The Evangelical Universalist Forum

JRP's Exegetical Compilation: Isaiah 57

Part of my Exegetical Compilation series.

Some non-universalists cite verse 21, “There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked,” as evidence against universal salvation. This rather ignores the preceding context, though!

After rebuking evil leaders in the strongest terms as spiritual adulteresses, YHWH reveals that His subsequent punishments are intended to lead people to repent, not to punish them with conscious torment forever nor to annihilate them. “For I will not contend forever, neither will I always be angry, for the spirit would grow faint before Me and the breath I have made.” The whole point in that verse (v.16) is that God refuses to do something that would result in the annihilation of sinners!

It is true that God is angry with sinners because of their injustice, and that after striking them and turning away His face they still continue turning away in their hearts (v.17), and God does see this: but even so God will heal such a sinner and lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners (those who weep because God has slain the sinner), leading the penitent sinner to praise Him instead. It is true that there is no peace for the impenitent wicked, who toss like a sea bringing up refuse and mud; but there will be peace when God finally leads them to no longer be wicked, reviving the hearts (v.15) of those whom God has made contrite or pulverized.

St. Paul quotes verse 19, “Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near” when speaking of God bringing the nations into citizenship of Israel’s kingdom of God (Eph 2:17 and contexts).

Members may contribute further discussion below, including links to other threads where this chapter and/or verses are discussed.

If you find my compilations helpful, feel free to tip me $5 here at Amazon, near or at the top of the list. You can tip me for multiple articles of course. (I get $2.50 of each single $5 tip.)

1 Like