Isaiah 60:22, “I am the Lord. In its time, I will hasten it.” Now, that verse is only rightly understood when you realize all that’s come before it, and 21 verses before that, because basically, what God, through Isaiah, gives his people is prophecy, a picture of their restoration. After exile, after experiencing the consequences of sin, he’s saying, “I’m going to bring you back to your land. You’re going to dwell in peace,” but it’s a picture not just of what was going to happen in Old Testament history. It broadens to a picture of what God is going to do in ultimate history, when he brings his people to himself for among all the nations to worship, and there’s peace and righteousness that reigns on the Earth. This is talking, ultimately, about a new Heaven and a new Earth, where God will dwell with his people in perfect harmony.
In light of the devastation of sin, our hope is that the Lord will bring about His salvation.
So verse 22, at the end, says, “I am the Lord. In its time, I will hasten it.” In other words, he’s saying to his people, in the middle of the consequences and effects of sin all around them, he’s saying, “Trust in me. I’m going to bring about an end to all this. I’m going to restore you to myself. There’s going to be a day when sin and all of its effects will be no more. So trust in me. I am the Lord. In its time, when it is time, I will hasten it.”
And this is a good word for us, centuries after God spoke this through Isaiah, in a world right now where we’re surrounded, today, by sin and all of its effects, in so many ways in our lives, in the world around us, that we see it, that we hate the effects of sin. I just think about specific things going on around me right now, that I see in my life, other people’s lives, and the world as I look at headlines, just to hate sin. I hate its effects. And God in his word says, “I am the Lord, and there’s coming a day when I will hasten it. I will hasten the end of this, so trust in me.”
So God, we look to you as we see the effects of sin in our marriages, in our homes, in our kids. We see this in church, and in so many different ways we see this in physical struggles with cancer and disease. We see this with death. We see this with horrible things that happen to people. We see these stories in our lives around us and then all around the world, as we see massive suffering in places like Yemen, or among the Rohingya.
God, we pray in a Revelation 22 kind of way. Come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly, we pray. Hasten it. You say you will hasten the day when it’s time, when sin and suffering will be no more. Oh God, may it be so. We long for that day. We just pause in the middle of this day and say we long for that day, and we pray that you would help us to hold onto hope in you. Help us to trust in you. Help us to hate sin all the more every day until that day.
Help us to call people away from sin to the salvation that’s found in you, that they might experience that restoration with you on that day. So even as we pray, come Lord Jesus. Come quickly, we pray today. As long as you haven’t come back, as long as we’re not in a new Heaven and new Earth, then use our lives today to prepare people for that day. Use our lives today to proclaim the good news of your grace so that other people might know it today, so that other people might have this hope, that you are the Lord, and you hasten the day when sin, and suffering, and death will be no more. So, we pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.