Daily Update #233

Today’s passages:     Isaiah 65:17-25;   Psalm 30.1-5,8,11-end;   John 4:43-end

For those of you who have been paying attention to the daily updates over the last year, you will no doubt have noticed, that I seem to have two consistent messages in the passages I have been given to share: firstly, pick whose side you are on – God’s side or the world’s side and secondly repent, make yourselves right with God.

So perhaps today you will rejoice with me as we read today’s excerpt from Isaiah 65. Here we glimpse into the future with Isaiah and see the promise of what is to come, if we have held fast to God.

17“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people ;the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.
20 Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.
21 They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.”

As a prophet of God, Isaiah has spent his life warning the people to turn back to God and crying out to God on behalf of His people for mercy and pardon. As we come to the end of the book of Isaiah, the Lord speaks, firstly about his judgement of his people and then of their final salvation. Indeed, even Peter says the “heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” Then “in keeping with his promise,” God will create a “new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:10, 13).

There is much debate about how this picture fits in with other revelations of the end times, but one thing is clear that both everything and everyone will be totally changed. The curse of sin which we currently live under will be lifted. Our lifespans will be extended, and peace will reign everywhere, even amongst the animals. All that is wrong on earth will be set right.

Our new heaven and earth will be way beyond anything we could imagine or dream of. All the worries and concerns of today will be no more, they will evaporate into the ether (v.17) as we enter God’s rest. God’s word is full of encouragement and promise for us. In Psalm 30, David retells how by calling out to God, he was rescued again and again. Whatever the hardships are that you are facing, you can take comfort in knowing that your “weeping may last through the night, but your joy will come in the morning”.(Psalm 30:5)

Over the past year, it has been hard to imagine what our ‘new normal’ would look like. Even today, we don’t really know. So, it is really impossible for us to fully comprehend the wonder that God has in store for us, as we move day by day towards this new reality. The Bible tells us that no-one knows the day or the hour, so all we can do is live in a way to prepare ourselves for this marvellous future when we will “always be God’s people” (Isaiah 66:22b). 

Let’s pray: Lord God, it is so easy for us to get caught up in our here and now and we often forget that you have an amazing future home prepared for us. Thank you that we can catch glimpses of it through your word and that we trust you to bring us through all our trials and tribulations, even when we can’t see the way ahead. Help us to take comfort in the fact that you have a plan and a future that includes us and may we remember that we can always be your people.  Amen

Tomorrow’s passages:  Ezekiel 47:1-9.12    Psalm 46:1-8    John 5:1-3,5-16