The Lord’s Promise – Present and Future

Eliana's 4th bdayWe have had rain all day today. I’m glad I got the work done outside yesterday that I did. However, I didn’t get the lawn mowed. We had another full day at church today. We attended a class for leaders during the last service and they actually fed us. So by the time I got home I was ready for a nap.

Later today we came to Lakewood to celebrate Eliana’s fourth birthday. This is Christian and Bridget’s youngest child. Our grandkids are quickly growing up. I will spend the night with them and then get ready for a full day tomorrow. I will be at the Capitol for a bill hearing in the afternoon.

BIBLE VERSE TODAY… The Lord says, “I am making a new earth and new heavens. The events of the past will be completely forgotten. Be glad and rejoice forever in what I create. The new Jerusalem I make will be full of joy, and her people will be happy.Wolves and lambs will eat together; lions will eat straw, as cattle do, and snakes will no longer be dangerous. On Zion, my sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil.” Isaiah 65:17-19,25

As the prophecies of Isaiah come to an end, we see the promise of God’s mercy and forgiveness and His work to restore and redeem His people. The entire passage of the Lord’s promise to His people carries a mixture of that which would take place in the near future and that which was futuristic.

I recall in my study of prophecy the principle of “double reference.” It is explained as viewing a range of mountains. Here in Colorado we have “foothills” and the Rocky Mountains. When viewed from the east they look like they are on top of each other when in reality there is considerable distance between the two ranges. In the same way when prophets saw and spoke of the Lord’s promise, it seemed all events would come to pass in the same time frame, but in reality they were addressing that which would come about in the near future and that which would be fulfilled in  God’s plan of redemption at some point in the distant future.

In this case we see the Lord restoring His people to Jerusalem after seventy years of captivity. We see the temple rebuilt and the walls re-established. We see the people return and the Lord fulfilling His promise as spoke through the prophets.

But at the same time we see Isaiah speaking words seven hundred years before Christ that are yet to come to pass. The promise of  “new heaven and a new earth” is yet to be fulfilled. A day is coming when the “curse” will be removed. That is seen in the “lion and lamb lying down together.”

John the Apostle, saw what Isaiah spoke of. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished. And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride dressed to meet her husband.” (Revelation 21:1,2)

God’s word is sure to come to pass. We live today in the working out of God’s redemptive plan for this world and all people. God is not just the “God of the Bible.” He is the God who is at work in our world today, just as He has been throughout time.

While we see the Lord’s prophetic promise of the present and the future in scripture, we can also observe that often the response of people to the Lord related to the present and future as well. Isaiah 65 opens with these words, “The Lord said, “I was ready to answer my people’s prayers, but they did not pray. I was ready for them to find me, but they did not even try. The nation did not pray to me, even though I was always ready to answer, ‘Here I am; I will help you.’ I have always been ready to welcome my people, who stubbornly do what is wrong and go their own way.”         (Isaiah 65:1,2)

We need to understand that the Lord is more ready to answer, than we are to ask. He is stands ready to “be found” and reveal Himself, if we will but only seek and draw near to Him. This day, understand the mercy and faithfulness of the Lord to hear, respond and to work out His plan of redemption in our lives and for our world. He will make “everything new” in your life as you trust in Him.