Radically Welcome in Isaiah
“I am about to come and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,” says the Lord. “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure… and all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord.
- Isaiah 66:18-23
Do you remember the verses we read yesterday from Revelation 7:9-10 about all people being gathered around Christ in heaven? Well, these verses say exactly the same thing - and yet they were written all the way back, hundreds and hundreds of years before Christ. Isaiah shines this radically welcoming beacon into the future towards Jesus, since he’s the one who is going to bring us together. The fact that Isaiah was centuries before Christ reminds us that this unity was always God’s plan, even though too often we’ve been divided around culture, race, and nationality.
In these verses there’s a lot of language about worship and sacrifice, about movement towards one another and towards God. Today, just read over those verses again and soak in God’s plan to draw all people together. Let these words stir you, encourage you, challenge you, comfort you. And speak your heart back to God afterwards.