Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Galanis

Come to Me – Day 19

Hear the word of the Lord

Bible text(s)

2I myself created the whole universe! I am pleased with those who are humble and repentant, who fear me and obey me.

3“The people do as they please. It's all the same to them whether they kill a bull as a sacrifice or sacrifice a human being; whether they sacrifice a lamb or break a dog's neck; whether they present a grain offering or offer pigs' blood; whether they offer incense or pray to an idol. They take pleasure in disgusting ways of worship.

Isaiah 66:2-3GNBOpen in Bible reader

18I know their thoughts and their deeds. I am coming to gather the people of all the nations. When they come together, they will see what my power can do 19and will know that I am the one who punishes them.

“But I will spare some of them and send them to the nations and the distant lands that have not heard of my fame or seen my greatness and power: to Spain, Libya, and Lydia, with its skilled archers, and to Tubal and Greece. Among these nations they will proclaim my greatness. 20They will bring back all your fellow-Israelites from the nations as a gift to me. They will bring them to my sacred hill in Jerusalem on horses, mules, and camels, and in chariots and wagons, just as Israelites bring grain offerings to the Temple in ritually clean containers. 21I will make some of them priests and Levites.

22“Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure. 23On every New Moon Festival and every Sabbath, people of every nation will come to worship me here in Jerusalem,” says the LORD. 24“As they leave, they will see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me. The worms that eat them will never die, and the fire that burns them will never be put out. The sight of them will be disgusting to the whole human race.”

Isaiah 66:18-24GNBOpen in Bible reader

Isaiah ends with a picture of God’s final judgement and the reward of the righteous in the earth made new. God’s glory will be proclaimed to all nations and people from all nations will come to him and worship. A new heaven and a new earth are revealed. What a marvellous conclusion to this beautiful word declared through Isaiah!

However, although Isaiah 66 ends on a note of apocalyptic decisiveness and hope (66:18-24), the beginning of the chapter provides one more warning: “This is the one I esteem,” God says, “he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (66:2). A few verses later, Isaiah directly addresses the faithful as “you who tremble at his word” (66:5). They are contrasted with those who do not answer or listen when the Lord calls and speaks (66:4). These key verses summarise Isaiah’s message – the opposite of sin is not religion, but humble obedience.

In every generation, what ultimately distinguishes the true from the false, among God’s people, is not those who put on the best show of being a Christian, it is those who remain faithful to the word of God.

Do you tremble at God’s word? Do you take God’s words seriously or do you expect God to conform to your own wishes, desires and expectations? Do you accept those parts of the Bible that you agree with and reject those that you consider inconvenient or wrong? If God’s word conflicts with your culture, which do you follow?

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.15
Find us on