6 On this mountain,
the Lord of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
a rich feast, a feast of choice wines,
of select foods rich in flavor,
of choice wines well refined.
7 He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
the shroud enshrouding all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever.
The Lord God will wipe tears from every face;
he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9 They will say on that day,
“Look! This is our God,
for whom we have waited—
and he has saved us!
This is the Lord, for whom we have waited;
let’s be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
Isaiah 65:17-18, 21-25
17 Look! I’m creating a new heaven and a new earth:
past events won’t be remembered;
they won’t come to mind.
18 Be glad and rejoice forever
in what I’m creating,
because I’m creating Jerusalem as a joy
and her people as a source of gladness.
21 They will build houses and live in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They won’t build for others to live in,
nor plant for others to eat.
Like the days of a tree will be the days of my people;
my chosen will make full use of their handiwork.
23 They won’t labor in vain,
nor bear children to a world of horrors,
because they will be people blessed by the Lord,
they along with their descendants.
24 Before they call, I will answer;
while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 Wolf and lamb will graze together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
but the snake—its food will be dust.
They won’t hurt or destroy at any place on my holy mountain,
says the Lord.
As Israel’s story began, God promised Abraham, “All the families of the earth will be blessed because of you” (Genesis 12:3). The prophet Isaiah said when God was victorious, he would prepare “a rich feast”—that was how rulers marked victories. The great food and drink was just a symbolic appetizer. God promised to “swallow up death forever,” and “wipe tears from every face.” And God’s banquet would be for “all peoples,” “all nations,” “the whole earth.”
- By Jesus' day, Israel’s religious leaders loved the image of God’s great banquet. Many were sure they alone would be the honored guests. They’d missed a crucial part of the vision. “In one of many expansive visions in Isaiah, God is imagined preparing a banquet not just for the elders on Mount Sinai (cf. Exodus 24), nor even for Judah, but for all the nations.”* What tempts you to limit your vision of God’s “banquet” to just your own church, nation or ethnic group? How does your heart respond to God’s expansive vision?
- Did you know you can view Resurrection Leawood’s stained glass window, with explanatory notes, online? Just click here. Note how the lower right corner of the window depicts the wonderful promise of Isaiah 65:25. Can you imagine the peace and joy of dwelling with God in a setting where “they won’t hurt or destroy at any place”?
Lord God, I do not want my walk with you limited to this time-bounded existence. Thank you for inviting me to participate in your eternal banquet. Amen.
* Patricia K. Tull, study note on Isaiah 25:6-10a in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 1129 OT.
Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as a Human Resources Specialist. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.