Summary: God has had enough of people who do not listen to His word & despise those who do. God will one day judge those who are depending on externals to establish their relationship with Him, who delight in their way instead of the Lord’s way.
ISAIAH 66: 1-6
GOD’S HUMBLE SERVANTS HONORED
As the climax to the book, this chapter describes the Lord fulfilling some of the promises He has made. The Lord had promise to distinguish between His true people and those who honor Him with their lips but whose hearts are far from Him (especially in chs. 60-62).
In the new era a new place of worship will be built for the Lord. The Lord though is not so concerned with the beauty of the earthy house man would build for Him. He is concerned though about the people who worship Him. Without the proper spirit all else in life and worship, no matter how religious or how it follows the letter of the law, is an abomination to Him.
God has had enough of people who do not listen to His word and despise those who do. God will one day judge those who are depending on externals to establish their relationship with Him, who delight in their way instead of the Lord’s way.
I. THE LORD’S HOUSE, 1-2.
II. THE RELIGIOUS WAYS OF MAN, 3-4.
III. ASSURANCES TO THE HUMBLE, 5-6.
God’s sovereignty over heavens and the earth is found again in verse 1. Thus says the Lord, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?
The sovereign LORD is figuratively pictured as sitting on a throne with the earth as His footstool (Acts 7:49). The earth is His footstool, on which He now rests ready to over-ruling all its affairs according to His will. If God has so lustrous a throne and so prominent a footstool, where then could an appropriate house be build for Him? What is sufficient to be a residence of His glory, or a place for Him to rest? What satisfaction can the Eternal Spirit take in a house made with men’s hands? Because of His majesty no one can build a house for Him to dwell in-- as Solomon recognized (in 1 Kings 8:27). [In reality the very idea is preposterous and used only to imply that God wants to dwell in another house that He, not man, builds.]
Verses 2 and 3 summarize Isaiah’s message. In them God contrasts two ways of living. In verse 2 is seen the way of humble persons who have a profound reverence for God’s word which is then distinguished with those in verse 3 who choose their own way. “For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.
The Lord declares that He is not moved by their structures or their sacrifices. He is the Creator. What can man offer to Him that He does not already own? Yet what He values above His Creation and the works of His creation are people who are humble and contrite (Isa. 57:15; crushed in 53:5) and who follow His word. He wants us to humble our self before Him and obey His word.
In one way or another, this has been Isaiah’s message throughout this book. God wants His people to follow the truth He has revealed to them. For Israel that was primarily the Mosaic Covenant. Pointing people back to the Word of God, Isaiah was indicating that they needed to humbly obey it if they were to enjoy God’s blessings.
Humility is a high and sometimes difficult hill to climb. Peter writes in his first epistle, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for He cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour”(1 Peter 5:5-8). Peter expresses the true nature of the virtue of humility. It is a fighting virtue found in those who are engaged in a deadly battle with the devil, and who have found that they cannot fight the battle in their own strength. Their humility rests in their total dependence on God to supply them with the strength to do what they could not possibly do on their own. They do not sink into a lukewarm false humility, but they rise to meet the difficult challenge of the Christian life.
As we work, struggle, fight, and suffer to serve our Lord Jesus to the utmost, we receive the virtue of humility. As we learn by bitter experience what Peter discovered when he denied Jesus, we grow into humility. He learned, as we must also learn, that he did not have it within himself to follow Christ on his own. True humility requires absolute and total trust in Jesus Christ and His power, and lack of trust in our own strength and abilities.