“See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
- Isaiah 65:17
Last week we studied the good news about God’s new-making work in the cosmos and looked at the Book of Revelation: “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea” (Rev. 21:1). Notice how that passage quotes someone talking about “a new heaven and a new earth”? He’s quoting today’s passage.
Throughout the New Testament of the Bible, people make frequent reference to the Psalms, wisdom writings, books of the law and the prophets … the material found in the Old Testament of the Bible. These callbacks remind us that we are part of an older and bigger story.
Today’s passage from Isaiah looked forward to a future where God would make all things new. Last week’s passage from Revelation added the lens of Jesus and showed how God would bring it all to pass.
Friends, we need to hear that God’s promises are sure, that it’s worth it to hold onto hope, and that patience will be rewarded by the Lord. Isaiah wrote his prophetic book hundreds of years before Jesus. God’s people had generations to wait before Jesus would arrive on the scene and initiate a new phase of God’s redemptive work.
And we’ve been waiting for hundreds of years, almost two millennia after Jesus’ death and resurrection. We’re waiting for God to finish what he started. Some of us are waiting in the midst of difficult or painful circumstances. Waiting isn’t easy or comfortable. It doesn’t feel safe.
But God will make all things new. He’s promised to time and time again. He didn’t promise this on a whim. He hasn’t forgotten his promise. He can do it. And he surely will.
How do you interact with the promises of God? Do you tend to lean on them or ignore them? Why?