A Rebellious People
The Jews who were in exile in Babylon are the example of people who did ask of the Lord but were unable to find Him. They could not find the Lord because of their insincere heart. But the Lord God would be found by those who did not seek Him, the Gentiles. The Apostle Paul uses this passage from Isaiah in his letter to the Romans. “And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” (Romans 10-20-21) Isaiah’s words were so bold that he was sawn into by his fellow countrymen.
The Lord did not ignore His people who were in captivity and He did reach out to them all day long. Some of His people did respond to Him, as Daniel and others. But for the most part, they remained a rebellious people.
Here we see a definition of a rebellious people. Ones who walk in their own way according to their thoughts. They placed their trust in their own wisdom, their own judgment, and their own thinking. We see this fault repeated in other Scriptures. In Judges, we read, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) Also in Proverbs, we read, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) When one is a free thinker and lives according to their own thoughts they may think this is freedom. Freethinkers are really in bondage to the sin which permeates the heart of a man. The solution to this problem is found in the book of Romans. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
When people walk according to their own minds they become offensive and live in most unholy ways before the Lord. We become attached to our vices which are idols of worship ahead of the Lord, who is a jealous God. They fill their stomachs with strong drink and do the most abominable things. There is so much more that we do that is offensive to the Lord because it is disobedience to His Word and that is sin. God is longsuffering but He will not keep silent forever and will repay each for his sin. The wages of our sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
Many cannot see their sinful shape because they are blinded by their own self-pride. “Moreover, self-righteous men, like foxes, have many tricks and schemes. They condemn in other people what they consider to be very excusable in themselves. They would cry out against others for a tenth part of the sin which they allow in themselves: certain constitutional tendencies, and necessities of circumstances, and various surroundings, all serve as ample apologies. Besides this, if it is admitted that they are wrong upon some points, yet in other directions, they are beyond rebuke. If they drink, they do not swear; and if they swear, they do not steal: they make a great deal out of negatives: if they steal, they are not greedy and miserly, but spend their gains freely. If they practice fornication, yet they do not commit adultery; if they talk filthily, yet they boast they do not lie. They would be counted well because they are not universally bad. They do not break every hedge, and therefore they plead that they are not trespassers. As if a debtor for a hundred pounds should claim to be excused because he does not owe two hundred: or, as if a highwayman should say, ‘I did not stop all the travelers on the road; I only robbed one or two, and therefore I ought not to be punished.’ If a man should willfully break the windows of your shop, I warrant you, you would not take it as an excuse if he pleaded, ‘I did not break them all; I only smashed one sheet of plate glass.’ Please, which would not be mentioned in a human court are thought good enough to offer to God. O the folly of our race!” (Spurgeon)
Despite the unholy rebellion and the pride of some of the remnant, God still has His servants and He will continue to bless them and restore them. Still, they will be regathered to His land for He has said, “My elect shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there.” The Lord has a special place for the people who sought Him. The idea here is that God has found a few good grapes in the cluster and it is for their sake that the Lord will bless, it is for the sake of His servants that He will restore them. “Found suggests that the grapes were oozing as they were picked and that this was especially prized. Hence there is some good . . . Marvelously, then, the Lord finds his people a blessing, and he prizes and guards them.” (Motyer) “If the Church had clearly understood this simple example, then, it would not have dared to teach Israel’s total rejection. Even as He would have saved Sodom for the sake of five righteous people, so He will spare Israel, His vine, for the sake of His servants, the cluster of good grapes.” (Bultema)
Not all of them are numbered as servants of the Lord. When the Lord called they did not answer when the Lord spoke they did not hear. But they continued to do evil in the eyes of the Lord and did what was not delightful in His presence. Their sin was refusing to listen to the corrections of the Lord words.
It is one thing for us to fall into sin by our weaknesses and ignorance which God will deal with us for that. But by their refusal to the conviction of the Holy Spirit is far worse. “They were presenting offerings to the gods ‘Fortune’ and ‘Destiny,’ so their destiny would be the sword.” (Wolf says of Gad and Meni)
Because of this, the false servants of the Lord will be cursed. It is for those who bless themselves in the earth shall be blessed by the God of truth. If God does not reward His true servants and curse the false servants, then He is not a God of truth. “The God of truth is literally “the God of (the) Amen . . . the God who says ‘amen’ to all his promises, affirming their reality and his trustworthiness to keep them.” (Motyer)
New Heavens and a New Earth
The ultimate answer to the sin of man is to create and a new heaven and a new earth. This will actually happen after the Millennium. The reign of Jesus for one thousand years, which will be glorious. The heavens and the earth will be done away with and God makes a new heaven and a new earth.
The Apostle Peter used this as an encouragement for new believers to encourage in holy living. “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13) The Apostle John also spoke of this in the book of Revelation. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” (Revelation 21:1)
When we reach the eternal state there will be a New Jerusalem but in the new heaven and new earth time the Apostle John gives a stunning imagery of the New Jerusalem. (Revelation 21:2-27) In this eternal Jerusalem is where all former things have passed away. “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Isaiah now returns to the millennial state of the reign of Christ. In the millennial state there will be death but in that state, it will be as the days before the flood. If one should live less than a hundred years they will be viewed as accursed.
Along with biological transformation, there will also be social transformation. As a result, perfect justice will reign on the earth. Never again will one labor and have the fruits of his labor robbed. If one builds a house there will be no one to steal from it. No one will foreclose and take your home from you. When you plant none will steal the produce of your efforts. All the work of your hands will be enjoyed by the laborer. One reason for the justice in the millennial reign is that Satan will be bound for the one thousand years during this period. “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.” (Revelation 20:1-3)
Children will be born to the millennial parents which are not like the eternal state where there will not be marriages. “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30) The millennial earth will be populated by the blessed of the Lord. As well as biological and societal transformation there will also be spiritual transformation. There will be an ever-present sense of the Lord.
There will also be an ecological transformation. There will be no animal predators stalking their victims. It is a time when the wolf and the lamb will live in peace together and the lion will eat hay like the cattle. This is the reign of the Creator, perfect as it was before the fall of man. The world will be different biologically, spiritually, socially, and ecologically.
This is the glorious result of the transformation that happens during the millennial earth. The world will be different biologically, spiritually, socially, and ecologically. Other interesting things of the millennial reign of Christ are as follows.
King David will have a role in the millennial reign. (Isaiah 55:3-5; Jeremiah 30:4-11; Ezekiel 34:23-31; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Hosea 3:5)
There will be the blessing of security for Israel. (Amos 9:11-15)
In the millennium there is a time of purity and devotion to God. (Zechariah 13:1-9)
Israel is the nation of prominence in the millennium. (Ezekiel 17:22-24)
The Temple will be rebuilt and services established. (Ezekiel 40-48; Ezekiel 20:39-44; Amos 9:11)