I know that you are half way through Jeremiah, but I can't leave Isaiah without speaking to one of my very favorite passages ( I know I have said this dozens of times before and will undoubtedly say it dozens more times as we read on).
Our time away was filled with blessing. The wedding that we were a part of was delightful and filled with the joy that should accompany such an occasion. It was good to see our old friends Sam and Barb Packham and to share in their joy.
As you know on our out to Billings Montana, we spent a couple of days in Yellowstone National Park and on our way home we spent a little time in the Badlands of South Dakota. Both experiences revealed pieces of this great land that were almost other worldly to us. The geography, topography, geology was so unique and nothing like we had ever seen before. We read of volcanic eruptions, geothermal plates, ancient oceans and all of the forces that had a hand in creating this unique places. Patty and I thought how wonderfully marvelous that God had revealed himself in this mysterious places in such a plethora of fantastic views and geologically fascinating ways.
Neither Patty or I could be described as "well-traveled" folks. We are simple country kids who have been blessed in recent years to have opportunities to see things that we had only dreamed of. God has been good to us and he has been revealed to us in many wonderful ways. this trip has revealed new facets of God to us, but they have also reminded us of the wonderful promises that he made to us in Isaiah 65, "behold, 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 forever in what I will create."
Is that a wonderful promise or what!!! I have only seen a little of the marvel of God's creation, but it has been enough for me to be convinced of God's great love for us. I have seen enough to know that we are less than a gnat in the great ecological expanse of the creation, a milli-second in the great expanse of time and yet God felt we were so important that he came to earth in the form of a person to give us an example of righteousness and to make a way for us to experience much, much more than this world can reveal to us or provide to us.
As wonderful as Yellowstone is, as beautiful as the Black Hills, as awesome as the Tetons appear; greater is he who created, who spoke this great earth into being. Not only that, this earth will pale in comparison with the new creation that he has in store for us when he comes again.
Isaiah is about reminding us of our failings. But it is even more about reminding us that God will not leave us to our own evil ways. There will be a time when we are reclaimed to the image of our creator, a time when we will be restored to that which he intended us to be, a time when we will be more than conquerors. Keep the faith, walk in confidence. Our God reigns eternally and he cares for you. Be renewed in his promises. Love wins! Give yourself over to the gentle power of the one who will spare not even his own Son to claim you for himself!
"I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weepng and of crying will be heard in it no more."