“Although you have been forsaken and hated,
with no one traveling through,
I will make you the everlasting pride
and the joy of all generations.
You will drink the milk of nations
and be nursed at royal breasts.
Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior,
your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
Instead of bronze I will bring you gold,
and silver in place of iron.
Instead of wood I will bring you bronze,
and iron in place of stones.
I will make peace your governor
and righteousness your ruler.
No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.
The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.
Then will all your people be righteous
and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
the work of my hands,
for the display of my splendor.
The least of you will become a thousand,
the smallest a mighty nation.
I am the LORD;
in its time I will do this swiftly.” (Isaiah 60:15-22)
God promised hope and change to those who needed it most desperately. The Israelites in foreign captivity in Assyria and Babylonia felt lost and abandoned. But God told them that what had failed them would become their hope: the city of Jerusalem, then scattered and broken, would rise against as a fortress of protection.
The Sun and the Moon—false gods that they had worshiped but which had failed them—would fade from their consciousness. God would take the place of the Sun and Moon, and unlike the false deities, he would never set; he would never fade to a crescent sliver. No cloud would cover him, no shifting phases, no dark nights ever again. God would always be there, a steady light of joy and hope free of sorrow, because their sin would be gone, replaced by everlasting righteousness.
Sin is inevitably sad. It’s sweet promise always turns to bitterest ashes in our mouths. God grants us his righteousness, banishing such sorrow forever.