Isaiah 66:18-19 - (God says) "For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see My glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard My fame or seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the nations."
This is a strange Bible passage to me. It sounds like a pretty straightforward prophecy of the beginning of the Christian church that first Pentecost. You can see it too, can't you? God says, "the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues," which is a verbal echo of I-don't-know-how-many Pentecost passages. He goes on: "And they shall come and shall see My glory, and I will set a sign among them"—and what would that sign be but the cross and resurrection of the Lord Jesus? No wonder "they shall declare My glory among the nations"!
And yet there is one word that throws me—the word "survivors." God says, "From those who see my glory I will send survivors to the nations." Wait a minute. Isn't seeing God's glory a wonderful, joyful thing? Isn't it a lifegiving blessing, something we then go out to share with everyone else around us? Why refer to the people who see God's glory and share it as "survivors"? Is this some sort of war—some kind of disaster?
Well, yes, apparently. Seeing God's glory forces a reaction. Either we see Jesus' love and self-giving sacrifice and respond with love and joy of our own—or we don't. Nobody yawns their way past Calvary. Nobody comes face-to-face with the Creator of everything now dying on a cross and says, "Oh yes, I think that's mildly interesting." Jesus forces a reaction. And that reaction may be joy and love—or it may be terrified rejection.
If you are listening to this, you are probably among the "survivors" of such an encounter. You were brought to the cross, either through Baptism or Christian witness, and the Holy Spirit planted faith in your heart. You belong to Jesus, and you "declare His glory" through your words and your life.
But what of those who did not survive? It's not over for them. You, and everyone who trusts in Jesus, are sent to tell people the message of God's forgiveness and everlasting life. That includes the people who have previously rejected Him. God is patient—His love may chase a person lifelong to bring him to faith in Jesus. God will gladly use you to love those people, to care for them, and to reach out to them with the Good News—over and over and over again. Because His goal is that all of us survive—no, better than that! His goal is that we should all be His children, sharing the joyful, everlasting life Jesus gave us through His resurrection.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, use me the way that You know is best to bring other people to trust in You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. How did you come to faith in Jesus?
2. Is it ever difficult for you to handle life with Jesus as both your Savior and your Lord? How and why?
3. How do you share the Good News of Jesus with other people?
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