The New World
Ask God’s forgiveness for your sins, his healing for your hurts, and his blessing on your joys.
Read Isaiah 24:21 – 25:12
21 In that day the Lord will punish
the powers in the heavens above
and the kings on the earth below.
22 They will be herded together
like prisoners bound in a dungeon;
they will be shut up in prison
and be punished after many days.
23 The moon will be dismayed,
the sun ashamed;
for the Lord Almighty will reign
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before its elders—with great glory.
Praise to the Lord
25 Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
2 You have made the city a heap of rubble,
the fortified town a ruin,
the foreigners’ stronghold a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you;
cities of ruthless nations will revere you.
4 You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
is like a storm driving against a wall
5 and like the heat of the desert.
You silence the uproar of foreigners;
as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is stilled.
6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
10 The hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain;
but Moab will be trampled in their land
as straw is trampled down in the manure.
11 They will stretch out their hands in it,
as swimmers stretch out their hands to swim.
God will bring down their pride
despite the cleverness of their hands.
12 He will bring down your high fortified walls
and lay them low;
he will bring them down to the ground,
to the very dust.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAre you trusting in your own accomplishments or are you allowing God to work in and through you?
We come to the other, less popular aspect of God’s reign: the judgement of his opponents. Like me, would you prefer to focus on the joyful messages? The end of wickedness, however, is cause for celebration (25:1,6), even though we may feel sad about those who choose to cling to it and therefore are destroyed along with it. Death,
which lost its power in the atoning death of Jesus, will be gone forever (8).
What we think of as power is pathetic before the Lord’s might (2,3,5,12). What we think of as bright pales before his light (24:23).
We live in a generation more than usually bewitched by the “cleverness of our hands” (25:11) – cures for diseases, computers that “think” and talk, missions to Mars. If our clever hands are not used to honor God, however, we might as well use them to swim in a pigsty (10,11).
We don’t know when this final judgement will take place. It could be in the year that is about to begin. Will we be ready? How can we be ready? Thankfully, the answer is simple: “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us” (9).
Imagine God’s heavenly kingdom today. How would it be different than the kingdoms of the world that are in place?
Lord God of creation and Judge of the universe, I trust you. Please save me.