I have to dwell on this verse today from Isaiah 52, because it holds great sentimental value to me. When my late husband and I prepared to leave for overseas service, my father and mother read this verse to us as they planted a small dogwood tree in their backyard.
For the next twenty years, we watched that dogwood grow from a small scrap of a tree into a full-grown beauty. We measured our years away by the growth of that tree. This is the verse they read:
In the midst of the darkness of pending exile, there was a message to which they could hold—the message of the coming Savior, the Servant-King. No matter what lay ahead, in terms of trials and trouble, they had good news to share.
Those who overcame their circumstances to proclaim the message were said to have beautiful feet. Do you find that odd? That’s not surprising, but it does have a history. In the story of King David, as he was awaiting news from the battlefield, a runner would be sent to carry the news to the leader. To be a swift runner would indicate a clear victory, good news. Therefore, those who have beautiful feet on the mountains are those who are eager to bring the good news of the Savior to a lost and dying world.
I’m not sure how beautiful our feet were, but Raouf and I were definitely eager to move overseas and share the good news of Jesus with the nations. That message, as the Lord says through Isaiah, is one of peace, good tidings, salvation, and the declaration that God reigns overall.
I can give testimony to how this message affects those who are struggling and lost in their hopeless estate. There is a distinct change in a person’s face and even body language when the peace of Christ moves into their heart and mind. Peace beyond all understanding is indescribably life changing.
The message of Christ is also good because it’s the message of salvation. There is nothing as good as knowing death no longer has a hold on you and sin has been defeated for eternity. So, so good is the salvation of the Lord. “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” the psalmist says (Psalm 34:8).
In a land where enemy kings were invading and occupying, in lands today where the good of citizens is an afterthought of most in power, the messenger brings the news that God reigns! The Lord who reigns over all is not like the rulers of this age:
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us…The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.(Psalm 103:9-12, 19)
No wonder the runner runs as fast as possible to share such news, such wonderful news with the hurting and dying. It’s great news, and time is of the essence to share it.
Who around you today needs this message of good news? Run, run swiftly, and share it with them before it’s too late. Today may be their day of salvation.
Grace and Peace