(Today's post by Chris Queen)
Last week, God – through the prophet Isaiah – gave us a glimpse into the future. This week, we’re going to take another trip in the time machine to look at another time in the future. The words of Isaiah 60 had to bring comfort to the Israelites, who had undergone generations of attacks from enemies, not to mention exile:
1 Arise, shine, for your light has come, the glory of ADONAI has risen over you. 2For although darkness covers the earth and thick darkness the peoples; on you ADONAI will rise; over you will be seen his glory. 3 Nations will go toward your light and kings toward your shining splendor. 4 Raise your eyes and look around: they are all assembling and coming to you; your sons are coming from far off, your daughters being carried on their nurses' hips. 5 Then you will see and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with delight; for the riches of the seas will be brought to you, the wealth of nations will come to you.
10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls, their kings will be at your service; for in my anger I struck you, but in my mercy I pity you. 11 Your gates will always be open, they will not be shut by day or by night, so that people can bring you the wealth of nations, with their kings led in procession. 12 For the nation or kingdom that won't serve you will perish; yes, those nations will be utterly destroyed.
15 In the past you were abandoned and hated, so that no one would even pass through you; but now I will make you the pride of the ages, a joy for many generations.
18 Violence will no longer be heard in your land, desolation or destruction within your borders; instead, you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. 19 No more will the sun be your light by day, nor will moonlight shine on you; instead ADONAI will be your light forever and your God your glory. 20 No longer will your sun go down; your moon will no longer wane; for ADONAI will be your light forever; your days of mourning will end.
What a promise! The Israelites had been persecuted for nearly their entire existence – though most of it was the direct result of their sins. But a faithful God has an amazing future for His people.
We are God’s people too, grafted into the vine of the Israelites (see Romans 11 and John 15), so we share in this incredible future. Imagine the encouragement that persecuted believers in places like India and the Middle East can take from these promises. Think about them in your own life when you’re discouraged or feel like giving up on your faith. Don’t forget how faithful our God is!
For our light and transient troubles are achieving for us an everlasting glory whose weight is beyond description. (2 Corinthians 4:17)