What comes up quickly in the rear view mirror is the realization that you and I are now part of the picture God is painting! Although the time to completion remains unknown in the future, Isaiah lays it all out in his prophecies, which he calls “In that day…”
Isaiah tells of a day which has not yet arrived even from our perspective 2,500 years after he lived. At first it is a series of hints, but it blossoms throughout these six chapters to a glorious description of the Messiah:
“Behold, I am the one who has laid a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation” (28:16, ESV).
This is the foundation of that great old hymn that still moves anyone who sings it: “The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord; he is the consummation…”
“In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see” (29:18).
That book is the Book of Revelation in the Bible, describing when Jesus will return in glory.
“…yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (30:20b-21).
The Teacher that does not hide is Jesus himself, resurrected and ready to rule the world with justice and righteousness. The voice behind can be none other than the provision of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus pledged to send to all who believe in him as Lord and Savior.
“Behold, a king will reign in righteousness…Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place…” (32:1a, 2a).
We still see the desert of strife all around us even in this day. But in that day:
“…justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (30:16-18).
In that day, when Jesus returns, there will be only one nation resident in the new Jerusalem, encompassing believers all over the world.
Since we began this study three years ago, the growing question from our day has become – what might Jesus be looking for in us that might trigger his return? And the hypothesis can now be restated: perhaps, just perhaps, he is looking for the perfect unity among us that he prayed for (John 17:20-23).
“Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar” (33:17).
Perhaps if we can figure out what perfect unity really means and what it would look like spread across the earth, rather than resident only in what we now know as Jerusalem, our eyes will see heaven – on earth – in that day.