Saturday, January 04, 2014

A prophecy to fuel hope

"Who are these who fly like a cloud
And like doves to their roosts?"
- Isaiah 60:8

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 60:1-22

TO CHEW ON: "The Gentiles shall come to your light
And kings to the brightness of your rising." - Isaiah 60:3

We see in Isaiah's prophecy the prediction of the wise men who came from the east (we'll read the account from Matthew tomorrow in two days from now when we commemorate Epiphany). The "your" in the verse speaks of Zion, the City of the Lord (Isaiah 60:14).

This passage is crammed with other things that distinguish Zion as a special place.

  • She attracts the wealth of nations (Isaiah 60:5-10) where only the best of gold, silver and bronze is collected (Isaiah 60:17).
  • She is a welcoming, bustling place (Isaiah 60:11).
  • She will rule over her former detractors and persecutors and they will bring her homage (Isaiah 60:14).
  • Her fortunes, once bad, have turned around (Isaiah 60:15-16).
  • She is no longer a city of violence and poverty but of salvation and praise (Isaiah 60:18).

And it's all because of Zion's main attraction—the Lord God. He is her inhabitants' everlasting light and glory (Isaiah 60:19-20). Days of sadness are over for her citizens. Her insignificant people have became great to bring God glory (Isaiah 60:21-22).

We recognize layers of prediction here. The kings who came to worship baby Jesus fulfilled it in part. But the complete fulfillment of all of these predictions is still ahead. For example when we read:

"The sun shall no longer be your light by day,
Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you;
But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light,
And your God your glory" - Isaiah 60:19

we can't help but think of still-unrealized prediction from Revelation 22:

"There shall be no night there. 
They need no lamp nor light of the sun, 
for the Lord God gives them light" - Revelation 22:5.

So what does this prophecy have to do with us today? For me it resonates in two ways.

1. It helps expand my view and imaginings of God. As I read this passage I see His greatness and power, His magnetism, and His raw force for good.

2. It fuels my hope as I witness by faith the eventual triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, joy over sadness.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for mind-expanding passages like Isaiah 60 that picture Zion as the seat of Your rule and home of Your people. Help me to nurture hope and expectation through Bible prophecy. Amen.

MORE: "The Prophets" by Michael Card

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