Israel A Name Cursed A Name Chosen Isaiah 65:15
In the 65th chapter of Isaiah, Israel is chided by God as a nation to whom he had stretched out his hand but who refused to respond. “I have stretched out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts; a people who provoke me to anger continually to my face”. (v. 2)
It is not difficult to identify the generation whom YHWH had in mind when he inspired these words through the prophet Isaiah. The identity of the generation intended is revealed in the clues of these first two verses. More importantly, they are found in the New Testament in the writings of Paul who cites them as an indictment against Israel in his (first century) generation.
In fact, Paul weaves together three of the most popular prophecies in all the Old Testament, one by Moses and two by Isaiah, namely, Psalms 19, Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 53 and Isa 65. Paul uses Psalm 19 to speak of the world wide testimony of the Lord to show that there was no place under the sun that God’s Presence was not known.
In like manner, he affirms the gospel had also been published in all the world. The significance of that point is that when it occurred, it signaled the time of the end was near. “And when this gospel of of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world (inhabited earth) as a witness to all the nations, then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:14).
So the text is setting up the context of judgment for those who rejected the word of God.
The Song of Moses and the Curse Upon Israel
Next we see the curses upon Israel through the Song of Moses, his farewell address to Israel prior to his death. He spoke of them as a perverse and crooked generation. As a people who had provoked God to jealousy. In revenge, God would provoke them to jealously by a foolish nation.
That the time for vengeance to be meeted out upon Israel is clear from Luke 19:41-44 in which Jesus speaks of the time of the nations visitation. Likewise, Paul cites Deuteronomy 32 in Romans 10 to call attention to the impending disaster Israel would face in a few short years, in about a decade from the time in which he wrote.
Thus Isaiah’s words that God would slay them in bringing upon the nation the covenant curses which would bring about their ultimate and total demise.
Isiah 53 and the Rejection of the Messiah
The reasons for this judgment is clear. Israel has rejected the Messiah, noted in Paul’s words, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel, For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report? (Isa. 53:1; Rom. 10:16). Israel’s rejection of the Messiah resulted from their blindness in following Torah to the exclusion of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Prophet spoken of by Moses.
As a result, they chose to follow Torah exclusively for their salvation, which ultimately led to their rejection and crucifixion of the very one prophesied in the Law. See Acts 2 and 1 Cor. 2:6-9. Hence Galatians says they were under the curse. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” (Gal. 3:10).
Therefore, national Israel’s name would be given over as a curse to God’s chosen, who are now the remnant from among Israel including the Gentiles who accepted the Messiah as their Savior and King. Thus, Isaiah forms the bridge of judgment between Torah and the New Testament which dovetails into Romans 10, in the apostolic era of the New Testament.
We cannot extrapolate the fulfillment of the judgment upon Israel from the first century. Paul applied the prophecies of Deuteronomy 32, Psa. 19, Isaiah 53, 65 and the words of Christ, (Matt. 24:14) to the end of the Israel in the first century.
Their name has been left for a curse for rejecting Jesus Christ as the Messiah. It is a nation that covenantally, is no more. God formed a new covenant with a new people, the remnant out of Israel who serve and worship him in the Spirit.