So often what gets you wrapped around the axle with prophecy is trying to lock down the “when.” When will that happen? In ancient Israel’s day? During Christ’s first advent? At His second advent? At the tribulation? During the millennial reign of Christ? When the new heaven and earth come into being? And to be honest, for me at least, it can be kind of exhausting to try and figure out the “when.”
So this morning, I’m just chewing on the “what.” And then knowing that mine is to wait.
Glorious promise in Isaiah 25:6-8 this morning. A day when, “on this mountain” the LORD of heaven’s armies will host an over-the-top feast for ALL PEOPLES of the earth. A day when He will swallow up “the covering that is cast over ALL PEOPLES, the veil that is spread over ALL NATIONS”–a day when “He will swallow up death forever.” And on that day He will “wipe away tears from ALL FACES” and all shame and disgrace will be taken away from ALL THE EARTH.
Noodle on that for a bit. A day when ALL PEOPLE will be liberated from the bondage of death. A day when ALL NATIONS will know what it is to freed from sin. A day when tears are a thing of the past for EVERYONE.
A promise for “that day” but a promise which, for those who walk by faith, is known today in part, though seen as in “a mirror dimly” (1Cor. 13:9-12). Knowing that Christ’s death on the cross paid the price for sin once for all–our reproach removed. Assured through faith that His resurrection evidenced His conquering power over death–the veil removed and death swallowed up forever. His abiding presence supplying all sufficient grace so that even the tears dry up for a time as they are displaced by an overriding joy when we come into various trials and temptations.
But we have yet to see the promise fulfilled in its entirety. Still wrestling with sin, though there is forgiveness and restoration through the blood of the Lamb (1John 1:9). Still battling death, though we know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2Cor. 5:8). Tears still slide down our cheeks though we know the touch of the God of all comfort (2Cor. 1:3) and the reality of the peace that passes all understanding (Php. 4:6-7).
And so, we wait. Of that Isaiah prophecies as well:
It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
(Isaiah 25:9 ESV)
For now, we wait. And we wait with anticipation. Faith will give way to sight. The fullness of our salvation is nearer today than it was yesterday.
We have been saved from the penalty of sin through the finished work of the cross. We are being saved from the power of sin as we walk in the new man, clothed with Christ’s righteousness, empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. And we live in expectation of a day when we will be saved from the very presence of sin when we are forever in the presence of our holy, holy, holy God. The shroud of death forever gone. The reproach of sin no longer even a memory. Tears of sorrow a thing of the past.
In the meantime we desire to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, submitting to God’s work in us, “both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Php. 2:12-13). In the meantime we labor for His kingdom until He returns. In the meantime we wait.
And in that day we will proclaim, “Behold, this is our God! Behold, this is our LORD! Let us be glad and rejoice in the fullness of His salvation!”
All because of His grace. All for His glory.