by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
The Prince of Peace, the Son of David, was announced by Isaiah. The story of his coming was proclaimed by the evangelists, each with a different emphasis. Jesus made God's kingship real in this world. Today, the kingdom is here—and it is coming.
"I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered" (Isa. 65:17).
Through Isaiah God promised to restore Zion and rebuild Jerusalem. Under a new Shepherd-King the world would be as peaceful as paradise.
In this chapter something new is added to the prophet's message: "I will create new heavens and a new earth!"
Much of what Isaiah prophesied has already taken shape in history. A remnant returned from Babylon. Jerusalem was rebuilt under the direction of Ezra and Nehemiah. But these were only small steps on the long road. The coming of Messiah Jesus to Bethlehem was a giant step forward. His death and resurrection changed the course of the world. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit pledged the renewal of all things.
But we aren't there yet.
This month we praise God for his mighty works. But when we enumerate his promises for the future, we say to each other, "We haven't seen anything yet."
The new world will be the home of new Zion—God's people, saved and renewed by the Messiah. The outstanding quality of Zion will be joy (mentioned six times in verses 18 and 19). There won't even be a painful memory of past suffering: The former things will not be remembered.
These Old Testament words don't promise life everlasting—but nearly so. Life will be fruitful, meaningful, and utterly happy. God will be there. We won't have to wait for his answers to prayer. And everything that harms and hurts will have vanished forever.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version