God looks at the heart, and vengeance is threatened for guilt. (1-4) The increase of the church, when Jew and Gentile shall be gathered to the Redeemer. (5-14) Every enemy of the church shall be destroyed, and the final ruin of ungodly men shall be seen. (15-24)
Verses 1-4 The Jews gloried much in their temple. But what satisfaction can the Eternal Mind take in a house made with men's hands? God has a heaven and an earth of his own making, and temples of man's making; but he overlooks them, that he may look with favour to him who is poor in spirit and serious, self-abasing and self-denying; whose heart truly sorrows for sin: such a heart is a living temple for God. The sacrifice of the wicked is not only unacceptable, but a great offence to God. And he that now offers a sacrifice after the law, does in effect set aside Christ's sacrifice. He that burns incense, puts contempt upon the incense of Christ's intercession, and is as if he blessed an idol. Men shall be deceived by the vain confidences with which they deceive themselves. Unbelieving hearts, and unpurified consciences, need no more to make them miserable, than to have their own fears brought upon them. Whatever men put in the place of the priesthood, atonement, and intercession of Christ, will be found hateful to God.
Verses 5-14 The prophet turns to those that trembled at God's word, to comfort and encourage them. The Lord will appear, to the joy of the humble believer, and to the confusion of hypocrites and persecutors. When the Spirit was poured out, and the gospel went forth from Zion, multitudes were converted in a little time. The word of God, especially his promises, and ordinances, are the consolations of the church. The true happiness of all Christians is increased by every convert brought to Christ. The gospel brings with it, wherever it is received in its power, such a river of peace, as will carry us to the ocean of boundless and endless bliss. Divine comforts reach the inward man; the joy of the Lord will be the strength of the believer. Both God's mercy and justice shall be manifested, and for ever magnified.
Verses 15-24 A prophetic declaration is given of the Lord's vengeance on all enemies of his church, especially that of all antichristian opposers of the gospel in the latter days. Ver. ( isaiah 66:19-20 ) sinners. These expressions are figurative, and express the plentiful and gracious helps for bringing God's elect home to Christ. All shall be welcome; and nothing shall be wanting for their assistance and encouragement. A gospel ministry shall be set up in the church; they would have solemn worship before the Lord. In the last verse the nature of the punishment of sinners in the world to come is represented. Then shall the righteous and wicked be separated. Our Saviour applies this to the everlasting misery and torment of impenitent sinners in the future state. To the honour of that free grace which thus distinguishes them, let the redeemed of the Lord, with humility, and not without holy trembling, sing triumphant songs. With this affecting representation of the opposite states of the righteous and wicked, characters which include the whole human race, Isaiah concludes his prophecies. May God grant, for Christ's sake, that our portion may be with those who fear and love his name, who cleave to his truths, and persevere in every good work, looking to receive from the Lord Jesus Christ the gracious invitation, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
This chapter treats of the same things as the former, the rejection of the unbelieving Jews, and the regard had to them that did believe; the conversion of that people in the latter day; the calling of the Gentiles, and the happy state of the church in the last times. The causes of the rejection of the Jews were their unworthy notions of God, as if he was confined to the temple of Jerusalem, and to be pleased with external sacrifices, now both at an end under the Gospel dispensation; a better sacrifice being offered, and a more spiritual worship set up everywhere; which notions are considered, Isa 66:1-3, and because they were set upon their ways and works, and rejected the Gospel of Christ, they are threatened with ruin, Isa 66:3,4 and the disciples of Christ, whom they excommunicated and persecuted, have a promise of divine appearance for them, while vengeance shall be taken on their enemies, their city and temple, Isa 66:5,6, nevertheless, in the latter day, there will be a large and sudden conversion of this nation of the Jews, which is signified by the birth of them, which will be matter of great joy to all the true lovers of the interest of Christ, Isa 66:7-11 and what will add to the prosperity, joy, and comfort of the church of Christ at this time, will be the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles, Isa 66:12-14 at which time the vials of God's wrath will be poured out upon antichrist and his followers, Isa 66:15-17 and the chapter is concluded with a fresh account of large conversions of men of all nations, and of the union of Jews and Gentiles in one church state, which shall long remain, and be undisturbed by enemies, who will be all slain, and their carcasses looked upon with contempt, Isa 66:18-24.