“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned— in these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”
Isaiah knows that we are all stained by sin, and even our best attempts at being good or righteous are just as gross as filthy rags. Therefore, we are all in need of a Savior.
The Lord says, “I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts; a people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face.” Although the Lord has been patient with His people, desiring for them to repent, He says, “Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will repay.”
However, the Lord always saves a remnant to accomplish His plans and purposes – “So will I do for My servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all. I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there.” The Lord is still working His plan to bring the Messiah from the tribe of Judah, from King David’s descendants.
But for the ones who turned their backs on the Lord – “I will number you for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.” However, “My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.”
Then the Lord speaks of a future day when He will bring final judgment and ultimate restoration – “For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the Lord will judge all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many… For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory…And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.” We will see partial fulfillment of this prophecy with the first coming of Jesus and completion after His return.
Isaiah ends his book explaining that we all have a final destiny based on how we respond to the word of God. For those who hear, repent and accept Him as their Savior, their destiny is one of eternal worship. For the ones who do not, their destiny is one of a worm in an eternal fire – “‘All flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the Lord. ‘And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.’”
If you are alive today and you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Lord is being patient and merciful toward you. Today is the day to choose Christ and live!
Tomorrow Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son, takes the throne in Judah and we meet the prophet Jeremiah, so keep reading. (Isaiah 63:15-66:24, 2 Kings 20:20-21, 2 Chronicles 32:32-33)