See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice for ever
in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
and its people a joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
will be heard in it no more.
‘Never again will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach a hundred
will be considered accursed.
They will build houses and dwell in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
the work of their hands.
They will not labour in vain,
nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,’
says the Lord.
The words ‘new heavens and a new earth’ appear in Revelation 21:1. In fact, after reading this part of Isaiah it is worth reading all of Revelation 21.
We have seen that prophetic language includes poetry and images and it is not really possible to describe the future in precise scientific details. But if we want to know more about the second coming of Jesus and the hope for the future of God’s people, it will help us to read Isaiah as well as Revelation. Revelation is not the easiest book to read, but it gets easier when we understand the imagery which has already been used in the Old Testament. In Revelation there are direct and indirect references to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Psalms and especially Isaiah.
We have a future hope of a new Jerusalem where there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain (Revelation 21:1-5). This is good news for anyone experiencing suffering or persecution. Let’s thank God that he will make everything new.
Thomas Halley (Sawyers Church Leadership Team)
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