A Double Promise
In perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1
Since she suffered with cancer several years ago, Ruth has been unable to eat, drink, or even swallow properly. She has also lost a lot of her physical strength, and numerous operations and treatments have left her a shadow of what she used to be.
Yet Ruth is still able to praise God; her faith remains strong, and her joy is infectious. She relies on God daily, and holds on to the hope that she will recover fully one day. She prays for healing and is confident that God will answer—sooner or later. What an awesome faith!
Ruth explained that what keeps her faith strong is the secure knowledge that God will not only fulfill His promises in His time, but will also sustain her until that happens. This was the same hope that God’s people had as they waited for Him to complete His plans (Isaiah 25:1), deliver them from their enemies (v. 2), wipe away their tears, remove their disgrace, and “swallow up death forever” (v. 8).
In the meantime, God gave His people refuge and shelter (v. 4) as they waited. He comforted them in their ordeals, gave them strength to endure, and gave them assurance that He was there with them.
This is the double promise we have—the hope of deliverance one day, plus the provision of His comfort, strength, and shelter throughout our lives.
Are the hopes we have for ourselves and others realistic? Isaiah and the people he loved were living under conditions of social violence, economic injustices, and a looming Assyrian invasion. Yet God gave him a confidence that enabled him to look beyond conditions of inequality, insecurity, and disgrace. For the weak, the troubled, and the dying, he wrote as if the plans and promises of God are something worth living, waiting, and even dying for (Isaiah 2:1–5; 66:20).