Remember, remember, the 5th of November…. so the old nursery rhyme goes, and one that we learned at school. I imagine you may have done too! Today’s passage is another trip down memory lane: in this case prophetic memory lane. About 250 years previously, God had promised King David – son of Jesse – that one of his descendants would inherit his throne forever. A dozen kings had come and gone, the kingdom had split in two and the northern half was about to be conquered… when would this new King come?
God hadn’t forgotten. And God gives the great prophet Isaiah a new vision which reassures the people that his promise still stands. There would be a new king, descended from David (v1). This king would be filled with God’s Spirit (v2) and would stand for justice and righteousness (vv4-5) – something many of Israel’s kings had conspicuously failed to do. And under this new king, there would be a new reign of peace, and a healing of the created order such that even predators would get cosy with their prey (vv6-8). It would, in short, be glorious, and global (v10).
What a vision! Even so, it took another 700 years for the king to come. God’s timing is not ours. And that can be unsettling, testing even. There are times when we too may feel forgotten by God; maybe something we believe he has promised us hasn’t arrived yet. And that causes us pain, and perhaps doubt as well.
But God never forgets. The branch always bears fruit from the root. And God calls us to step out again, to dare to believe in his faithfulness. As it was said of Aslan in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: ‘He’s not safe – but he is good!’
Today, take a moment to claim again the promises that God has given you. They might be specific, or if there isn’t a particular thing, claim some of the great promises in our passage today.
God remembers. And it’s good for us to remember, too. We are what we remember.