God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy…

Isaiah is forecasting from God what will happen next to His people—comfort and joy!  After suffering as captives, they will return to their homeland.  After leaving traditions and ceremonies behind in captivity they will learn to worship the living God in honest and holy celebration of his love, provision, protection who has saved them and brought them back.  Like a new mother comforts her newborn, so God will comfort His people with even more compassionate love and care.  Joy returns because of God setting the captives free!  Yes, God is the One who brings comfort and joy we can count on as He is One and Only who saved us and set us free! 

God had a Plan to save us when we went astray.  The Plan is Jesus, Messiah, the One who Saves us all from evil’s hold on us. 

Warren Wiersbe comments on this passage; “Of course, the remarkable thing will be the birth of a nation as Israel takes center stage on the international scene. The return of the Jews to their land will be as swift as the birth of a baby. Israel’s travail will be “the day of the Lord” or “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), when God will purify His people and prepare them for the coming of their Messiah. Like a nursing baby, she will find health and peace in the arms of the Lord.”

Isaiah 66, The Message

Living Worship to God

1-2 God’s Message:

“Heaven’s my throne,
    earth is my footstool.
What sort of house could you build for me?
    What holiday spot reserve for me?
I made all this! I own all this!”
    God’s Decree.
“But there is something I’m looking for:
    a person simple and plain,
    reverently responsive to what I say.

3-4 “Your acts of worship
    are acts of sin:
Your sacrificial slaughter of the ox
    is no different from murdering the neighbor;
Your offerings for worship,
    no different from dumping pig’s blood on the altar;
Your presentation of memorial gifts,
    no different from honoring a no-god idol.
You choose self-serving worship,
    you delight in self-centered worship—disgusting!
Well, I choose to expose your nonsense
    and let you realize your worst fears,
Because when I invited you, you ignored me;
    when I spoke to you, you brushed me off.
You did the very things I exposed as evil,
    you chose what I hate.”

But listen to what God has to say
    to you who reverently respond to his Word:
“Your own families hate you
    and turn you out because of me.

They taunt you, ‘Let us see God’s glory!
    If God’s so great, why aren’t you happy?’
But they’re the ones
    who are going to end up shamed.”

* * *

Rumbles of thunder from the city!
    A voice out of the Temple!
God’s voice,
    handing out judgment to his enemies:

7-9 “Before she went into labor,
    she had the baby.
Before the birth pangs hit,
    she delivered a son.
Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?
    Has anyone seen anything like this?
A country born in a day?
    A nation born in a flash?
But Zion was barely in labor
    when she had her babies!
Do I open the womb
    and not deliver the baby?
Do I, the One who delivers babies,
    shut the womb?

10-11 “Rejoice, Jerusalem,
    and all who love her, celebrate!
And all you who have shed tears over her,
    join in the happy singing.
You newborns can satisfy yourselves
    at her nurturing breasts.
Yes, delight yourselves and drink your fill
    at her ample bosom.”

12-13 God’s Message:

“I’ll pour robust well-being into her like a river,
    the glory of nations like a river in flood.
You’ll nurse at her breasts,
    nestle in her bosom,
    and be bounced on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
    so I’ll comfort you.
    You will be comforted in Jerusalem.”

14-16 You’ll see all this and burst with joy
    —you’ll feel ten feet tall—
As it becomes apparent that God is on your side
    and against his enemies.
For God arrives like wildfire
    and his chariots like a tornado,
A furious outburst of anger,
    a rebuke fierce and fiery.
For it’s by fire that God brings judgment,
    a death sentence on the human race.
Many, oh so many,
    are under God’s sentence of death:

17 “All who enter the sacred groves for initiation in those unholy rituals that climaxed in that foul and obscene meal of pigs and mice will eat together and then die together.” God’s Decree.

18-21 “I know everything they’ve ever done or thought. I’m going to come and then gather everyone—all nations, all languages. They’ll come and see my glory. I’ll set up a station at the center. I’ll send the survivors of judgment all over the world: Spain and Africa, Turkey and Greece, and the far-off islands that have never heard of me, who know nothing of what I’ve done nor who I am. I’ll send them out as missionaries to preach my glory among the nations. They’ll return with all your long-lost brothers and sisters from all over the world. They’ll bring them back and offer them in living worship to God. They’ll bring them on horses and wagons and carts, on mules and camels, straight to my holy mountain Jerusalem,” says God. “They’ll present them just as Israelites present their offerings in a ceremonial vessel in the Temple of God. I’ll even take some of them and make them priests and Levites,” says God.

22-23 “For just as the new heavens and new earth
    that I am making will stand firm before me”
        —God’s Decree—
“So will your children
    and your reputation stand firm.
Month after month and week by week,
    everyone will come to worship me,” God says.

24 “And then they’ll go out and look at what happened
    to those who rebelled against me. Corpses!
Maggots endlessly eating away on them,
    an endless supply of fuel for fires.
Everyone who sees what’s happened
    and smells the stench retches.”


The Messiah did indeed come to save us and redeem us forever.  Jesus came not to be served, but to serve.  He came with a message of love, joy, and peace.  He taught us how to love each other while displaying His perfect love for all to see firsthand.  Those who saw and walked by His side, Jesus trained to love like He loved and sent them out as discipled missionaries to all the parts of the world so that we today could be saved by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus.  Generations of trained missionaries still go out to tell the Good News!  Are we one of them?

When God intervenes and interrupts the world with His Son Jesus to save us and set us free, comfort and joy follows all because God so loved the world…

Isaiah’s warns about pure worship of God.  Once we believe, ceremonies of worship can never take the place of a humble heart. God does not live in buildings; He dwells with those who submit to Him. In Isaiah’s day, God’s people were complacent.  They were going through the motions of worship without having a heart for God. The people were not sacrificing the animals; they were murdering them! Because their hearts were far from God, their offerings were as unclean things to the Lord. The heart of the worshiper determines the value of the offering.

God’s message through Isaiah shows what God longs to give…comfort and joy all because of His love.  John reminds us that “we love God because He first loved us.”  (1 John 4:19) Rest in His love this season.  Be fueled and set ablaze by his gospel (good news) of peace and spread the news of God’s comfort and joy to others so others will know God and what He has done for us.

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy…

Isaiah speaks God’s Message and we who believe God are saved.


Thank you for saving my soul.  Thank you for comfort and joy I feel this morning all because you so loved us and saved all who believe.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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