When a tornado hit Joplin Missouri in 2011, 167 people died, 7,000 lost their homes. The damage totaled $3 billion. President Obama and local leaders showed up to empathize, and to offer help and hope to rebuild lives. In the midst of despair, people need hope. It is why God gave ancient Israel a message of hope in their despair. In Isaiah Ch. 60, the prophet encourages returning exiles. They were poverty-stricken, politically helpless, and dominated by the powerful Medo-Persian Empire. The people came home to see destruction everywhere, to face hard labor, and the contempt from their neighbors. They needed inspiration badly. God gave Isaiah this hopeful message for them. “I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. Violence will disappear from your land; desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the LORD will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end…. At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen.” God resettled the people in their land back then. Even though He has not yet totally fulfilled this promise of future glory, He will do so, just as He keeps every promise He makes to us.
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