“I am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory.” (Isaiah 66:18 )
Here in Isaiah chapter 66 the Lord proclaim that a great event is coming; the bringing together of the nations and a show of the Divine’s strength and might. The writer of Isaiah in verse 15a proclaims this by saying, “See, the LORD is coming with fire” and in verse 19 confirms this by saying, “I will set a sign among them.” But it is interesting to note that verse 19 continues “and I will send some of those who survive to the nations .” The implication is that not all will survive the Lord’s glory, which is also the Lord’s judgment. This suggests to me that the Lord’s shalom is not necessarily a “touchy-feely” event. The earlier verses in chapter 66 bear this out.
I am also struck by when in time this is supposed to happen, it is about to. Not “it will happen in a time to come” or “at an appointed time”; but “about to”, imminent. As Christians we live in this tension of time, the “not now” but soon. And we live on the edge of this cusp from the time we are born to the time our bodies give out, and our Christian ancestors lived in this way too. If we would ask “when” though, we would be told “in God’s time.” So I suggest instead of asking when, we ask how. And more precisely how can we be a part of this event. Because, we may be part of the sign, and we may be one of the survivors who are sent forth. In fact, if we take Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection as the fulfillment of the “about to” (and perhaps as the sign) we may will be those who are sent out.
May you gentle reader be ever ready to see God’s glory and be sent out as a witness to it. Selah!