Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Isaiah 56-66

  • 56-57: Contrast of obedient outsiders and insiders with disobedient aloof insiders
    • 56:1-8 Yahweh offers shelter to all who trust in him, even those rejected by the "religious."
    • 56:9-57:13 Yahweh exposes the malfeasance of Israel's wicked leaders and interrogates them.
    • 57:14-21 Yahweh brings healing to all who come and are contrite; the muckraking wicked receive no peace.
  • 58: Honest obedience is blessed; dishonest obedience is cursed
    • 58:1-5 Yahweh introduces Israel's hypocritical worship and demanding prayers to Isaiah; Yahweh counters Israel's shallow, needy righteousness with a pointed query into the heart behind ritual.
    • 58:6-12 Worship of Yahweh, lived out in loving justice for the other, pleases Yahweh and results in the blessings and light bearing of a life well lived.
    • 58:13-14 Honoring the Sabbath by seeking Yahweh's pleasure rather than one's own creates delight for Yahweh and results in covenant blessings.
  • 59: Israel's sin and deception are pointed out; they confess and display remorse; redemption is delivered.
    • 59:1-8 Yahweh is an ultimately capable Savior, but lying, deceptive, murdering, unjust Israel rejects salvation by separating themselves from the only Savior.
    • 59:9-15a As a result, hoping, searching Israel confesses it finds neither justice nor hope, because their sin increases exponentially,justice flees, and truth cannot be found.
    • 59:15b-19 Yahweh is most seriously displeased; making no distinction between unrepentant Israel and the heathen nations, he dons his armor and comes in battle array.
    • 59:20-21 Yahweh declares his covenant with true, repentant Zion: you shall proclaim my Spirit and my words forever.
  • 60: Blessing promised to replace wrath
    • 60:1-3 Jerusalem is commanded to arise and reflect Yahweh's light that has arisen upon her; in response the nations will be drawn to her.
    • 60:4-9 Jerusalem is commanded to see the return of her children to her as the the nations gather toward God's beautiful house.
    • 60:10-14 God uses the nations to bless Israel as a sanctuary for all who come to worship; those who do not serve her will perish.
    • 60:15-18 Yahweh will bring Jerusalem from being despised to being blessed with abundant peace and wealth.
    • 60:19-22 Redeemed Israel sees by the light of Yahweh; exponential blessings abound.
  • 61-62: Zion and its inhabitants will be redeemed by Yahweh
    • 61:1-4 Isaiah brings good tidings of the comfort and justice of the Messianic mission.
    • 61:5-7 Isaiah describes the good results of the Messianic mission: prosperity, rejoicing, and honor.
    • 61:8-9 The good results will come because Yahweh promises eternal righting of wrongs and prosperity of offspring to the above.
    • 61:10-11 Isaiah responds to Yahweh’s promise and blessings with praise and rejoicing.
    • 62:1-5 Isaiah continues to tell of Yahweh’s commitment to blessing and Jerusalem’s favored status.
    • 62:6-9 Yahweh send watchmen who will guard Jerusalem, protect her from invaders, and allow her to reap the rewards of her labor.
    • 62:10-12 Hearers are commanded to respond properly to Yahweh’s mission, which he will bring to pass through his Messiah.
  • 63-64: Vengeance, remembrance, confession, prayer for deliverance
    • 63:1-6 Yahweh justifies his wrath: his people were inattentive when the time came for redemption.
    • 63:7-14 Yahweh prescribes his covenant; the people rebelled and received their “just desserts.”
    • 63:15-19 Isaiah petitions Yahweh to soften Jerusalem’s hearts despite unrecognizability due to rebellion.
    • 64:1-7 Isaiah proclaims Yahweh’s awesome might and power; begs pleadingly on behalf of Jerusalem
    • 64:8-12 Isaiah petitions Yahweh to restrain himself and once again bless his people.
  • 65: Answer to prayer for deliverance and promise of kingdom blessings, though not to all. (outline for 65-66 modified from Dr. Constable's Expository Notes)
    • 65:1-16 The Lord responded, through the prophet, to [the vengeance, remembrance, confession, and prayer for deliverance in 63-64].
    • 65:17-25 God not only will be faithful to His promises in spite of Israel's unfaithfulness (63:1—
      65:16), but He will demonstrate His ability and desire to provide [unearned] righteousness for [those who trust him] by creating new heavens and a new earth.
  • 66: Summation and recapitulation: blessing and judgment, heaven and hell
    • 66:1-6 [Both judgment and] hope pervade this section describing Israel's glorious future (65:17—66:24). Oppressors of the godly remnant will not prosper nor will those who depend on externals for their relationship to God.
    • 66:7-14 The mood now reverts back to hope (cf. 65:17-25). In contrast to all the bereavement and deprivation that Jerusalem had experienced and would yet experience (cf. 26:16-18; 37:3; 51:18-20), the ultimate future of the city and its inhabitants remains bright.
    • 66:15-24 This culmination of Israel's future (65:17-66:24), Israel's future transformation (chs. 56—66), Israel's hope (chs. 40—66), and the whole book, [declares] Yahweh's salvation [for the faithful].

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