The birth described in Isaiah 66:7-9 is no ordinary birth; the extraordinary characteristics are as follows:
“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.”
The birth is so sudden that it happened before labor. What would an expectant mother give to deliver before any pain? However, this is no physical birth, rather “Zion” is personified as a mother who suddenly gives birth to a nation. Earlier in Isaiah, Zion (Israel) is depicted as a mother who gives birth to the Servant who causes her wayward children to return (Isaiah 49). To a weary remnant of faithful Jews, the question of whether Israel would ever be restored to its former glory was pressing. The answer is that the Lord would bring about something greater than any physical nation; He would do something unprecedented. God, in his eternal purpose, was going to bring forth a spiritual nation in one day. This certainly would be unique, unparalleled in history. Hence, the questions, “Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things?” (v. 8). But God had brought Zion forth to the time of birth; there was no way that He would shut the womb—let anything stop the birth of His spiritual nation.
Isaiah 66 goes on to describe how God’s glory would be declared among the Gentiles (v. 18), that both Jews and Gentiles would be part of bringing an offering to the Lord (v. 20) as God would take of both Jews and Gentiles to make priests to Him. The church is described as “a royal priesthood, an holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9). Those redeemed by Christ’s blood from every kindred, tongue, people, and nation are made kings and priests (Revelation 5:9-10). When Christ came into the world, He preached that God’s kingdom was nearby (Matthew 4:17). He promised to build His church and give access to the kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19). The church came into existence on Pentecost day following the resurrection of Christ; notice the suddenness of the birth: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1-2). The result was those people who believed, repented, and were baptized were added to the church is(Acts 2:38, 41, 47).
Certainly the womb of Judaism brought forth Christianity. Jesus was a Jew born under the law of Moses (Romans 1:3; Galatians 4:4). The first converts of Christianity were Jews (Romans 1:16). The Jewish Law and Prophets were the first literary evidence for following Christ (Acts 24:14; 28:23). Isaiah 66 shows that God’s spiritual seed would continue via a new spiritual nation; all flesh is invited to be part of it, but only those who in a contrite heart respond to the word of His invitation will escape the fire of God’s wrath.