August 1 (Daily reading: Isaiah 64-66) We finish our reading in Isaiah by looking at two quotes as they were applied in the New Testament. Isaiah wrote about God’s amazing feats: “…when you did awesome things which we did not expect” (64:3). God is unique: “For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him” (64:4). God acting on our behalf is unique; no idol can claim that! Paul quoted Isaiah to convince the Corinthians that his message was from God and not from man. “We speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages … but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:7, 9). Paul explained that God’s awesome words and acts are revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
When Stephen was speaking to the Sanhedrin after he had been falsely accused, he stated, “The Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands” (Ac. 7:48). He then quoted Isaiah 66:1, “‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is the footstool of My feet; what kind of place will you build for me?’ Says the Lord, ‘Or what place is there for my repose?’” (Ac. 7:49). Humility and recognition of God’s supremacy go hand in hand: “To this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (66:2). When Stephen revealed the religious pride of the religious leaders and accused them of resisting the Holy Spirit, they stoned him to death. “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Ja. 4:6).
– Al Gary