God intended to bring judgment not only upon far-off Gentile nations. He would also make an honest assessment of the very center of His blessed presence on earth, the city of Jerusalem, called here by the name “Ariel.” In the place where His chosen king, David, once reigned, God would be like an enemy king encamping against His own people. They had become haughty, and He would bring them low.
Though God’s chosen flock would be disciplined by the Lord, their foes who were arrayed against the city of God would eventually be humbled lower still. Those adversaries would be like a bad dream that vanishes when we awake. But the Lord’s family would be together with Him forever.
Beyond the removal of mortal enemies, the Lord would also bring solid blessings to Zion’s children. All the good gifts that the Almighty would bestow upon His beloved nation would be won not through their own obedience, but through the perfect righteousness of Jesus. In fact, even the prophets of Israel would very often prove to be a disgrace before God, and the worship of His assembly would be a man-pleasing abomination covered over with much hypocrisy. Despite all their shortcomings, the Almighty would shower His people with bountiful eternal blessings.
The age to come would be a time of massive divine healing. Even the land would yield a glorious harvest. The deaf would hear and the blind would see. Those who were often oppressed by powerful people would have joy in that great day, and the poor would celebrate God as their great deliverer.
What about those who had been high and mighty? They might very well become nothing. And those that were once nothing? God could make them shine like stars in the sky. This would be the day when God’s Israel finally experienced lasting victory. God Himself would grant the heavenly kingdom of resurrection to His beloved children. Then all of the redeemed would glorify the Lord God. Even some who had gone astray in spirit during their days under the sun would receive understanding and would be made receptive to true spiritual instruction.
God’s covenant people should have their hearts set on the Lord’s glorious kingdom. Our present earth is a world of fleeting pleasures. We are looking for a new city where the blind see, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised incorruptible. We want to live forever in a realm where sin is gone. We are looking for the temple where Jesus Christ is the pure and holy cornerstone. One day we will live in a glorious realm where we will see the Lord.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God Almighty, we should not be surprised when distress comes upon Your church. You will not be content with our destructive disobedience. You will visit us with discipline. Many of Your true servants will yet be caught up in difficulties that come upon Your people. Nonetheless You are able to preserve our souls for the coming day of resurrection. Even when Your righteous judgment comes upon Your church, we continue to look for a day of tremendous joy. This will be a day when the blind will see and the deaf will hear. We have been granted a wonderful taste of that coming day in the visitation of Your Son. We look for the fullness of His mercy when He returns for us.