Summary: Nothing can prevent YAHWEH from accomplishing His purpose. In light of God’s promise concerning His people’s future, they are told to rejoice. They will know comfort & plenty. They will be protected, for God will execute His judgment upon the wicked.
ISAIAH 66: 10-17
REJOICE BECAUSE OF GOD’S PROMISES
[2 Thess. 1:7-9]
Nothing can prevent YAHWEH from accomplishing His purpose of repopulating Jerusalem with new life. In light of God’s promise concerning His people’s future, the faithful remnant in Zion is told to rejoice. They will know comfort and plenty. They will be protected, for God will execute His judgment upon the wicked.
We too, as the people of God need to rejoice because of God’s good promises. Though we struggle and travail in our service to God one day our sorrows will be turned into abundant joys also.
I. REJOICING OVER JERUSALEM, 10.
II. GOD’S TENDER LOVE, 11-13.
III. BLESSINGS OR JUDGMENT, 14-17.
Verse 10 calls for rejoicing because of the new life they will experience. “Be joyful with Jerusalem and rejoice for her, all you who love her; Be exceedingly glad with her, all you who mourn over her,
The condition of Jerusalem has been a reason for mourning. The nations have used it for their own purposes and its people have rejected God’s way of righteousness. God though will do for Jerusalem what He has set out to do (60:20; 61:2-3; 65:18-19). This (spiritual) restoration (and new life) then is cause for rejoicing for those who love her.
What did God set out to do? To bring many into the kingdom of God through birth. We as NT Christians understand this to include spiritual birth. The last passage (vv. 7-9) dealt will the large number of spiritual births that the pain and travailing of God’s people will bring forth.
God, therefore, calls all who love Jerusalem to forget their complaining and rejoice. For what God plans to do, He will accomplish. The promises of Chapter 61 will certainly come to past.
II. GOD’S TENDER LOVE, 11-13.
The thought of infants is picked up again in verse 11. That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, that you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom.”
The people of Israel (and I believe us to day) are told to delight in the new Jerusalem as an infant delights in her mother’s sustenance. In fact, rejoicing in the salvation of God’s people is what leads to being able to “nurse and be satisfied.” Rejoicing in the salvation of God’s people leads to drawing close to God & finding comfort. Rejoicing in the salvation of God’s people is what leads to the partaking of her bounty & delighting oneself in it. [Those that love Israel will be blessed. Those who pray for her will prosper.]
Verse 12 let’s us know that God is the source behind the blessings of the new Jerusalem. For thus says the Lord, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees.
Notice it says, “Behold I extend.” If Zion is able to be such a blessing to others it is only because God is providing them with what they need to fulfill their calling. It is God who extends His blessings through His people. What He promises to extend is peace. As stated many times in the Book of Isaiah, peace will come to Jerusalem (48:18; 55:12 and the nations’ wealth will flow to her 60:5, 11; 61:6). Such salom peace comes out of one’s relationship with the One True God. When the Messiah reigns in men’s hearts He not only brings peace within and peace without, but His kingdom of peace will flow like a river. The glory of the presence of God (which is the true glory of the nations) which flows peace will sustain and carry His people in wondrous companionship and playful delight. They will be like loved children carried on the hip and bounced on the knees of an adoring mother.
In verses 11-12 Jerusalem is compared to a mother; in verse 13 God is compared to a mother who comforts her child. “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Here is one of the few places in the Bible where God is compared to a mother. The comparison is used to reinforce the depth of God’s loving concern and tender care for His children.
The three fold use of the word comfort emphasis its depth and quality. As in the last verse the emphases is that God is the source of Zion’s blessings. It is really God who comforts. When we extend healing comfort to others it is out of the comfort that God has given us in our difficulties (2 Cor. 1:4ff).
My wife took our infant daughter Cassia to receive an IMMUNIZATION. As the needle entered her shoulder, she howled. I wished I could help her understand that the inoculation would protect her from disease for the rest of her life. Though my daughter could not have understood those words, she felt her mother’s arms cradling her and heard the soothing tone of her voice.