Isaiah 51:1-6 (NRSV)
Chapter 51Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Verse 2Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many. Verse 3For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make 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.
Verse 4Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples. Verse 5I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope. Verse 6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended.
Sometimes we need to be reminded to listen. Have you ever demanded, “Listen to me; what I have to say is important?” I know I have felt the need to say that as a parent and spouse. Here, the Lord is insisting on getting our attention along with that of the people of Israel: “Listen to me.” The intention is to remind us of God’s promises. Remember Sarah and Abraham? Remember God’s promise of children and a great nation of descendants out of two elderly people? Remember how that promise was fulfilled? Remember who created the universe and called it good? Remember the lushness and beauty of the garden? The Lord will bring peace, joy, gladness, and thanksgiving that will be sung by all creation.
Remember who alone brings salvation? Look to the Lord. Listen and hear God’s promises. No matter what your current circumstances, the Lord’s salvation will not fade away or be destroyed. This is God’s promise to you.
Lord of Lords, teach us to listen, remember, and trust your promised words of life. Amen.