“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
Who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn
And to the quarry from which you were dug.
“Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;
When he was but one I called him,
Then I blessed him and multiplied him.”
Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places.
And her wilderness He will make like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.
“Pay attention to Me, O My people,
And give ear to Me, O My nation;
For a law will go forth from Me,
And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.
“My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait for Me,
And for My arm they will wait expectantly.
“Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not wane.
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
Was it not You who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies
And of the son of man who is made like grass,
That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor,
As he makes ready to destroy?
But where is the fury of the oppressor?
The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking. For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the Lord of hosts is His name). I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” ~ Isaiah 51:1-16
In this passage, God is reminding His people that though they have gone through tough times, He has always been with them. He tells them of the great things He has done in the past, but, more importantly, He reminds them His salvation and His righteousness are forever. We have that same promise. We are grafted into Israel’s tree, and God’s promises to the Israelites are also His promises to us. He redeemed us through the Blood of the Lamb, and one day we will reign with Him in the new heaven and the new earth. Let us remember all that God has already done for us, knowing that what comes will be even better.
Thank You, Lord, for everything You have done for me—especially for saving me from my own sin through Jesus’ death on the cross and for the promise of eternal life. When I face temporary setbacks, help me to remember that the difficulties of this life are nothing compared to the glory that is to come. Thank You, Lord. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Image: © Depositphotos.com/DesignPicsInc