Last night, I read through God's glorious promises for Israel's future as recorded in Isaiah 60. So many beautiful things await them; a true restoration for Abraham's descendants will one day occur. And then, at the very end of the chapter, God says this:
I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.
Check that out:
1.) I am the LORD: The promise is based on the character and nature of the one making it, Yahweh. It matters who is promising. (I might note here that this is the name God uses of Himself when He wants to point out his covenant-keeping nature. This particular name of God is used here intentionally, to reinforce this fact.)
2.) In its time: Never late, but never early either, God fulfills every word He has promised...at the appropriate moment. This reminds me of a New Testament reference to the coming of the Messiah: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5, KJV)
3.) I will do this swiftly: I love how God juxtaposes the ideas of patience and speed; in its time:swiftly. Israel is waiting for God's complete restoration, but when the waiting is done, it will happen quickly!
I love remembering the future God has for Israel, because it leads me to understand the future God has for me. When Israel rejected her Messiah, she may not have understood, but she rejected the offer of the kingdom at the same time. But no matter her past sins, the promises God made to her before then will be fulfilled--because the promises were not based on Israel, but on God.
This gives me hope. God's promises to me are not based on me, but on Him. So even when I sin, or choose self over Him, I am not left bereft. I am still heir to His promises. The seal of the Holy Spirit assures me of this (cf Ephesians 1:13-14)!** My sin doesn't set me outside of God's plan, because the promises were made based on HIM!
So many things in life seem like they are pending. But when God gets to fulfilling His promises, there will be no delay. In its time, swiftly. 'Cause that's just the kind of God I serve.
**Don't hear what I'm not saying: I am not saying that it doesn't matter what I do or that our behavior doesn't affect our future. Our behavior, choices, sin, and righteous acts do matter, both for rewards and for His glory, and this would make a great discussion for another time.