74 Isaiah / Part 2 (23)

New heavens and a new earth

Isaiah 65:1-25
Revelation 21:1-5
T A reply to prayer

 When we looked at from 63:15 to 64:12 last time, it was prayer full of sufferings of prophet Isaiah. He prayed, "Do not angry beyond measure, O Lord, neither remember iniquity forever; behold, look now, all of us are Thy people."(64:9). Because that cause was in themselves, but God's eyes were not turned to Israel now, and turned to foreigners. This prophet yearned for His eyes turning to Israel once again while he was feeling such judgment of God. A text of this morning is 65:1-25, but, an answer of the Lord to that prayer was told there.

 "I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here am I, here am I,' to a nation which did not call on My name."(1) These things which were said here; "Those who did not ask for Me", "who did not seek Me", "to a nation which did not call on MY name", they seem to point at citizens of whole country of the whole world to be called with foreigners (not a Jew as the chosen people). The answer of God, "My eyes already turned on foreigners", seemed to pour cold water in prayer of Isaiah that wished God's eyes faced Israel. "I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts, a people who continually provoke Me to My face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks; ....."(2-5), and Israel would be Israel as it was said. "A rebellious people" was exactly Israel. I talk in a human way, but, God lost His affection for Israel which did not change even if He remonstrated and remonstrated. Therefore, His anger was all the more big, and He vented that anger on Isaiah called as His messenger. Here is this; "Behold, it is written before Me, I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay into their bosom," Therefore it was called Israel "them" by the third person, but, it turned into "you" (7) by the second person suddenly. He was betrayed so much, and should have decided that "I deserted them.", but God's hot thought for Israel; "You are people of My selection", and it seems not still to disappear and comes.

U By another name

 His hot thought would overflow. God told a new contract to Isaiah, "So I will act on behalf of My servants in order not to destroy all of them. And I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and an heir of My mountains from Judah; even My chosen ones shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there."(8-9). It will be people called "remaining people". This is a composition of the salvation of God that a bone runs thickly through the Old Testament that is seen in an article of Noah and Jehosua, too, but, there is an article which made to think about who the "remaining people" are, here. It was repeated many times after Verse 13, "Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry," "Behold My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty." "Behold, ...". This "You" shall be Israel, and "My servants" shall be remaining people, and it is not wrong. And there is it in Verse 15; "But My servants will be called by another name.". It will be natural to hear that "remaining people" left Israel since they were called "another name". Isaiah had to write down about the people who called by "another name" thus, "Do not be angry beyond measure; O Lord, neither remember iniquity forever; behold, look now, all of us are Thy people.". However, because it was words of God, he testified so faithfully and brokenheartedly. Does only fierce way of life named a prophet float, appearing not?

 "Another name", it may be Christians. Christian means birds of a feather to Christ, and the people who believe Jesus became to be called so, in the days of an initial church in Antioch of Asia Minor which became the starting point of foreigner missionary work. God started a new plan of the salvation to put "another name" to remaining people, and told it to this prophet. And the plan of salvation was realized in Jesus. Surely, God treasured people whom He blew His own breath without any distinction of Israel or a foreigner, and that love would be manifested itself. It was said with "I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here am I, here am I,' to a nation which if not call on My name.".

V New heavens and a new earth

 A new plan of salvation began like this; "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind."(17). It piles up to Verse 16, "the former troubles are forgotten", but, it has a meaning that a plan of salvation of God "expiates people who is in hardship out of that hardship". Brilliant development of the work and creation of God, "new heavens and a new earth", it will be prepared to the world that is said "the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.", for the remaining people whom was given "the other name". Even if that pains include hardship to continue living in this world, but we must not forget that there is "hardship by a crime" in the basic place. That hardship is said, "the former troubles are forgotten" "the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind". How wonderful is it!. It is a blessing to the people forgiven their crimes and invited to the new heavens and a new earth.

 This "new heavens and a new earth" almost accord with description of Chapter 21 of Revelation. "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. and I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I herd a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.'"(Revelation 21:1-4) This will be the capital of God, and a scene of heaven. That scenes are "almost" piled up the scenes of new heavens and a new earth that Isaiah heard. Why do I use the word "Almost"; because there is not "already" death in Revelation, but, there is "death" in Isaiah thus; "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed."(20). Besides, the "death" is repeated many times (22, 23). A reference to "death" becomes the greatest subject of concern of this text, but, will not "death" suggest this new heaven and a new earth appears in our extremely familiar place? In a certain meaning, "death" is the most imminent existence for person. At the time of the end, this prophet might watch a Messiah kingdom which Jesus will come and rule the earth (a certain people call it millennium kingdom). Even if a millennium kingdom is said to me, but, an actual feeling is not heated for me, but if we hear that God creates the kingdom separately from heaven and we are invited to there, we are glad.

 There is it with, "It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they ate still speaking, I will hear."(24). On the old days, Adam and God did such a conversation in the Garden of Eden. Does not it resemble the acquaintance of the new heaven and a new earth? It is us who lost such relations with God for a long time, but we want to regain it, don't you? In response to invitation of God. Because Jesus became atonement for us.