Isaiah 43:16-21: God has something great in your future (v.19) “Your best days are ahead not behind!”
See, I am doing a new thing! Not it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19. The favourite talk of the church is very often about the glorious past of the church. We talk about how we had church full of people with the thriving Sunday School for about 100 children.
Looking behind (Isaiah 43:16-17)
Things have changed since then and we still have happy days but we are facing new challenges of the new generation for Christ. There was a mighty act of God when the people of Israel were escaping themselves from the slavery of Egypt and walking in their new found freedom towards the promised land. Suddenly, they found themselves in a great trouble. They were chased by the Egyptian army who wanted to make them slave again or kill them in the wilderness. But, this was not only one challenge for the people of Israel but there was another challenge of the roaring sea in front of them. They couldn’t find their way forward. They couldn’t escape themselves from the enemy behind and the great sea before them. They were trapped from either side. Then God made a way for them in the sea. He asked Moses to touch the sea with his shepherd staff. All the people of Israel could pass through the sea while the Egyptian Army vanished in the sea as they were covered with water. Israelites arrived safely on the dry land praising and worshipping God with music. But before, we are amazed to think about God’s wonderful work, He is telling us that we shouldn’t dwell in the past. God is going to do even greater things in your lives. Jesus has saved us from the slavery of the sin by his sacrifice on the cross!
Living in the past (Isaiah 43:18)
The Lord is saying: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Even though, the Lord said that He made a way and the path in the sea, he is saying now ‘Forget the former and past things’ of what great things he has done! There is time of reflection for our learning from the past. But if we keep on repeating, going back and forth in the past for a long time and compare the present from the past experiences and leadership, then there is something wrong. When Jesus was transfigured at the holy mountain where he met Moses and Elijah in the cloud in the presence of Peter, James and John, Peter responded by saying let us dwell here by making three tents, one for Moses, one for Elijah and one for Jesus. Peter wanted to make a monument and memory there and to dwell there.
Looking ahead in the bright future! (Isaiah 43:19-21)
This is the right place where we should look for. The Lord is asking us to see: “See, I am doing a new thing!” (v. 19) Notice that He is not saying that He is doing the same thing. He is saying that he doing new thing. We always expect God to do the same thing. Same way of singing and worshipping, same way of doing the church, same way of preaching, same way of doing the evangelism and sharing the gospel. So what is that new thing the Lord is doing here? He is saying further: “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (v.19) We don’t have to just see it but we should have a new perception as well. Notice, that God is not doing something new in the distant future. He is doing it right now. It is springing up. It has a small and slow beginning of the springing of water but soon it will flow like a rivers of water. Jesus said: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)