I’ve often said that the book of Isaiah is in many ways a love letter from God. This morning, as I read through Isaiah, chapter 49, God’s tenderness rose from the pages like a fragrant aroma. In Isaiah 49:14-26, He speaks to Jesus, the Messiah, saying that He will restore the land of Israel, “to make them inherit the desolate heritages.” Further in the chapter, it speaks of the destroyed land. When we consider all of the threats against Israel from Iran, as well as those from the Palestinians and most of the nations of Islam, we can well imagine that ultimately, they will do an enormous amount of damage.
But they–and we–can lift our heads and have hope. For Jesus will return. He will say to those who are bound, “Go forth,” and those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” Along the roads, they will find food, even on the bare heights. There will be food everywhere, so no matter where they are, there will be food available. They will not be thirsty anymore either, because Jesus Himself will guide them to springs of water.
And God will make it easy for everyone to get there. He will make all His mountains a road, and His highways will be raised up. Think of this…our tender God literally making a straight and level path for His children to get home.
And as they come back to Zion, the rebuilders will hurry to rebuild, even as the destroyers and devastators are departing. Those people who “swallowed” Zion will be taken far away. Millions of God’s people will stream from the far corners of the earth toward Zion, and there will be so many people teeming into that blessed land, that God says they will be as jewels on a bride. Jewels…that’s how He views His people.
And as those called by God’s name are gathering in Zion, they will suddenly hear the voices of their children who had died, whether in the womb, in infancy or while still young. Yet their children will be precisely the age they should be, and will have grown just as they should have, and their parents will be astonished. And they will say, “Who has begotten these for me? And who has reared them? Where did they come from?” And they will know that the Lord God raised them in heaven Himself, as their true Father, and God will command that “they”–angels perhaps?–will bring them in their bosom and on their shoulders to their joyous parents.
What a blessed reunion that will be. All the mothers who aborted their babies will be reunited with their children. And all the mothers who had miscarriages will see that child whom they never knew. Every mother who lost a child whether in infancy, in childhood or even in adulthood will be together with them again. Whole families and generations will be gathered together; no one will be searching for family members, but God will ensure that everyone is brought together with their loved ones.
And furthermore, God will make clear to those who had formerly ruled haughtily the people of God–and treated them cruelly or with disdain–will now serve them, and lick the dust off of their feet. Surely, thus says the Lord, “Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, and the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; for I will contend with the one who contends with you, and I will save your sons.” He will humble the tyrant as only He can. They will find that the wrath of God, held back for so long, will come at them like a blow torch.
And it is then that those who are called by God’s name will know, in a clear and defining moment, that those who hopefully wait for the Lord will not be put to shame. Zion will be filled with His people, His jewels.
“And all flesh will know, that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” All flesh. Everyone on the entire earth will know, either with incredible joy, or overwhelming fear, that Jesus is Savior.
Israel may be in the crosshairs of Iran at this moment, but make no mistake. Those who come against Israel and God’s people will ultimately bear God’s humbling and His wrath. And those who love Him will get heaven on earth. Literally. And Him…in the flesh.
Lift up your heads. Our redemption draweth nigh.