Sprinkled throughout Isaiah are beautiful passages of hope. One of these is Isaiah 25:8 which says, "...he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people's disgrace from all the earth." What a wonderful reminder of the ultimate hope that awaits us at Christ's return.
As we read through Isaiah and the prophets it is important for us to consider what the various prophecies are referring to. Sometimes the prophets refer to promises which God fulfilled in the days of the prophet , some were fulfilled at Christ's first coming, and others await his second. It is important that we understand what applies to when, otherwise we may incorrectly understand what God is doing.
One example of this is described in 2 Timothy 2 when a group of false teachers proclaimed that the general resurrection had already happened. They seemed to think that Isaiah 25:8 or something similar had already been fulfilled. Imagine their panic that somehow they had missed the resurrection!
If we understand this prophecy accurately then we know that death still awaits us unless Christ returns first. Death has not been swallowed up forever (yet) and all tears have not been wiped away (yet), but we can rest on the ultimate hope that Jesus is victorious over death, the grave, tears, and disgrace. What great assurance that should bring to our lives today!
Question of the day: What are helpful tools to use when you don't understand a passage of Scripture?
Father God, thank you that your Son is victorious over the grave. Thank you that in him I have eternal life. Thank you that I don't have to fear death but can have confidence that eternity with you awaits me.