Beyond Our Wildest Dreams
Blessed Lord, what I need only You can give, what I ask I cannot find for myself. Come, Holy Spirit.
Read ISAIAH 65:1-25
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The Bible thinks very large, well beyond our privatistic, personalistic faith, in its confidence about the renewal and mending of the world” (W. Brueggemann).
Prophecy is not characteristically orderly and logical! The prophet’s perspective shifts. The closing chapters of Isaiah remind me of telescopes provided at places of special beauty and interest. Free to move the instrument to gaze at different angles of the landscape, we’re aware that the diversity adds up to a coherent picture–and sometimes the beauty of an individual angle makes us catch our breath in wonder.
Maybe we catch our breath at the generous vision of verse 1. We hear God taking the initiative, constantly calling out, “Here I am, here I am” to people who are not just unaware of him, but actively reject him (5). Perhaps we even find ourselves in this vision, if our story has been about rebellious self-sufficiency (2), or allegiance to other gods (3-5), until God’s outstretched hands and tireless invitation drew us in to join his servants depicted in the next vision (8-16). Maybe we need the correction of this perspective if we tend to write off certain people as being beyond the scope of God’s love and compassion.
Marva Dawn, whose reflections on Scripture emerge from her long experience of severe disability, urges us “to let the Bible’s patterns re-describe what we see in the world.” Among the Bible’s recurring patterns is the breathtaking vision of a new heaven and earth (17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). It’s not mended, not patched, but new.
Let your imagination, the eyes of your heart, re-describe what you see in your world today in the details of this vision (19-25). Which one of the life experiences described touches you the most: infant mortality (20, house repossession (21,22), war (25)? Thank God these things will be “no more” in the heavenly Kingdom.
Limitless Lord, making all things new, I worship You. Show me how I can be drawn into Your creative and loving purposes.
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