In that day this song will be sung. (Isaiah 26:1)
That day is the day when…
The Lord of host will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow and refined aged wine. And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all the peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. And it will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:6-9)
We know there will be singing in that day, but what are we to sing on this one? What are we to sing if our hearts don’t feel like singing? How do we compose music in our hearts in the midst of trials, when we are lean on inspiration? Isaiah tells us:
The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace (shalom), because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
Even with my aversion to crowds, I desire to attend this banquet. Mountains, choice marrow and aged wine? Sweet! That death has been vanquished and my tears will be wiped away? I’m all in! That my disappointments will give way to rejoicing? Beautiful! But, the greatest desire in my heart is to see Jesus, face to face.
There is something that causes me to tremble though. It’s the RSVP’s. Many invitations have been sent out. But most RSVP’s are indicating regrets, due to previous engagements. I tremble at the thought that some, en route to the party, run out of oil and are not permitted to enter. I shudder, knowing that in some cases, those delivering the invitations are even being killed by the ones being invited!
But they paid no attention (to the invitation) and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them… For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:5-6, 14)
We have no responsibility as to the RSVP’s. Man has been given the power to choose. However, since we ourselves are the invitations, we must compose our song carefully. It is relatively easy to compose music when our circumstances are good. But what do we do when they are not? Here is a great mystery. When we respond to Jesus in faith, while suffering, our songs ring especially true. Ears turn our way.
If we will keep our minds and hearts steadfast by casting our cares upon Him, rejecting bitterness and resentment, our sorrows can be transformed into lyrics of longing like those we find in this passage …
Indeed, while following the way of Thy judgments, O Lord, we have waited for Thee eagerly; Thy name, even Thy memory, is the desire of our souls. At night my soul longs for Thee, indeed my spirit within me seeks Thee diligently; for when the earth experiences Thy judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26: 8-9)
When the lights are brought up in the banqueting hall, there will be a dawning. We shall comprehend the intentions of God’s judgements. We will see that Love drove them all. We shall grasp that redemptive potential had always been present in the affairs of man—especially the painful ones. How blessed are those who stay in the race! They will live by faith, persevering until they find themselves at a banquet hosted by the Lord Himself. They will be accompanied by many who received them as God’s valid invitations. But for others.: “Oh Lord, Thy hand was lifted up yet they did not see it.” (Isaiah 26:11)
Father, help us to hear the music within us. Help us to see and edit the influences of this world, our flesh and the devil. May we persevere until our lyrics are saturated with wholeness. May we hear the harmony in your children’s voices. Thank You that right now we can rejoice and be glad in our salvation. Amen.