6 Lift your eyes to the skies and stare at the ground under you; because those skies will disappear like smoke, and that ground will wear out like clothing, and those who live on it will die just like that; but my deliverance will be permanent, and my righteous ones will never have to worry. 7 Listen to me, you who are aware of that righteousness, you people who have my instruction in your heart; don’t be afraid of those human critics, and don’t worry about their disrespectful words. 8 Because a moth will devour them like clothing; a worm will devour them like wool, but my righteous ones will be permanent, and my deliverance will last through all generations. 9 Wake up! wake up; get strong, arm of Yahveh! wake up like you did in the old days, those generations a long time back! Are you not the same one who cut Rahab in pieces, the one who pierced the sea-dragon? 10 Are you not the one who dried up a sea, huge deep waters, the one who turned the deep sea into a road for those you rescued to cross over? 11 In the same way, the Yahveh’s rescued ones will return, and they will come to Zion with singing, and with permanent joy resting on top of them. Joy and gladness will reach them, and sorrow and depression will run away!
the really permanent things
Isaiah’s countrymen thought there were three things that were permanent: skies above, the ground below, and the disrespect of the nations around them. But he told them to look again. The skies will not last. The ground will wear out, and those powerful nations will some day have to take back their criticism. Because God is going to rescue his people, once again – the way he rescued them from Egypt. One day the rescued will return to Zion singing and with their joy restored – permanently.
Isaiah’s challenge is for us as well. The Lord wants us to take another look at all the things we think are permanent in this age. The really permanent things are God’s word and his will. Some day everyone will know that. But you and I are challenged to live it today.
LORD, we wait for your permanent rescue, and we refuse to believe in all these temporary things. We choose to trust you and your word.