Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.Isaiah 65:24
My friends Robert and Colleen have experienced a healthy marriage for decades, and I love watching them interact. One will pass the butter to the other at dinner before being asked for it. The other will refill a glass at the perfect moment. When they tell stories, they finish each other’s sentences. Sometimes it seems they can read each other’s mind.
It’s comforting that God knows and cares for us even more than any person we know and love. When the prophet Isaiah describes the relationship between God and His people in the coming kingdom, he describes a tender, intimate relationship. God says about His people, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
But how can this be true? There are things I’ve prayed about for years without receiving a response. I believe that as we grow in intimacy with God, aligning our hearts with His, we can learn to trust in His timing and care. We can begin to desire what God desires. When we pray, we ask for—among other things—the things that are part of God’s kingdom as described in Isaiah 65: An end to sorrow (v. 19). Safe homes and full bellies and meaningful work for all people (vv. 21–23). Peace in the natural world (v. 25). When God’s kingdom comes in its fullness, God will answer these prayers completely.
Isaiah 65:17-25 New International Version New Heavens and a New Earth 17 “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. 19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.
20 “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred will be considered accursed. 21 They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. 24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.
How might you participate in bringing God’s kingdom to earth?
What will you ask God for today?
Although written to ancient Israel, Isaiah’s words anticipate a time we still await. The prophet writes, “The sound of weeping and crying will be heard in [the new Jerusalem] no more” (65:19). This matches well with John’s vision in Revelation 21, where John writes, “I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ ” (v. 1). In this future existence there “ ‘will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain” (v. 4).
God, thank You for always hearing my prayers. I trust that You love me and are working all things together for good for those whom You’ve called. Please transform my desires so that I want what You want. In Jesus Holy name, I pray. Amen.