Sexagesima – Isaiah 55:10-13

Click here for the reading: Isaiah 55:10-13.

Creation tells out the Creator’s might. The rain and snow come down from the Creator’s hand, who has promised not to send so much at once that life on earth is extinguished. The rain and the snow come down by measure, and in their sending they make the earth fruitful and gladden the heart of man with what the earth yields. The sower and the eater are both provisioned by what comes down from above.

Thus the word comes down heaven from as the rain and the snow do. What is familiar in creation will be gloriously unfamiliar in new creation. A people stranded in exile will have the word from heaven preached to them, and the word will prove true. The nagging doubt of fruitlessness – that all this would come to naught like a field sown but not harvested – is dispelled through the promise that the word of God will accomplish His purpose and will prove fruitful at last.

Creation then becomes more than a way to grasp what the word of God does. Creation itself must turn in joy to praising the God who does these wonderful things with His word. The people of God will have joy and peace, and in their peaceful rejoicing the mighty things of creation – the mountains and the everlasting hills – begin to sing. The trees that are mightier and older than any man will clap their hands as all creation becomes a temple where the servants of God praise the God whose word is so mighty.

This word and this rejoicing will change creation itself from a bearer of evil and sadness – a place for thorns and for briers – to a place of quiet joys and peaceful shade – a place for the cypress and for the myrtle. What was inhospitable and dangerous will become garden-like and homey. Everything will be changed at His word.

This will be His everlasting fame – that He has made from the thorn a cypress and from the brier a myrtle. He has changed a fallen creation into a new creation that sings His praise and shelters His people. The word’s effect on creation is far greater than the rain and the snow, which water for a time and are good for a season. The word will work such changes in all creation that it will become an “everlasting sign” of His goodness and His wonders. Through the sign of Jonah – the sign of the Son of Man three days in the belly of the earth and then raised – the Lord will work a change in the earth – from death to life, from thorn to cypress – that will never be cut off, never change with the seasons, that will be forever fruitful.