When Isaiah was used by the Lord to bring a Word to Israel so long ago, he wrote of a future time of great safety and blessing. “In that day,” according to the Word of the prophet, a “song will be sung in the land of Judah,” a song about the ultimate city of God.
That great place of glory would one day be a refuge for the righteous. Who would direct the faithful homeward through the troubled times that they faced? Isaiah’s instruction was clear: “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
God Himself would put an end to the enemies of His people. Though He would also discipline His own children, His correction would be measured—designed not to destroy them but to keep them from the pathway of destruction. The earnest Israelite might face moments of despair, yet he would turn to the God of Jacob. “My soul yearns for You in the night.”
Those who rejected the true God would never “learn righteousness,” but the Lord would lead His chosen flock to the peace that He had ordained for them. They would turn away from lesser allegiances, and would testify before God, “Your Name alone we bring to remembrance.”
The pathway to everlasting life would not be quick or easy. “Like a pregnant woman,” Israel would suffer through labor pains and seem to have nothing to show for all her troubles. But God’s good purpose of a resurrection kingdom would most certainly be accomplished in due course. “Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.” Yes, the citizens of the new kingdom of life would “sing for joy!”
Until that day would dawn so many centuries in the future, the faithful were called to face many difficult years. They would turn to their God in humble devotion according to His instruction. “Come my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed.”
In the days of Isaiah it would be the Assyrians who would be the immediate cause of so much weeping in Israel and Judah. Yet the faithful would repeat the good word to one another: “The Lord is coming.” One day God would punish the Assyrians, and the people of the Lord’s electing love would rise again to live forever in a kingdom of blessing.
Isaiah wrote of a hope that is still the longing of the church. We too may face the discipline of the Almighty during our brief lives. Like the faithful from prior centuries, we may need to go to some relatively private place to pray and sing in order to be strengthened in God. But one day the Lord will come, and the fullest measure of victory that Jesus has for His beloved family will be plainly seen throughout the whole earth.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
God of Heaven and Earth, we trust in You. You are an everlasting Rock for Your people in Jesus Christ. We wait for You. We look for You now and forever. Those who seek You will surely find You, though You may seem to be hidden for a moment. You have granted to us a hope of resurrection, and not only to us, but to all who have come to You through Your Son. The great birth that is coming for Your kingdom in the age of resurrection will be wonderful forever.