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Conclusion: Devotional 2.102

In this final verse, Isaiah returns to his theme of two peoples, two choices, and two outcomes…
The “worm”, or maggots, that eat these dead remains will never die. Nor shall the fire that burns to consume them. Forever and ever, these rotting remains will persist as a grim reminder to the faithful that the trials and tribulations they endured, as they remained faithful to their God and his Servant, were well worth the cost.
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New Heaven/New Earth: Devotional 2.101

Believers in Christ already possess the major blessings that constitute a “new heaven” and a “new earth.” Heaven is now open in Christ, not shut.
Earth and heaven have been joined in Christ by his Holy Spirit living both within and among each and every believer in him. Humankind are no longer separated from the presence of God. In Christ, God, as a loving Father, welcomes all  to approach his throne of grace. The curse has been declared null and void for those who believe and receive God’s Servant. Eternal life is here now. … Continue readingNew Heaven/New Earth: Devotional 2.101

Switchbacks and Hermeneutics: Devotional 2.99

Much of Volume 2 of Isaiah involves switchbacks within the text that alternate between two groups. Both groups belong to national biblical Israel. But God abundantly blesses only one of the two groups. One group obeys God; the other group disobeys. Eventually, Isaiah’s use of the names Sion and Jerusalem lands firmly upon the obedient. Again, it is important to realize that both groups ethnically belong to national biblical Israel. This explains why God no longer addresses “Israel” as a whole. The text has reached a point of final sifting. God addresses his obedient children as Sion and Jerusalem. The disobedient he addresses as transgressors (Septuagint Isaiah 66:3 and Isaiah 66:24). … Continue readingSwitchbacks and Hermeneutics: Devotional 2.99

Switchbacks and Seismic Shifts: Devotional 2.98

When both ethnicity and religious ceremonial observance are eliminated as necessary factors in pleasing God, faith stands alone. Isaiah does not use the word “faith.” Rather, his vocabulary specifies the “humble and meek” (verse 2) and the one who “trembles at my word”(also verse 2). The concept of trembling at God’s word includes obedience to it. People obey whom they fear. Therefore, the essence of faith (belief and trust in God) is obedience to God and his word. Those who obey God give him their highest regard through obedience to him. Another way to say this is that faith (belief and trust in God) leads a person to choose to obey God and his word despite all contrary consequences. … Continue readingSwitchbacks and Seismic Shifts: Devotional 2.98

Birth of a New People: Devotional 2.97

Isaiah focuses throughout both volumes, chapters 1 through 66, upon God’s Servant. He describes his person, his work, and the blessed consequences of his work for the believing remnant of Israel. These all find fulfillment in the advent of God’s Servant–his life, his death as a sacrifice for many, his resurrection from the grave, his ascension, and the rapid growth of the new kingdom of Sion made possible through him, as recorded in the book of Acts. … Continue readingBirth of a New People: Devotional 2.97

A New Heaven and a New Earth: Devotional 2.945

As in so many other ways, the advent and events of the life of God’s Special Servant, his Son, fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 65:17. Through his death on the cross, resurrection from the grave, and ascension into heaven, Jesus Christ, the Servant, opened a doorway into God’s presence that never existed before. Likewise, Jesus Christ, God’s Servant, opened the way for a “new earth.” … Continue readingA New Heaven and a New Earth: Devotional 2.945