“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
I found out yesterday that an acquaintance is riddled with cancer. He found out only a few days ago, and has been given a very short time to live.
His wife, who deals with a chronic illness herself, was so distraught at the news of her husband’s cancer that she collapsed mentally.
A close friend of mine is a nurse in an ER. She encounters not only heartbreaking situations, but something I’d never imagined: the creative ways people try to commit suicide. She often asks them why they do it, and “despair” is the common denominator. This world is just too difficult to navigate.
When I hear devastating stories like this, and as I reflect on the true blessings that God has given us in the United States—the Fourth of July is a wonderful holiday—my mind inevitably drifts to the great prophecies of the Bible’s Old Testament.
From Darwinian philosophy, to liberal theology in the Church, there are almost too many attacks on the validity of the Bible to count. It is my contention that these attacks on the validity of the Bible cause despair in our culture to mushroom, as people grope for something to give them hope.
And yet the prophecies already fulfilled stand against these puny attacks. The ultimate message and point of all this is that the prophecies reveal a God who is engaged and compassionate. In Isaiah 65:17, the Lord PROMISES that He will one day make things right. We must have faith that He is telling us the truth, and is in control. He has already kept a great multitude of promises. More are coming.
It is difficult in times of great distress to see beyond our pain, and we all experience those.
But today as we celebrate 200+ years as a blessed nation, let us also remember the nation of Israel, much older and preserved through thousands of years of exile to emerge finally in our day as a vibrant fulfillment of prophecy.
The return of the Jews to their ancestral land is that balm for the pains of this life. The restored nation of Israel stands as a signpost, a beacon of hope.
Israel is proof that the future is not bleak, but brighter than the sun.