Reflections: August 23, 2021
Monday of the 12th Week after Trinity
By Joel Shaltanis
"Is it not yet a very little while. . ." (Isaiah 29:17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. One of the great themes of the Bible is something called the Great Reversal. This idea is that one day a great transformation will take place: The low will be lifted up while the mighty and proud will be brought down. Mary’s song, the Magnificat that we sing in church, is a great example of this. So is this passage at the end of Isaiah 29.
The prophet here speaks to what God has in mind to do for His people in a "very little while." The deaf shall hear. The blind shall see. "The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel." If all of this sounds familiar, it is because Jesus defined His own ministry in these terms (Matthew 11:5).
What’s more, the enemies of God’s people will come to nothing and there will be no more scoffers among His faithful. No more jaded and sarcastic "believers" who roll their eyes and doubt God’s promises. Only sincere and devout followers of God. In addition, the usual failings of those who make false claims about their enemies and deny justice to the righteous will be cut off. Their power will be taken away.
But what about the lifting up of God’s people? How will they be changed? They will not be ashamed, but because of God’s working among them, the children of God will rightly praise Him. "They will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob [Jesus] and will stand in the awe of the God of Israel." Even those who have wandered off from the fold will repent and listen again to God. All of this sounds amazing! We can’t wait for this transformation to take place. But when will it finally happen? How long, O Lord?
This great transformation began in the ministry of Jesus. His work of healing and restoring and encouraging showed what God has in mind to do. The removal of sickness and sorrow was a foreshadowing of what is to come. Even now, the Holy Spirit continues His work of changing hearts and leading people to a right faith in God. In this fallen world we catch glimpses of wrongs being righted and God’s people rightly praising. But ultimately, the Great Reversal will not be fully realized until the old has passed away and Christ comes again and makes all things new.
Jesus’ work has already ensured that this will happen. His sacrificial death for our sins and His mighty resurrection from the dead assures us of the victory. The conclusion is certain. It’s going to happen. Just a little while. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Come, Lord Jesus, quickly! Many of us are waiting. Not one of us will be disappointed. Amen.
-Rev. Joel Shaltanis is the pastor of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Plano, TX.
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