Articles and Notes

Isaiah 54-66 - Future glory for God's people

The Future Glory For God's People (54-66)


1) To conclude our study of Isaiah with a look at the future glory
   promised for God's people

2) To note the inclusion of Gentiles in the fulfillment of this promise

3) To consider how this promise relates to the first coming of Christ,
   with the inauguration of the Messianic age, but also how it may look
   forward to when the Lord's reign is culminated at the end of time
   (following His second coming, the resurrection of the dead, and the
   Day of Judgment)


We come to the last section of the book of Isaiah (chapters 54-66).  It
contains more words of comfort designed especially for the Babylonian
captives who would experience God's judgment foretold in the first half
of the book.  The focus is mostly on The Future Glory For God's People,
yet also with a reminder that their present shame (captivity) was due to
their own wickedness.

The future splendor of Zion is the theme of 54:1-56:8.  Though barren in
her present condition of captivity, the Lord promises to show mercy and
a covenant of peace to the faithful remnant.  An invitation is given to
all who thirst, and people are encouraged to seek the Lord while He may
be found if they desire joy and peace.  Participation in the future
glory of Zion is offered also to righteous Gentiles, who will be given a
place in the house of God and in His holy mountain.  This future glory
of Zion pertains to the age of Messiah, inaugurated with the first
coming of Christ and the proclamation of the gospel beginning in
Jerusalem (cf. Lk 24:44-47; He 12:22-24).

The captives in Babylon are then reminded of the conditions that led to
her downfall, and the contrition that will led to her restoration
(56:9-59:21).  Her watchmen (i.e., religious leaders) had failed in
their duties, and the death of the righteous became a blessing because
it removed them from such evil.  Their idolatry had profited them
nothing, and cost them everything.  Yet those who were humble and
contrite would experience God's mercy if they would cast away
hypocritical formalism and return to true religion.  Rebuking them for
their sins, Isaiah then joins with them in confessing their sins.  In
response, the Lord promises salvation through a Redeemer who will come
to Zion and to those who turn from their transgression.  Again, this is
looking forward not just to their restoration from Babylonian captivity,
but also to the coming of Jesus Christ who would bring full redemption
through His blood (cf. Ro 11:26-27).

The final seven chapters (60-66) concentrate on the glory to come for
restored Zion.  Her light will come and even Gentiles will come,
contributing their wealth to the glory provided by the Lord.  The
mission of the Servant (Christ) is reviewed, who will come to rebuild
and restore, prompting Isaiah to express great joy for His salvation.
The Lord promises not to rest until that times comes, and thus appoints
watchmen who are charged not to give Him rest until He makes Jerusalem a
praise in the earth. Following a brief look back at the judgment on Edom
and the Lord's mercy on Israel in the past, Isaiah offers a prayer for
the present condition of Israel, and the Lord responds with a promise of
a glorious new creation for the remnant who heed His call.  The promise
involves new heavens and a new earth, with Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
depicted in terms that would be especially comforting to the people in
Babylonian captivity.  The prophecy of Isaiah ends with a chapter
containing a reminder that the Lord looks favorably upon the poor and
contrite in spirit who tremble at His word, repeating the promises to
come for Jerusalem and the end of the wicked (again framed in terms to
comfort the captives in Babylon).

I believe much of this section was fulfilled with the inauguration of
the Messianic age in the first coming of Christ.  Yet in view of the
words of Peter (cf. 2Pe 3:13-14) and the vision of John (cf. Re 21-22),
Isaiah may have also looked forward to the future glory of Zion
(spiritual Israel, i.e., the church) to be experienced at the
culmination of the Messiah's reign at the end of time, following the
resurrection and final judgment.  The difference is that Isaiah couched
his description of the new heavens and new earth in terms to which the
Babylonian captives could easily relate, while John was shown the
eternal destiny of God's people in pictures especially comforting to the
persecuted Christians of the first century A.D.



      1. The Lord will be merciful to her who was barren and desolate
         - 54:1-8
      2. His covenant of peace ensures glory and permanence - 54:9-17
      3. The invitation to all who thirst - 55:1-13
         a. An everlasting covenant of mercy to those who accept - 55:
         b. Seek the Lord while He may be found to have joy and peace
            - 55:6-13

      1. They will be given a place in His House and an everlasting name
         - 56:1-5
      2. They will brought to His Holy mountain along with the outcasts
         of Israel - 56:6-8


      1. Her irresponsible watchmen - 56:9-12
      2. Evil that made the death of the righteous a blessing - 57:1-2
      3. Idolatry that profited nothing and cost everything - 57:3-14

      1. The humble and contrite will receive blessings, not the wicked
         - 57:15-21
      2. True religion, not hypocritical formalism, will be blessed by
         God - 58:1-14
         a. Why their fasting had not pleased God - 58:1-5
         b. The kind of fasting that pleases God - 58:6-14
      3. Confession and repentance will lead to redemption - 59:1-21
         a. The people are rebuked for their sins - 59:1-8
         b. Their sins are acknowledged and confessed - 59:9-15a
         c. The Lord responds with vengeance for His enemies and
            blessings for those who repent - 59:15b-21


      1. The glory of the Lord on Zion - 60:1-22
         a. Her light has come - 60:1-2
         b. The Gentiles (nations) will contribute their wealth - 60:
         c. Her glorious condition provided by the Lord at that time
            - 60:17-22
      2. The mission of the Servant - 61:1-11
         a. The purpose of His mission:  to proclaim and console - 61:
         b. The effect of His mission:  to rebuild and restore - 61:4-9
         c. The response to His mission:  great joy for His salvation!
            - 61:10-11
      3. The Lord prepares for Zion's salvation - 62:1-12
         a. He will not rest until that time comes - 62:1-5
         b. He appoints watchmen who are charged not to give the Lord
            rest - 62:6-7
         c. The people are assured, and told to look for their salvation
            that is coming - 62:8-12

      1. The Lord's judgment on Edom reviewed - 63:1-6
      2. The Lord's mercy on Israel remembered - 63:7-14
         a. His great goodness on Israel - 63:7-9
         b. Notwithstanding their rebellion in the wilderness - 63:10-14
      3. An earnest prayer of supplication - 63:15-64:12
         a. For mercy and return of His sanctuary, which they do not
            deserve - 63:15-19
         b. To come to those who need to be saved, indeed, His own
            people - 64:1-9
         c. For Zion has become a wilderness, the temple destroyed by
            fire - 64:10-12
      4. The Lord's response to their prayer - 65:1-25
         a. Their rejection and suffering due to their rebelliousness
            - 65:1-7
         b. A remnant shall be saved, but not those who failed to heed
            His call - 65:8-16
         c. The promise of a glorious new creation - 65:17-25
            1) New heavens and a new earth, Jerusalem as a rejoicing
               - 65:17-19
            2) The blessings of the inhabitants - 65:20-25

      1. Those upon whom the Lord will look with favor - 66:1-4
         a. The poor and contrite in spirit who tremble at His word
            - 66:1-2
         b. Not the hypocrites who spurn His voice - 66:3-4
      2. The word of the Lord to those who tremble at His word - 66:5-18
         a. Rejoice in the blessings to come for Jerusalem - 66:5-14
         b. The Lord will come in judgment on the wicked - 66:15-17
         c. All nations will come with their scattered brethren to
            worship in Jerusalem - 66:18-23
         d. They shall see the terrible end of the wicked - 66:24


1) What is suggested in this study as the theme of Isaiah chapters
   - The Future Glory For God's People

2) What are the three main divisions of this section as outlined above?
   - The Future Splendor Of Barren Zion (54:1-56:8)
   - The Present Shame Of Wicked Zion (56:9-59:21)
   - The Future Glory Of Restored Zion (60-66)

3) How is Israel depicted in her condition of Babylonian captivity?
   - As a barren and desolate woman

4) Why is she told to break forth into singing? (54:1-3)
   - She will have more children and her desolate cities will be

5) Who is her husband? (54:5)
   - The Lord of hosts, the Holy One of Israel

6) What does He promise her? (54:8)
   - With everlasting kindness to have mercy on her

7) How does He depict her future splendor? (54:11-17)
   - Her stones, foundations, pinnacles, and walls to be made of
     precious gems
   - Her children shall be taught by the Lord and enjoy great peace
   - Any effort to oppress her or assemble against her will fail

8) What is offered to those who thirst and have no money? (55:1-3)
   - An everlasting covenant with the Lord, the sure mercies of David

9) What is necessary for them to have joy and peace? (55:7-13)
   - To seek the Lord while He may be found, to call upon Him while He
     is near
   - For the wicked to forsake his ways and thoughts, and return to the

10) To whom does the Lord promise His salvation? (56:1-2)
   - To those who keep justice and do righteousness
   - To those who keep from defiling the Sabbath, and their hands from
     doing any evil

11) Who else will be given a place in the house of the Lord? (56:3-8)
   - The sons of the foreigners (i.e., Gentiles) who hold fast His

12) What was one condition that led to Zion's downfall? (56:9-12)
   - The irresponsible watchmen

13) How bad was the evil that existed at that time? (57:1-2)
   - It made the death of the righteous a blessing

14) How are the wicked described? (57:3-4)
   - Sons of the sorceress, offspring of the adulterer and harlot,
     children of transgression, offspring of falsehood

15) Of what sins were they guilty? (57:5-10)
   - Idolatry, slaying children, sacrificing to false gods, making
     alliances with other kings

16) Who would be the one to possess the land and inherit His holy
    mountain? (57:13)
   - He who puts his trust in the Lord

17) Who will receive the promise of dwelling with the Lord? (57:15)
   - Those with a contrite and humble spirit

18) What of those who remain in their wickedness? (57:21)
   - There is no peace for the wicked

19) Why had their fasting not pleased God? (58:1-5)
   - They had exploited their workers; they fasted for strife and debate

20) What kind of fasting would please the Lord? (58:6-14)
   - That accompanied with mercy and kindness to the oppressed, helping
     the needy, observing the Sabbath as a holy day to the Lord

21) Why had the Lord not heard their prayers? (59:1-2)
   - Their iniquities had separated them from God

22) Of what kind of sins had they been guilty? (59:3-8)
   - Murder, lies, injustice, violence

23) What does Isaiah do for Israel at this point in his prophecy? (59:
   - He acknowledges their sins and confesses their transgressions

24) How does the Lord respond to such penitence? (59:15b-21)
   - With salvation for those who repent, and vengeance for His

25) Who therefore will come to Zion, to those who turn from
    transgression? (59:20)
   - The Redeemer

26) When the future glory of Zion arrives, what will the Gentile
    nations do? (60:1-16)
   - Contribute their wealth
   - Proclaim the praises of the Lord
   - Ascend with acceptance on the altar of the Lord
   - Build up her walls
   - Beautify her sanctuary
   - Prostate themselves at her feet
   - Call her The City of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel

27) What will God do for Zion? (60:17-22)
   - Bring precious materials instead of common ones
   - Make her officers peace and her magistrates righteousness
   - Call her walls Salvation and her gates Praise
   - Be an everlasting light for her, instead of the sun and moon
   - End the days of her mourning, make righteous her people
   - Cause her to inherit the land and grow in population and strength

28) When will the Lord do this? (60:22)
   - He will hasten it in its time

29) What is to be the purpose of the One anointed by the Lord? (61:1-3)
   - To proclaim and console

30) What will be the effect of His mission? (61:4-9)
   - To rebuild and restore

31) What will be response to His mission? (61:10-11)
   - Great joy for His salvation

32) The Lord shall not rest until when, for Zion's sake? (62:1)
   - Her righteousness goes forth as brightness, her salvation as a lamp
     that burns

33) Who shall see her righteousness and glory? (62:2)
   - The Gentiles and all kings

34) What will she be called? (62:2)
   - By a new name which the mouth of the Lord will name

35) What had she been called?  What shall she be called? (62:4)
   - Forsaken and Desolate
   - Hephzibah (My Delight Is In Her) and Beulah (Married)

36) What are the duties of the watchmen that the Lord has set over
    Jerusalem? (62:6-7)
   - Not to give the Lord rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the

37) What has the Lord proclaimed regarding the daughter of Zion? (62:11)
   - Surely your salvation is coming

38) What shall they be called? (62:12)
   - The Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; Sought Out, a City Not

39) From where is the Lord pictured as coming, having trodden down in
    anger? (63:1-6)
   - Edom

40) What does the prophet remember about the Lord's dealings with
    Israel? (63:7-14)
   - His lovingkindness and great goodness toward His people, even after
     they rebelled against Him

41) For what does Isaiah pray? (63:15-19)
   - For mercy and return of His sanctuary, which they do not deserve

42) Whom does Isaiah see is in need of salvation? (64:1-9)
   - His own people, whose righteousness is as filthy rags

43) What was the present condition of Zion, Jerusalem, and the temple?
   - A wilderness, a desolation, and burned up with fire

44) In the Lord's response, was the cause of their rejection and
    suffering? (65:1-7)
   - Their rebelliousness and iniquities, as expressed through their

45) Who does the Lord promise to save? (65:8-16)
   - Descendants from Jacob and Judah, but not those who forsake the

46) To encourage them, what does the Lord promise? (65:17-19)
   - To create new heavens and a new earth; to create Jerusalem as a

47) List some of the blessings described in this promise (65:20-25)
   - An old man shall fulfill his days
   - A child shall die one hundred years old
   - The houses they build they shall occupy, they shall enjoy the fruit
     of their labors
   - They and their children will be blessed of the Lord
   - He will answer before they call, hear while they are speaking
   - The wolf and lamb shall feed together
   - The lion and serpent shall not hurt nor destroy in all His holy

48) Upon whom will the Lord look with favor?  Upon whom will He not?
   - Those poor and contrite in spirit, who tremble at His word
   - Those who refuse to heed His voice, choosing to do that in which
     God does not delight

49) What are those who tremble at the word of Lord told to do? (66:5-14)
   - To rejoice in the blessings to come for Jerusalem

50) What will happen to the wicked? (66:15-17)
   - The Lord will come in judgment with fire and sword

51) What final picture is given as comfort to the captives in Babylon?
   - All nations will come with their scattered brethren to worship the
     Lord in Jerusalem
   - The corpses of those who transgressed, where the worm does not die
     nor is the fire quenched


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