Focus: Isaiah 62:6-7, “I post watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they should keep praying all day and all night. You, who pray to the LORD, don’t be silent! Don’t allow him to rest until he reestablishes Jerusalem, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.”
The other day, I heard a sermon about fear. The message was that we should not worry and that we can use faith to overcome worry. We were encouraged to remind ourselves of God’s past faithfulness as a means of encouragement for overcoming today’s struggles. But I would argue that God’s bygone grace (past faithfulness) is not necessarily intended to be a motivator during crisis. Instead, I think scripture is clear that God’s past faithfulness is our foundation for trusting Him for His future promises. When we face crisis, our focus should be on God’s promises for the future.
In Isaiah 62, Isaiah is speaking to those returning to Judah from the Babylonian captivity. These people are returning back home for the first time, and their city is utterly destroyed. It must have been devastating to witness such loss. Relatives were dead; homes were demolished; and there was no real order to the land. Yet, Isaiah’s instruction was not for people to reflect back on God’s past blessings. His instruction was to pray for the reestablishment of Jerusalem until it is made the pride of the earth. The people of Israel were oriented toward the future promise of restoration.
There is nothing greater that we should pray for than the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The fullness of God’s promise to make Israel a great nation has not been reached. There is a heavenly city that has yet to be finished. It will be a place for God’s people to dwell where there will be no more sickness or dying. Evil and unrighteousness will be gone. This will be a kingdom ruled by Christ that will be the pride of the earth filled with the glory of God. This is the City we should pray for!
Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May those who love her prosper!” In Matthew 6:10, when Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray he said to pray “may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The great city of God filled with His glory is the hope of the Christian faith. It is what we live for; it is what we are destined for. So, when worry, fear, and crisis come, true faith is forward oriented towards the promise of God’s kingdom. Our faith is trusting God for all He is yet to do because of all that He has already done.