Isaiah 65-66: The Destiny Of God’s Servants In A New Creation -- By: Gary V. Smith
BSac 171:681 (January-March 2014) p. 42
Isaiah 65-66: The Destiny Of God’s Servants In A New Creation
Gary V. Smith is Professor of Old Testament, Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Many early prophecies in the Book of Isaiah seem to refer to amazing changes that will occur in a marvelous future era when God transforms this sinful world into a completely new creation. These include (a) the coming of people from many nations to Zion, God personally teaching them His ways, and the end of war (2:2-4); (b) the gathering of all Hebrews who are holy to Jerusalem, plus the presence of God Himself in a cloud and flaming fire (4:2-6); (c) the establishment of a just and righteous Davidic king who will rule on the throne of David forever (9:6-7); and (d) hints of a fundamental change in the nature of human and animal relationships (11:6-9). Space does not permit even the briefest treatment of all the astonishing new eschatological changes mentioned in chapters 12-39 (see 19:18-25; 24:1-27:13; 32:1-8, 15-20; 35:1-10) or in chapters 40-48 (see 40:1-11; 41:17-20; 43:1-7; 44:1-5; 45:14-17), but these passages orient the reader to the idea of God’s new creation mentioned later in chapters 65-66. Most of Isaiah 49-55 includes poems about the future Servant who will bring justice to the nations (42:1-9; 49:1-7; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12), as well as proclamations of salvation describing the “good news” about God’s future reign when every knee shall bow before Him (45:20-25; 49:26; 52:7-10). God has a plan that involves both devastating judgment on the wicked (63:1-6) as well as untold wonders in a new creation for the righteous (chaps. 60-62).
The last two chapters of the book present some final thoughts on the destiny of all humankind. These comments come as a response to a l...
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