Isaiah 51 & Revelation 21

Isaiah 51

    “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
        you who seek the LORD:
    look to the rock from which you were hewn,
        and to the quarry from which you were dug.
    Look to Abraham your father
        and to Sarah who bore you;
    for he was but one when I called him,
        that I might bless him and multiply him.
    For the LORD comforts Zion;
        he comforts all her waste places
    and makes her wilderness like Eden,
        her desert like the garden of the LORD;
    joy and gladness will be found in her,
        thanksgiving and the voice of song.
    “Give attention to me, my people,
        and give ear to me, my nation;
    for a law will go out from me,
        and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
    My righteousness draws near,
        my salvation has gone out,
        and my arms will judge the peoples;
    the coastlands hope for me,
        and for my arm they wait.
    Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
        and look at the earth beneath;
    for the heavens vanish like smoke,
        the earth will wear out like a garment,
        and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
    but my salvation will be forever,
        and my righteousness will never be dismayed.
    “Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
        the people in whose heart is my law;
    fear not the reproach of man,
        nor be dismayed at their revilings.
    For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
        and the worm will eat them like wool;
    but my righteousness will be forever,
        and my salvation to all generations.”
    Awake, awake, put on strength,
        O arm of the LORD;
    awake, as in days of old,
        the generations of long ago.
    Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
        who pierced the dragon?
    Was it not you who dried up the sea,
        the waters of the great deep,
    who made the depths of the sea a way
        for the redeemed to pass over?
    And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
        and come to Zion with singing;
    everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
        they shall obtain gladness and joy,
        and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
    “I, I am he who comforts you;
        who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
        of the son of man who is made like grass,
    and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,
        who stretched out the heavens
        and laid the foundations of the earth,
    and you fear continually all the day
        because of the wrath of the oppressor,
    when he sets himself to destroy?
        And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
    He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;
        he shall not die and go down to the pit,
        neither shall his bread be lacking.
    I am the LORD your God,
        who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
        the LORD of hosts is his name.
    And I have put my words in your mouth
        and covered you in the shadow of my hand,
    establishing the heavens
        and laying the foundations of the earth,
        and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
    Wake yourself, wake yourself,
        stand up, O Jerusalem,
    you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD
        the cup of his wrath,
    who have drunk to the dregs
        the bowl, the cup of staggering.
    There is none to guide her
        among all the sons she has borne;
    there is none to take her by the hand
        among all the sons she has brought up.
    These two things have happened to you—
        who will console you?—
    devastation and destruction, famine and sword;
        who will comfort you?
    Your sons have fainted;
        they lie at the head of every street
        like an antelope in a net;
    they are full of the wrath of the LORD,
        the rebuke of your God.
    Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted,
        who are drunk, but not with wine:
    Thus says your Lord, the LORD,
        your God who pleads the cause of his people:
    “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
    the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;
    and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
        who have said to you,
        ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’;
    and you have made your back like the ground
        and like the street for them to pass over.”

(Isaiah 51 ESV)

Revelation 21

    Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

    And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

    Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed—on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

    And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel's measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

    And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

(Revelation 21 ESV)

Revelation 21: The descriptions given of the future glory that awaits us as God's children ought to alter our perspectives toward this world we currently dwell in. This is not home. This is the long road home. When we consider what God has in store for us, we would be regarded as utterly foolish to cling to anything and everything this much lesser world has to offer.

While this world is ending, the new world is everlasting. God will be fully present, and all tears, death and pain will perish. The church will experience the consummation of its covenant relationship with Christ, and no temple, sun or moon will be necessary. For the glory of God that we have only seen through a mirror dimly will be experienced eternally face to face.