Sunday, June 16, 2013

On 6-23-13, Isaiah 65:17-25 or 65:17-21, 23-25 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Worship in the New Creation aka The Glorious New Creation

Worship in the New Creation aka The Glorious New Creation
Isaiah 65:17-25 or 65:17-21, 23-25
International Sunday School Lesson
June 23, 2013

Jed Greenough
Please be aware that this is the commentary I have made for the 6-23 scripture and you will find 6-16 commentary elsewhere on the page!

I admit to confusion with regard to Isaiah 65 but hey, it is prophecy and one never knows where the literal and figurative stop and begin!
When I read verse 1 I am confident that this is literal that the former things will not be remembered about the old world when we are in glory.  That makes me feel glad on many different levels not the least of which are when I think of the beauty and wonders that God has already wrought in the present world.  But we know, don’t we, that our minds haven’t imagined what God has in store for us?  1 Corinthians 2:9  Not the least of which is that God will be with us.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21:1-4 
Yes, I don’t think we can imagine how wonderful and happy a place this will be!
That scripture from Revelation also helps us to understand some of the literal/figurative questions from today’s scripture from Isaiah by eliminating the confusion of the figurative language concerning our immortality.
If one were to only look at the description in today’s scripture here at face value you would think that people were going to live very long healthy lives which would contradict things we have read about being immortal such as 1 Thessalonians 4.  Revelation in tandem with that one example clearly shows that you have to be careful what you read into prophecy by showing us in that 21:4 that there will be no more death because the old order of things will be no more.
When we read Isaiah 65 we can get the sense therefore that the things that have pained mankind since the fall are a part of that old order.  Death, disease, hunger, childbirth, missed opportunities injustice—anything bad you can imagine happen will not.  There will only be good and light.  I wouldn’t get hung up on the lion eating straw and serpent eating dust literally.

For Discussion:
1.      Discuss the things you enjoy now in this world and how it makes you feel to know that they will be no more
2.      Discuss how you won’t remember those things in the new order
3.      Discuss whether you think there will be labor literally in the new order
4.      Discuss verse 24
5.      Discuss the need to interpret scripture by using other scripture

Upcoming Lessons
6-30-13:  Restoring Joyful Worship aka Joyful Worship Restored Ezra 3:1-7
7-7-13:    Restoring the Temple aka Temple Restored Ezra 3:8-13
7-14-13:  Dedicating the Temple aka Dedication of the Temple Ezra 6:13-22
7-21-13:  Fasting and Praying Ezra 7:6-10; 8:21-23 or 8:21-23

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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