Scripture to consider: Isaiah 25
1 Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
2 You have made the city a heap of rubble,
the fortified town a ruin,
the foreigners’ stronghold a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you;
cities of ruthless nations will revere you.
4 You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
is like a storm driving against a wall
5 and like the heat of the desert.
You silence the uproar of foreigners;
as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is stilled.
6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
10 The hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain;
but Moab will be trampled in their land
as straw is trampled down in the manure.
11 They will stretch out their hands in it,
as swimmers stretch out their hands to swim.
God will bring down their pride
despite the cleverness of their hands.
12 He will bring down your high fortified walls
and lay them low;
he will bring them down to the ground,
to the very dust.
Thought to ponder:
“Before human beings can experience the joy of God’s great feast, something must be done about the universal curse. At the end of every pathway the Grim Reaper awaits us all, and that cold hand blights every human happiness. But God will swallow—not merely remove, but envelop in such a way as to destroy—that shroud. Moreover, he will do it on Mount Zion, the prophet says. For the Christian, what other meaning can this have than the death of Jesus Christ? In him, death has been defeated once and for all, for all the peoples of the earth. This is the ultimate deliverance. We may be delivered from want and from oppression, but until we are delivered from death, and the sin which issues in death, all other deliverances area mockery.”
—John Oswalt, p. 464