Setbacks

 

Daily Reformation, Isaiah 25:6-9

From the Reformer

In that mountain. He says that this will be in mount Zion, from which also the light of the word shone on the whole world, as we have already seen. (Isaiah 2:3.) This passage, therefore, must unavoidably be referred to the kingdom of Christ; for the light did not shine on all men till Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, arose, (Mal 4:2,) who took away all the veils, wrappings, and coverings. And here we have another commendation of the gospel, that it dispels the darkness, and takes away from our eyes the covering of errors. Hence it follows, that we are wrapped up and blinded by the darkness of ignorance, before we are enlightened by the doctrine of the gospel, by which alone we can obtain light and life, and be fully restored. Here, too, we have a confirmation of the calling of the Gentiles, that is, of our calling; for not only the Jews, but all nations, which formerly were buried in every kind of errors and superstition, are invited to this banquet.

He hath destroyed death eternally. The Prophet continues his subject; for in general he promises that there will be perfect happiness under the reign of Christ, and, in order to express this the more fully, he employs various metaphors admirably adapted to the subject. That happiness is real, and not temporary or fading, which not even death can take away; for amidst the highest prosperity our joy is not a little diminished by the consideration that it will not always last. He therefore connects two things, which render happiness full and complete. The first is, that the life is perpetual; for to those who in other respects are happy for a time, it is a wretched thing to die. The second is, that this life is accompanied by joy; for otherwise it may be thought that death would be preferable to a sorrowful and afflicted life. He next adds that, when all disgrace has been removed, this life will be glorious; for otherwise less confidence would have been placed in the prophecy, in consequence of the wretched oppression of the people.

—John Calvin, Commentary on Isaiah

Pulling It Together

On Mount Calvary, God has made for all peoples a great and living feast. Come and dine on the Bread of Life, the Living Water, and the wine of the Lamb. He has destroyed in that mountainside tomb the surface of its covering that barred all peoples, and the veil that kept out all nations. He has swallowed up death forever! The Lord would wipe away the tears from your eyes and off the faces of history. He takes away the disgrace of his creation throughout all the earth, for Yahweh has made it so by his own decree. “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess,” Behold, this is our God! He alone can save us! This is Yahweh! We have waited for him.

There will be what seem to be setbacks in our joy but we are to live in his joy even in such moments. For he is the greater joy. We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation!

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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