Reading Through the Bible, Sunday, August 14. Isaiah 60-63.

    As you read Isaiah 60-62, you have to ask yourself when all this great and glorious blessing will come to God’s people?

    Remember that Isaiah’s writing and ministry occurred long before the events of Judah’s destruction actually took place.  It calls for great faith to believe that, despite good times, bad times are going to come – horrific times as a matter of fact – but somewhere, off in the distance, God will grant restoration once again.  God knew that when Isaiah was serving Him.  In fact, that was the point.  God has already said: “I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you . . .”  (48:5ff).

    But as time went on, and the events actually happened, Isaiah’s readers would see that God was in control all along, and that would promote faith in their generation.

    But Isaiah 60 has never happened.  Is it a promise yet to be fulfilled?

    When I think of this passage, I think of Mark 16:17ff – And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

    The idea is that God’s people, when devoted to God’s way and serving God’s will, become unstoppable people – a people who are so blessed by God that the world falls at their feet to know the secret of their success.  The reasons we don’t see this are two: First, God’s people have not devoted themselves to God’s way.  To paraphrase another writer: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”  Second, we imagine if we, individually, walk closer to the Lord, success should be ours – individually.  But these blessings are not promised to individuals: they are promised to God’s people as a people.  Perhaps the secret is that God’s people, now the Church, together, should encourage one another to walk closer to God, and together see that it happens.  When the Kingdom of God acts like the Kingdom of God, the blessings of God will come to His people.

    If, of course, we believe the promises of God.