed will live.
God will bring to earth His “Holy City” – the
New Jerusalem. God will live with us on the
earth made new.)
- Why, of all places in the universe, would
God choose to live with us? (Earth was the
center of the conflict between good and
evil. Jesus gave up His life for us here.
God’s new capital is located at the site
of His victory.)
- Notice that Isaiah 65:17 says the former things will not
be remembered or brought to mind. Is that good? Why?
- Read Isaiah 66:22 & 24. How can you reconcile Isaiah
66:24 with Isaiah 65:17? (One major reason the former
things will not come to mind is that we are enjoying
our new world so much. Another reason is that the
thought of loved ones who were lost would be painful
to us. In some wonderful way God erases the memory of
loved ones who were lost while keeping the issues of
the rebellion before us.)
- Why would God want to keep the issues of the
rebellion before us? (God went through this sin
mess with us because He gave us free choice. I
cannot imagine that choice will be taken from us
in the earth made new. Thus, it is important to
God (and to us) to keep the results of rebellion
before us so that we will continue to choose
- How can we know that we will not suffer sadness because of
the loss of our loved ones? (Read Isaiah 65:19. God says
that weeping and crying are a part of our past.)
- Read Isaiah 66:22-23. What is the day of worship in the
earth made new? (Sabbath worship of God continues even in
- Friend, you have a choice. God invites you to take His
words seriously, repent of your sins and accept His free
offer of salvation. The reward of the redeemed is a new
earth and life eternal with our Father.
- Next week we start a new quarter and a new series of lessons
entitled “Religion in Relationships.”