But not for God.
God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus have always been, are right this moment, and will always be the beginning and the end of the Cycle, the Alpha and Omega, the ultimate perfect unity and the restoration of his chosen ones.
Jesus himself speaks to Israel and to us through Isaiah, emerging from the mist at last after all the torrid history of Israel thus far recorded in the Bible:
“The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he polished me like an arrow; in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified’” (49:1b-3).
“And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant…that Israel might be gathered to him – for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength – he says, ‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth’” (49:5-6, ESV).
This is the ultimate executive summary of the most important event in human history – God will not only provide restoration for the long-wandering tribes of Israel; through Jesus he will make restoration available to every person on earth until perfect unity with God is achieved!
Not that this will be easy – ask Jeremiah in just a couple weeks from now.
But in just three and a half verses, God has changed everything, and everyone is welcome to join him in perfect unity.
Between the bookends of perfect unity and restoration come eight chapters of the Cycle once again.
- Command – “Listen…look…give attention…give ear…lift up your eyes…look…listen to me…” (51:1,2,4,6,7).
- Temptation – “But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me” (49:14).
- Disobedience – “Whom are you mocking” (57:4)? [See all of Chapter 57!]
- Disunity – “He was despised and rejected by men…and we esteemed him not” (53:3).
- Warning – “Who will contend with me?...Who is my adversary?...Behold, all you who kindle a fire…This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment” (50:8, 11b).
- Judgment – “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him…” (53:10).
- Repentance – “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God” (50:10).
- Never-ending love of God – “In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you” (54:8).
Then, is it "too light a thing" for us proclaim this Son of Man to the world?
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘”Your God reigns” (52:7).