by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Isaiah 65:17-25
I. King Nebuchadnezzar had enough with the rebellion of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah
A. He removed the nobles to retrain them in his ways; yet, the stubborn Jews continued to rebel. Jehoakim was removed and his son Jehoachin was put in his place.
B. He removed the working class, rob all the gold from the temple, and took Jehoachin to Babylon. But they still would not submit.
C. With Zedekiah, he removed all the remaining able-body people.
D. The governor he set in place was murdered.
E. The few people left were scared and just wanted to escape. They feared that Nebuchadnezzar would take out his anger on them for allowing Gedaliah to be killed
1. They decided to escape to Egypt, even though God told them staying was safer - Jeremiah 42:13-17
2. What they didn’t know was that Egypt was the next country Nebuchadnezzar planned to conquer
3. In trying to escape war, they walked right into the middle of it.
F. War does that to people. Seeing loved one die or disappear and not knowing what will happen to you next makes people desperate for peace
II. God foretold of a coming time of peace
A. Isaiah 65:20-25 - Some reading this passage claim that God plans to set up a paradise here on earth
1. Since wars continue, they believe this is still in the future
B. But there are other passages with similar statements
1. Isaiah 11:1-10
a. Verse 10 is quoted in Romans 15:12-13
b. It is accomplished through Jesus, the root of Jesse
c. It is fulfilled with the Gentiles becoming Christians - Romans 15:17-18
d. The division between Jew and Gentile and the hostilities they had for each other will end - Ephesians 2:13-18
2. Isaiah 2:1-5
a. It would happen in the last days, which Peter identified - Acts 2:16-17
b. The house of God would be established - I Timothy 3:15
c. He will teach us His ways - I Thessalonians 4:9
d. The word of which will go forth from Jerusalem - Luke 24:47
3. Hosea 2:16-23
a. Verse 23 was quoted in Romans 9:22-26
b. The fulfillment is found in the saving of the Gentiles
III. But what about the end of war and the beating of swords into plowshares?
A. God isn’t focused on world peace - John 16:33
B. Peace comes through Christ - Acts 10:36
C. It exists in his kingdom - Romans 14:17
D. It is rules in his body - Colossians 3:15
E. In the church there is peace between people of diverse backgrounds because we are all brethren
F. We are to make effort to keep the peace - Ephesians 4:1-3
IV. However, while Isaiah 65 talks of the coming kingdom, I think Isaiah was looking further into the future
A. Isaiah 65:17-19 - “New heavens and a new earth” can be a change in the order, but it can also look to the actual change.
B. Revelation 21:1-5 - When the church reaches heaven
C. In reality, the church is a imperfect sample of what is in store for us in eternity
D. II Peter 3:7-13 - This world will be destroyed
E. Since we look for these things, let us be found in peace - II Peter 3:14-15