Friday 05 March 2021

Bible Book:

or come to mind. (v. 17)

Isaiah 65:17-25 Friday 5 March 2021

Psalm 98


Today's passage begins "For I am about to create new heavens". The  Hebrew word translated as 'create' is only used in scripture to describe the activity of God. It’s the same root word used in the creation stories in the opening chapters of Genesis. It is also used multiple times in the latter chapters of the Book of Isaiah.

This creation of new heavens and new earth then alludes to a re-creation, a creative activity of a similar nature and scale to that which led to the existing heavens and earth.

The Genesis account of creation repeatedly affirms its goodness. The phrase "and God saw that it was good", is repeated seven times in Genesis. Here themes of joy, delight and wellbeing are hallmarks of new creation. The people are to rejoice, and God also will rejoice in Jerusalem.

In today's passage from Isaiah, contrasts between the new and former creation are highlighted. In contrast to distress, premature death, and working in vain, the new creation is marked by rejoicing, long life, and people enjoying the work of their hands. Moreover, God will answer prayers before they are even spoken.

This utopian vision is further accentuated by the image of the wolf and lamb feeding together (v. 25). Proverbial adversaries are united in peace, and even the most powerful and ferocious of wild animals, the lion, is pictured in contented domesticity, chewing the cud like an ox.

The intention is not to imagine that in the new creation carnivores such as lions and wolves become herbivores, but rather to paint a picture of idyllic harmony captured in 65.25b, which is a repetition of Isaiah: 11.9: "They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain."


To Ponder:

  • What are some of the things that we long for? What might our personal utopia look like?
  • Isaiah 65 paints a picture of a new earth. How might this shape some traditional Christian understandings of heaven?
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