THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

As we have seen in previous meditations, Isaiah’s message firmly states that there is only one God and that the ‘gods’ that men make for themselves are not gods at all. In keeping with these two truths, Isaiah’s messages contain multiple references to people from all nations worshipping the one true God. Isaiah anticipates the time when ‘the ends of the earth’ will see the glory of God [40:5].

Just as Isaiah had seen the glory of the LORD [6:1-5], he looked forward to the day when all mankind would see this same glory of God revealed in Jesus Christ [40:5; see John 12:41].

So, when Isaiah speaks of the coming Saviour, he speaks not of a salvation limited to the people of Israel, but of a trans-national salvation, a trans-national acknowledgment of God.

‘… all the nations … many peoples … will come and say
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD’ [2:2,3].

He is a ‘banner for the peoples, the nations will rally to him’ [11:10].

‘In his law the islands will put their hope’ [42:4].

‘I will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles’ [40:6].

‘Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth –
everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory …’ [43:6,7].

‘Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations …’ [49:1].

‘I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth’ [49:6].

‘The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm’ [52:5].

‘The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God’ [52:10].

‘Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn’ [60:3].

‘For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations’ [61:11].

Jesus Christ ‘came to seek and to save the lost’ [Luke 19:10]. Not just from the house of Israel, but from all over the earth. So we find among those who believed in him during his three years of ministry Samaritans, Greeks and Romans. We read that he said ‘this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come’ [Matthew 24:14]. We hear his final command ‘Go and make disciples of all nations …’ [Matthew 28:19].

And in Revelation, we are given a glimpse into the presence of God, and there, because of the death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, are people from all the ends of the earth:

‘You are worthy … because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men fro God
from very tribe and language and people and nation’ [Revelation 5:9].

‘…I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb’ [Revelation 7:9].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2014