God promises through Isaiah to make everything new again. Isaiah speaks God’s words and signs them in the end. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.”
I was excited to see the topic heading “New Heavens and a New Earth” in Isaiah. I’ve actually mentioned this act of God several times while we have been reading Isaiah. But I am left scratching my head after actually reading our passage (several times!). I have consulted my bible helps and received no more clear direction/interpretation than I already had. I even asked my mom for her opinion. Her exact words were; “Hm. I don’t know.” So now I’m going to ask the One who spoke these words Himself to lead me where He wants me to go with this section today.
First thing I want to say is that God DOES NOT contradict Himself. If anything, I (we) simply don’t have all the pieces to FULLY understand everything in His word. I think that was a lot of Israel’s problem with the Messiah. They couldn’t see how He would both suffer and reign. To make it easier on themselves, they skipped over the first part and latched onto the second. I don’t know that I would have done anything different, had I been on the other side of the promise than where I am now. So, when God says He makes “new heavens and a new earth” in TWO different places AND what is described is different between them DOESN’T mean that one is wrong. Maybe He creates it “new” twice.
Thinking about what the world will look like at the end of the tribulation period, I wouldn’t be surprised if He didn’t have to do a LOT of work on it to make it the beautiful place His Son is to rule from for 1,000 years. During the judgments of God during the tribulation MUCH will be destroyed. A third of the stars will fall, extreme changes in the sun will take place, much of the plant life on earth will be destroyed, sea life will be destroyed, rivers will be turned to blood, and a severe earth quake will split mountains in two. These are just a few of the judgments that will directly impact the earth. This isn’t even counting the judgments that affect the people themselves. The earth will need a SERIOUS overhaul by the end.
I can easily see the righteous living 100 years during the time of Jesus’ reign on earth. I can also see that there would still be sin as there needs to be someone to fill out the ranks when Satan is released again. Revelation 20:8a says “their number is like the sand of the sea.” I can also see people dying as God’s judgment has not yet been rendered and life on earth will continue as before.
In Jerusalem it will be different than anywhere else on earth. THIS will be where Jesus is ruling from. I believe this is what Isaiah is describing for us here. It will be a place like no other! A place without pain, without disease, without warfare, and without oppression. A place of abounding joy, fullness of days, and the presence of the Jesus. Also a place where we will still have tasks to do. We will work. We will build houses, plant and harvest, and raise families. Imagine, being BORN into the presence of Jesus!!! What better start in life could you possibly give your child?!
I have a feeling that the animals won’t be docile throughout the whole earth. I believe the lion and wolf who are eating straw will do so in the presence of Jesus. His presence alone will bring peace to all that surrounds Him.
As for the new heavens and new earth in Revelation 21, they are created after God’s final judgment. When the Great White Throne appears, earth and heaven flee away. “From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them” (Revelation 20:11b). NEXT comes a completely new heaven and earth. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more” (Revelation 21:1). This is where the new Jerusalem that is exquisite in its construction will rest after it descends from Heaven. In this new place there will be NO death, pain, disease, or sin. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
This is not the new heaven and earth Isaiah spoke of; or at least I don’t think it is. BOTH will be wonderful because they will be where the Lord is and that’s good enough for me! I don’t know if I will be inhabiting the one Isaiah spoke of. If I’m taken in the rapture, maybe I will. But if I die here on earth, I probably won’t as I will have already had my time on earth and will not suffer death again. The first will be for those who are still living when Jesus steps down on earth once again. They will not have tasted death yet. I would expect those who came to Him during the tribulation to be the first inhabitants of that city!
Father God, there is SO MUCH I don’t know in Your word. Places where I simply have to trust You. YOU know the meaning and depth of EVERY word written here. I want to understand it all but I know that I won’t. Probably can’t, no matter how hard I try. Some things are hidden for a reason. I trust You to show me what I need to know, when I need it.
Thank You for helping me put a little sense to what You spoke through Isaiah today. I don’t know with absolute certainty that this is correct, but it feels right in my spirit. I trust Your Spirit to lead me during out time and believe that He did today. I KNOW I can’t walk this road through Your word without YOUR guidance. Don’t let me become an author of confusion for others along the way. Let me speak YOUR truth, to the best of my ability AND with Your leading. I’m looking forward to living in either or both of these new places because YOU will be there!