The LORD says:
You are my people and nation!
So pay attention to me.
My teaching will cause justice
to shine like a light
for every nation.
Those who live across the sea
are eagerly waiting
for me to rescue them.
I am strong and ready;
soon I will come to save
and to rule all nations.
Look closely at the sky!
Stare at the earth.
The sky will vanish like smoke;
the earth will wear out
like clothes.
Everyone on this earth
will die like flies.
But my victory will last;
my saving power never ends. (Isaiah 51:4-6)

God offers a lifetime warranty like no other. The Earth wearing out like a garment is an image quoted by the author of Hebrews 1:11 as part of his exaltation of the Son of God, who unlike the angels, always was and always will be and who is the creator of the universe.

God’s salvation is not just for the people of Israel; instead, it is for all people everywhere and he told the Israelites that someday soon he would reach them all and rule over all the nations, not just over Israel. Israel had picked up the disease of their neighbors, the delusion that their God was small, ruling over just the lands that Israel called home. To be exiled from one’s homeland was not just to be removed from what you had known, it was also to be removed from the care—and reach—of your god.

But God told them again that he was more than they imagined: he ruled over not just Israel, but all nations and beyond that, the entire universe: look at the sky, he told them, look at the earth; in Hebrew thinking, to refer to heaven and earth in the same passage meant “everything that there is”; it was equivalent to our modern conception of “the universe.” The universe will end, but God will not. Everyone will die, but God will not. Therefore, God can be depended upon.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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