Monday after the Last Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Isaiah 65:17-25 (NKJV)
17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19 “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 “They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 “They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 “They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
24 “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD.
Today’s reading is a picture of what life in the New Creation will look like. Since all of us have always lived in a world broken and warped by sin, the prophet can only describe life in the New Creation by telling us what it will not be. Whereas we are familiar with the weeping and mourning that accompanies decay and death, in the life of the world to come these things shall be no more. Wretched, painful things like infant mortality and miscarriage will cease because life will reign. Now we dwell in a world in which people tragically die young due to forces beyond their control. In the New Creation, all will “fulfill their days,” living everlastingly.
When Isaiah writes that the child shall die a hundred years old and the sinner shall be accursed at a hundred, he is not saying there will be death in the New Creation, but that life will be the norm. All of this is but a picture of what that life will be. It will be superabundant, never ending, and with no interruption. Unlike Old Testament Israelites, who so often built houses and planted vineyards only to have them taken by their enemies, in the New Creation God’s people will have no enemies, only perfect prosperity and life, for there will be nothing to hurt or destroy.
This is given to us so that we learn to fix our eyes on our blessed future, especially as we experience the effects of sin in the world and in our lives. There is life beyond this one, in a world beyond this one, a “sweet and blessed country, the home of God’s elect” (TLH 613:4).
We pray: Jesus, in mercy, bring us to that dear land of rest, Who art with God the Father and Spirit ever blessed. Amen.