If you have read the last two chapters in Isaiah you know that it concludes with a discussion of two groups:
1) Those who are humble will be saved
2) those who will not be saved because they rebelled the Lord.
Isaiah was talking to a remnant of God's people who had been faithful. Who understood that without him they were nothing. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word."
He was also talking to a large group of people who thought they were covered. They "offered sacrifices in the gardens and burned incense on alters of brick" He says these people are, "a smoke in my nostrils" Basically they are annoying. They are not good for anything. " They have chosen their own way and their souls delight in their abominations; so I will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they dread."
The important thing to note about these closing words are that Isaiah made it clear that the saving was going to be for everyone. This is what He is saying in 65:1. Paul used this argument in Romans chapter 10:19-20. God opened up the doors of salvation to all mankind. In a big way Romans ten is the best commentary on Isaiah 65. I will not try to write a better one.
Chapter 66 is about the birth of a new nation. The definition for those who God calls, "His People" is changed in the light of what Christ is going to do. It's not about sacrifices and following the law. It's about a contrite heart. This isn't new. David understood this a hundred years before Isaiah spoke to the people. He said, " You do not delight in sacrifices or I would bring it..the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, you do not despise."
There is more that I am chewing on about picture painted in 66 but I haven't finished chewing on it and I don't know yet how to put it into words. So before I make a bigger mess of things I will just leave it at that.
Check out the homework in Joy's post and we will see you Thursday night!