Motyer, J. Alec. The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993. “Isaiah 56-66: The Book of the Anointed Conqueror” “Prayer and Response: Steps to the New Heaven and New Earth (63:7-66:24)” Loc. 14554-15481.
Motyer observes that Isaiah has built tension to a high point. Then, in the last few chapters, when we expect resolution and fulfillment, the message is “not yet” (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14557). The book leaves us with promises and a need to pray.
Isaiah 63:7-64:12 is “The prayer of a remembrancer” (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14561). The first person speaker reminds God of his merciful care for his people. He also reminds God of the trials which have fallen on God’s people. Through their history, 63:9 tells us, God has always stood by his people (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14595). Although the people have failed, 63:14 asks if God will also fail (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14650). He appears to hve turned away from the people. At the start of chapter 64, then, is an expression of sorrow. If only! This is another reflection of the tragedy God’s people have endured(Motyer 1993, Loc. 14731). God could have destroyed the enemies, but he has not done so. He did not rescue his people because of their flagrant sin. He allowed them to suffer and come face to face with the consequences (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14777). The reason God’s people were not altogether destroyed is that God’s mercy has never changed (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14793).
Isaiah 65:1-66:24 provides us with some certain promises. God’s people are awaiting his deliverance. God shows that he intends to deliver them, but not immediately (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14837). God’s people have begun to seek him. He is also being revealed to a foreign people (Motyer 1993, Loc. q14866). The Lord has called his people to repentance. They have resisted (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14896). Therefore the Lord condemnes his people multiple times in the start of Isaiah 65. As the people follow the ways of their parents they continue to reject God (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14934). Verses 8-10 do acknowledge a remnant. Some will inherit God’s promises (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14946). These people will be brought to a place of blessing. On the ohter hand, in 65:11-12, some will forsake the Lord (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14978). Those will receive a punishment suited to their offense.
Isaiah 65:13-25 returns to the blessings of God’s people (Motyer 1993, Loc. 14994). God will place his people as a special group involved in world-wide blessing (Motyer 1993, Loc. 15009). They will have all they need. They will be called by God’s name, i.e., as having authority to enter into his blessing (Motyer 1993, Loc. 15025). This is represented as a new city in verses 17-20. The people and city exactly match God’s joy and city (Motyer 1993, Loc. 15063). The overarching picture is that of God’s presence.
Isaiah 66 then reviews the contrast between judgment and hope (Motyer 1993, Loc. 15108). Motyer draws extensive parallels between this and other biblical passages. In verse 1 God is the transcendent one. The whole workd is his footstool (Motyer 1993, Loc. 15154). He is entirely without limits. The distinction between godly and ungodly actions is made very obvious (Motyer 1993, Loc. 15176). In verses 5 and following the judgment of God will be sudden a nd inescapable. God is the one “who has committed himself to his poeple “ and will surely complete his purpose (Motyer 1993, Loc. 15274). Therefore, in verses 10 and following they will live in fellowship with God. Motyer again emphasizes Isaiah’s distinction between coming judgment on his enemies and blessing on his people. The work of the gospel will spread throughout the world, bringing all sorts of people as an offering to God (Motyer 1993, Loc. 15417).