August 2, Isaiah 62-66

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I will not keep silent because of Zion,
and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem,
until her righteousness shines like a bright light
and her salvation, like a flaming torch.

Nations will see your righteousness
and all kings, your glory.
You will be given a new name
that the Lord’s mouth will announce.

You will be a glorious crown in the Lord’s hand,
and a royal diadem in the palm of your God’s hand.
You will no longer be called Deserted,
and your land will not be called Desolate;
instead, you will be called My Delight Is in Her,[a]
and your land Married;[b]
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land will be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so your sons will marry you;
and as a groom rejoices over his bride,
so your God will rejoice over you.
I have appointed watchmen on your walls;
they will never be silent, day or night.
There is no rest for you,
who remind the Lord.
Do not give him rest
until he establishes and makes Jerusalem
the praise of the earth.

The Lord has sworn with his right hand
and his strong arm:
I will no longer give your grain
to your enemies for food,
and foreigners will not drink the new wine
for which you have labored.
For those who gather grain will eat it
and praise the Lord,
and those who harvest the grapes will drink the wine
in my holy courts.
10 Go out, go out through the city gates;
prepare a way for the people!
Build it up, build up the highway;
clear away the stones!
Raise a banner for the peoples.
11 Look, the Lord has proclaimed
to the ends of the earth,
“Say to Daughter Zion:
Look, your salvation is coming,
his wages are with him,
and his reward accompanies him.”
12 And they will be called[c] the Holy People,
the Lord’s Redeemed;
and you will be called Cared For,
A City Not Deserted.

The Lord’s Day of Vengeance

63 Who is this coming from Edom
in crimson-stained garments from Bozrah—
this one who is splendid in his apparel,
striding in his formidable[d] might?
It is I, proclaiming vindication,[e]
powerful to save.
Why are your clothes red,
and your garments like one who treads a winepress?
I trampled the winepress alone,
and no one from the nations was with me.
I trampled them in my anger
and ground them underfoot in my fury;
their blood spattered my garments,
and all my clothes were stained.
For I planned the day of vengeance,
and the year of my redemption[f] came.

I looked, but there was no one to help,
and I was amazed that no one assisted;
so my arm accomplished victory for me,
and my wrath assisted me.

I crushed nations in my anger;
I made them drunk with my wrath
and poured out their blood on the ground.

Remembrance of Grace

I will make known the Lord’s faithful love
and the Lord’s praiseworthy acts,
because of all the Lord has done for us—
even the many good things
he has done for the house of Israel,
which he did for them based on his compassion
and the abundance of his faithful love.
He said, “They are indeed my people,
children who will not be disloyal,”
and he became their Savior.
In all their suffering, he suffered,[g]
and the angel of his presence saved them.
He redeemed them
because of his love and compassion;
he lifted them up and carried them
all the days of the past.
10 But they rebelled
and grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he became their enemy
and fought against them.
11 Then he[h] remembered the days of the past,
the days of Moses and his people.
Where is he who brought them out of the sea
with the shepherds[i] of his flock?
Where is he who put his Holy Spirit among the flock?
12 He made his glorious strength
available at the right hand of Moses,
divided the water before them
to make an eternal name for himself,
13 and led them through the depths
like a horse in the wilderness,
so that they did not stumble.

14 Like cattle that go down into the valley,
the Spirit of the Lord gave them[j] rest.
You led your people this way
to make a glorious name for yourself.

Israel’s Prayer

15 Look down from heaven and see
from your lofty home—holy and beautiful.
Where is your zeal and your might?
Your yearning[k] and your compassion
are withheld from me.
16 Yet you are our Father,
even though Abraham does not know us
and Israel doesn’t recognize us.
You, Lord, are our Father;
your name is Our Redeemer
from Ancient Times.
17 Why, Lord, do you make us stray from your ways?
You harden our hearts so we do not fear[l] you.
Return, because of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
18 Your holy people had a possession[m]
for a little while,
but our enemies have trampled down
your sanctuary.
19 We have become like those you never ruled,
like those who did not bear your name.

64 If only you would tear the heavens open
and come down,
so that mountains would quake at your presence—
just as fire kindles brushwood,
and fire boils water—
to make your name known to your enemies,
so that nations would tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome works
that we did not expect,
you came down,
and the mountains quaked at your presence.
From ancient times no one has heard,
no one has listened to,
no eye has seen any God except you
who acts on behalf of the one who waits for him.
You welcome the one who joyfully does what is right;
they remember you in your ways.
But we have sinned, and you were angry.
How can we be saved if we remain in our sins?[n]
All of us have become like something unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like a polluted[o] garment;
all of us wither like a leaf,
and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.
No one calls on your name,
striving to take hold of you.
For you have hidden your face from us
and made us melt because of[p][q] our iniquity.
Yet Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we all are the work of your hands.
Lord, do not be terribly angry
or remember our iniquity forever.
Please look—all of us are your people!
10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
Zion has become a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful[r] temple,
where our ancestors praised you,
has been burned down,
and all that was dear to us lies in ruins.
12 Lord, after all this, will you restrain yourself?
Will you keep silent and afflict us severely?

The Lord’s Response

65 “I was sought by those who did not ask;
I was found by those who did not seek me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’
to a nation that did not call on[s] my name.
I spread out my hands all day long
to a rebellious people
who walk in the path that is not good,
following their own thoughts.
These people continually anger me
to my face,
sacrificing in gardens,
burning incense on bricks,
sitting among the graves,
spending nights in secret places,
eating the meat of pigs,
and putting polluted broth in their bowls.[t]
They say, ‘Keep to yourself,
don’t come near me, for I am too holy for you!’
These practices are smoke in my nostrils,
a fire that burns all day long.
Look, it is written in front of me:
I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
I will repay them fully[u]
for your iniquities and the iniquities
of your[v] ancestors together,”
says the Lord.
“Because they burned incense on the mountains
and reproached me on the hills,
I will reward them fully[w]
for their former deeds.”

The Lord says this:

“As the new wine is found in a bunch of grapes,
and one says, ‘Don’t destroy it,
for there’s some good[x] in it,’
so I will act because of my servants
and not destroy them all.
I will produce descendants from Jacob,
and heirs to my mountains from Judah;
my chosen ones will possess it,
and my servants will dwell there.
10 Sharon will be a pasture for flocks,
and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
for my people who have sought me.
11 But you who abandon the Lord,
who forget my holy mountain,
who prepare a table for Fortune
and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,[y]
12 I will destine you for the sword,
and all of you will kneel down to be slaughtered,
because I called and you did not answer,
I spoke and you did not hear;
you did what was evil in my sight
and chose what I did not delight in.”

13 Therefore, this is what the Lord God says:

“Look! My servants will eat,
but you will be hungry.
Look! My servants will drink,
but you will be thirsty.
Look! My servants will rejoice,
but you will be put to shame.
14 Look! My servants will shout for joy from a glad heart,
but you will cry out from an anguished heart,
and you will lament out of a broken spirit.
15 You will leave your name behind
as a curse for my chosen ones,
and the Lord God will kill you;
but he will give his servants another name.
16 Whoever asks for a blessing in the land
will ask for a blessing by the God of truth,
and whoever swears in the land
will swear by the God of truth.
For the former troubles will be forgotten
and hidden from my sight.

A New Creation

17 “For I will create new heavens and a new earth;
the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.
18 Then be glad and rejoice forever
in what I am creating;
for I will create Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people.
The sound of weeping and crying
will no longer be heard in her.
20 In her, a nursing infant will no longer live
only a few days,[z]
or an old man not live out his days.
Indeed, the one who dies at a hundred years old
will be mourned as a young man,[aa]
and the one who misses a hundred years
will be considered cursed.
21 People will build houses and live in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They will not build and others live in them;
they will not plant and others eat.
For my people’s lives will be
like the lifetime of a tree.
My chosen ones will fully enjoy
the work of their hands.
23 They will not labor without success
or bear children destined for disaster,
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord
along with their descendants.
24 Even before they call, I will answer;
while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,[ab]
and the lion will eat straw like cattle,
but the serpent’s food will be dust!
They will not do what is evil or destroy
on my entire holy mountain,”
says the Lord.

Final Judgment and Joyous Restoration

66 This is what the Lord says:

Heaven is my throne,
and earth is my footstool.
Where could you possibly build a house for me?
And where would my resting place be?
My hand made all these things,
and so they all came into being.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will look favorably on this kind of person:
one who is humble, submissive[ac] in spirit,
and trembles at my word.
One person slaughters an ox, another kills a person;
one person sacrifices a lamb, another breaks a dog’s neck;
one person offers a grain offering, another offers pig’s blood;
one person offers incense, another praises an idol—
all these have chosen their ways
and delight in their abhorrent practices.
So I will choose their punishment,
and I will bring on them what they dread
because I called and no one answered;
I spoke and they did not listen;
they did what was evil in my sight
and chose what I did not delight in.
You who tremble at his word,
hear the word of the Lord:
“Your brothers who hate and exclude you
for my name’s sake have said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified
so that we can see your joy!’
But they will be put to shame.”
A sound of uproar from the city!
A voice from the temple—
the voice of the Lord,
paying back his enemies what they deserve!
Before Zion was in labor, she gave birth;
before she was in pain, she delivered a boy.
Who has heard of such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Can a land be born in one day
or a nation be delivered in an instant?
Yet as soon as Zion was in labor,
she gave birth to her sons.
“Will I bring a baby to the point of birth
and not deliver it?”
says the Lord;
“or will I who deliver, close the womb?”
says your God.
10 Be glad for Jerusalem and rejoice over her,
all who love her.
Rejoice greatly with her,
all who mourn over her—
11 so that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her comforting breast
and drink deeply and delight yourselves
from her glorious breasts.

12 For this is what the Lord says:

I will make peace flow to her like a river,
and the wealth[ad] of nations like a flood;
you will nurse and be carried on her hip
and bounced on her lap.
13 As a mother comforts her son,
so I will comfort you,
and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.
14 You will see, you will rejoice,
and you[ae] will flourish like grass;
then the Lord’s power will be revealed to his servants,
but he will show his wrath against his enemies.
15 Look, the Lord will come with fire—
his chariots are like the whirlwind—
to execute his anger with fury
and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For the Lord will execute judgment
on all humanity with his fiery sword,
and many will be slain by the Lord.

17 “Those who dedicate and purify themselves to enter the grovesfollowing their leader,[af] eating meat from pigs, vermin,[ag] and rats, will perish together.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

18 “Knowing[ah] their works and their thoughts, I have come to gather all nations and languages; they will come and see my glory. 19 I will establish a sign among them, and I will send survivors from them to the nations—to Tarshish, Put,[ai] Lud (who are archers), Tubal, Javan, and the coasts and islands far away—who have not heard about me or seen my glory. And they will proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 They will bring all your brothers from all the nations as a gift to the Lord on horses and chariots, in litters, and on mules and camels, to my holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “just as the Israelites bring an offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 I will also take some of them as priests and Levites,” says the Lord.

22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth,
which I will make,
will remain before me”—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
“so your offspring and your name will remain.
23 All humanity will come to worship me
from one New Moon to another
and from one Sabbath to another,”
says the Lord.

24 “As they leave, they will see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me; for their worm will never die, their fire will never go out, and they will be a horror to all humanity.”

We are called to be trophies of grace that extend to the world a declaration of who our God is. As we live our lives yielded to him he lives through us and we are shining his light to a dark world. Oh that today we would be seen as a “glorious crown in the Lord’s hand,” not for our own namesake, but to make him famous.

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