Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
This is a justly famous verse, memorialized in music numbers of times. It is an appreciation of the messengers, those who proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The message is central, but it occurs to me that the mention of mountains implies that the task isn’t necessarily easy. Walking mountains is hard work! That said, such a message is certainly worth the effort. Throughout the Bible there are passages indicating God seeks those who will do this work, and Jesus was careful to commission those who believed in Him to do exactly this. Matthew 28:8-10 is famous as “The Great Commission,” and Acts 1:8 tells us that the Holy Spirit is given to empower us for the task. The rewards sometimes aren’t immediate; Hebrews 11 talks about faithful saints who never saw with their physical eyes that for which they labored. (Hebrews 11:39) Even so, in a sense the task itself is the reward. What a privilege to proclaim such good news! It is heartbreaking when people refuse to receive it, but when someone does, the joy of gaining a brother or sister in Christ wipes out the sorrow. People aspire to all sorts of things, but there is no higher goal than to be one of those described in this verse.
Growing up in a missionary family and being a missionary myself, I couldn’t begin to count how many times I’ve heard this verse quoted, both in formal settings and informal. I don’t know that I’m worried about the appearance of my feet, but I do want this to be descriptive of me! Japan is notorious as a place where the Gospel is listened to politely, but seldom received. Frankly, that is emotionally taxing, but I can’t say I’m not used to it. However, God does provide appointments with those who are prepared to receive, and that makes it all worth it. Sometimes the “entry point” for the Gospel isn’t what we might expect. People need a “hook” to help them understand that it applies to them, that it’s something they need. Yesterday, after my class at the nursing school, the director came and talked with me. My relationship with my wife is very obvious, and is very impressive to those who recognize it. The director said she wanted to set up opportunities for me to share – and specifically with her own daughter! The things we are going through with my wife’s health issues aren’t pleasant, but how we respond to them is being used by God to open people’s hearts to the Good News that we have to share. I am not to push in my own strength, but I am to hold myself ready for whenever God opens doors, so that His Word may go forth to accomplish that for which He sends it, for His glory. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Father, thank You for this reminder, and for what happened yesterday. I pray that the director would not let the issue ride, but would follow through with what she was saying, so that I will be able to proclaim Your truth and many people’s eyes be opened. Thank You that Cathy is doing better. I pray that we would together be able to show people what You intend for marriage, so that the lies of the devil may be refuted and people be set free by Your truth, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!