Isaiah 65:1-10 (KJV) I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.  I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;  A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;  Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;  Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.  Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,  Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.  Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.  And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.  And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
We cannot study through the Book of Isaiah and not discuss Israel, God’s Chosen Nation. At the end of Isaiah 64 the Prophet prayed for mercy for Israel. He prayed:
Isaiah 64:10-12 (KJV) Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.  Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.  Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?
This past week it was in the news that Israel became a state 70 years ago, May 14, 1948. Yet Israel did not begin 70 years ago. Israel began when God called a man called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees or ancient Babylon. God promised Abraham two things. God promised Abraham “a great nation” (Genesis 12:2). God also promised Abraham “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Abraham followed God – not perfectly, but imperfectly. Abraham found Grace in the eyes of God. And God did exactly as God promised.
… let God be true, but every man a liar (Romans 3:4)
… Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; Deuteronomy 7:9
Why has Israel been a state for just 70 years?
Because God is faithful, but humans are not.
Why was Isaiah praying for mercy for Israel?
Because God is faithful, but humans are not.
God kept His Word to Abraham and kept His Word to Israel. Israel was a state for a long time. From the time Israel left Egypt – following God by Pillar of Fire by night and Pillar of Cloud by day – Israel was a state. Israel was and is God’s nation.
Israel Is An Example To Us And For Us
God made Israel a nation because He chose to do so. The Lord says:
Isaiah 65:1-2 (KJV) I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.  I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
When God called Israel, Israel was not seeking God. God in love spread out His hands beseeching Israel to follow Him. And though God gave Israel life – though He miraculously saved Israel from Egypt – Israel was rebellious.
Are we any different?
God sent His Son Jesus through Israel and for Israel. God promised through the Prophets that Christ would be born of the line of King David, that He would come out of Jewish Bethlehem, that He would grow up in Nazareth. God came seeking His people, loving His people. What does the Scripture say?
1 John 4:9-10 (KJV) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God loved Israel before Israel ever loved God.
God loved you and I before we ever loved God.
God sent His Son to cover and pardon our sins.
What a love God has for us all. God is persistent in His love. God says “I have stretched out my hands ALL THE DAY to a rebellious people who persist in walking in a way that is not good. They live according to their thoughts!” God stretched out His hands ALL DAY to us. He stretches out His hands even now. Do you not see Him? God offended, and yet God giving mercy. See His hands stretched out on the Cross of Calvary. See His arms held wide open! See Him willing to receive any, but so few come. We walk according to our thoughts. We deny His Word, and turn from His outstretched arms. The Lord is answering Isaiah’s prayer, saying, “I have shown mercy, and show mercy still. Yet they will not come!”
Isaiah 65:3 (KJV) A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
God gave Israel a Temple to sacrifice in, and yet they refused to sacrifice there. They said “We will do it our way. Not God’s way, but our way.” So they sacrificed not in the Temple, but in gardens. They refused to gather to worship the Lord, but were content to sit in front of television sets or to gather in the park. God is love, so He called His people together to love one another and to worship Him together in love. But many said “we will do what we do and burn our incense on man made altars”. Israel fought among themselves, and divided. They rejected what God told them to do.
Isaiah 65:4 (KJV) Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
God’s people are to be a living people who serve a Living God. Yet Israel fell from God, much as much of the Church in America today has fallen from God. God calls His people to be light, to reflect His glory by their obedience to Him. We are not to live like the world lives, but to be a living people following a Living God.
The proof of salvation is that we are walking with God. The Scripture says:
Galatians 5:22-26 (KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Ephesians 5:2-5 (KJV) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
The Bible says “not all Israel is Israel” (Romans 9:6). God’s people do not live among the graves. God’s people obey God, and love God. As Israel drifted from God and into worldliness they began to give way to self righteousness, a terrible form of pride.
Isaiah 65:5 (KJV) Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
The self righteous are a smoke in God’s nose, offensive to Him. The Bible teaches us that we all fall short of His glory. The Bible teaches us that but for the love of God in Christ saving us, we would all be condemned. The Bible says:
John 3:17-21 (KJV) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Those who are in Christ and saved are saved by the Grace of God. But those who are saved do not walk in darkness, but walk in the light that is Christ. God will judge sin. God will punish evil doing.
It is not the Israelite that is saved.
It is the Israelite that loves the Lord Who is saved.
It is not the Baptist that is saved.
It is the Baptist that loves the Lord Who is saved.
God warns Israel – and warns us. He says:
Isaiah 65:7 (KJV) Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.
God says to Israel “As you have reaped, so shall you sow”. God did not save Israel so that Israel could walk apart from God. God saved Israel so that Israel could live their lives for Him. God did not save US, dear believer, so that we can walk apart from God. To walk apart from God is to invite judgment upon yourself. Doesn’t the Scripture say?:
1 Corinthians 11:31 (KJV) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
God calls out to His Israel and to His Church. He that soweth to his flesh shall reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:8).
The Saved Of Israel And Of The Church
Are To Serve The Lord
Isaiah 65:8-9 (KJV) Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.  And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
There were some bad grapes in Israel, but God did not destroy the whole cluster because of the bad grapes. God assures Israel that He will yet save Israel for – He declares – “My Servant’s sake”. God did not destroy Israel because Christ had yet come. Christ was to come from Israel. He was to come of the line of David. The Lord says …
I will bring forth A SEED out of Jacob
And out of Judah an Inheritor of My mountains
For Christ’s sake – and for our sake – the Lord did not destroy a rebellious Israel. Jesus was to come forth from Judah. He is the Seed of the Woman promised in Genesis 3:15, the One God promised the snake:
Genesis 3:15 (KJV) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Jesus will come forth from Judah to rule over Israel. Israel is still God’s Chosen nation, still His people. Though not all Israel is Israel, for Christ’s sake the Lord will have Israel stand. God will not destroy the whole for the sake of the bad grapes. I take comfort in this, and so should you, dear Christian.
Though all the world looks as if it is going to hell in a hand basket, I cannot effect the world. But I can live for my Lord. I can choose to follow Him, to honor Him, to glorify Him. God will not destroy all of America for the bad grapes in the cluster. But if we who love the Lord continue to love Him, He will save America for Christ’s sake. You are Christ’s if you love Him. I am Christ’s if I love Him. I stand for Christ’s sake. For Christ’s sake we who love Him shall be protected.
Isaiah 65:10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
To those who seek the Lord, God will preserve your land. God told His Children:
Jeremiah 29:13-14 (KJV) And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
God has always had a remnant that He loves. Israel came back to their land 70 years ago. I believe it is because God is faithful that they returned to the land. God calls a people to Himself to bless, but they must seek the Lord. The Lord does not want your leftovers. He wants YOU. He wants YOU to want Him, to seek Him, to love Him.
SIX times in this text God speaks to His Children as “My Servants”.
We previously read that …
I will not destroy the cluster for MY SERVANTS sake (vvs 8)
MY SERVANTS shall dwell in My mountain (vvs 9)
Now God speaks to ALL OF ISRAEL saying:
Isaiah 65:13-14 (KJV) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
I want you to notice the contrast. Though God speaks to ALL ISRAEL, He says:
MY SERVANTS shall eat … but YOU shall be hungry
MY SERVANTS shall drink … but YOU shall be thirsty
MY SERVANTS shall rejoice …. but YOU shall be ashamed
MY SERVANTS shall sing … but YOU shall cry
Who shall be blessed? The ones who serve the Lord.
Who shall feast in famine?
Was it not Joseph raised up of God in Egypt?
Who shall defeat giants?
Was it not David, who loved the Lord?
Who shall become a nation and bless the whole world?
Was it not Abraham who followed God?
Who shall walk through fire untouched?
Was it not the Hebrew Children who loved the Lord more than life?
Who shall lie down and snooze with lions?
Was it not Daniel who loved God more than man?
Who will God raise from hiding and fear, to make a mighty man of God?
Was it not Gideon who trusted and obeyed the Lord?
When we love the Lord we will walk in the light of His love. Let us love Him! Let us serve Him. For herein is the blessings of God.
May the Lord lift you to Him today!