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Isaiah describes how the Lord will return to Earth, with the Earth testifying in great intensity as it moves and shifts to unfold itself from its divided state (verse 1). The valleys of the ocean will rise, and the mountains of the land will level out, and we will have one continent again. The whole Earth will testify of the Savior as this happens (verse 2), even the mountains “flowing down” at His presence – the very Earth bowing before Him (verse 3).
Isaiah then says that we cannot even begin to imagine the amazing things the Lord has planned for those who remain righteous (verse 4) through the end (verse 5).
However, we know that we have all sinned, and that “our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (verse 6). We know that we are slow to call on Him in repentance, much less for help, and so He has every right to give up on us and abandon us (verse 7). Yet He is our Father, and does not abandon us or leave us or quit on us – no matter how awful we are, or how bad our choices are, or how long it takes for us to repent and come home (verse 8). He is the Father of the Prodigal, already with a plan of atonement, waiting for us “a long way off” (Luke 15). Because of this great love, and by His grace, we can plead the atonement and gain permission to return home, to enter His presence, to be His children again (verse 9). What was ruins (literally or spiritually) is reclaimed and renewed and restored (verse 10).
But not until the people turn to Him, and for now Isaiah knows the people are choosing destruction (verse 11).
And so as their Prophet, He does ask the Lord about how long they will struggle and if they will ever truly have peace (verse 12). This is the role of Prophets, and a pattern of their work. Revelation comes in response to what is pondered and considered, and answers come in response to questions asked. The next chapter will hold Isaiah’s answers.