The Land of Far Distances
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar. Isaiah 33:17
Amy Carmichael (1867–1951) is known for her work of rescuing orphaned girls in India and giving them a new life. In the midst of this exhausting work there were times she called “moments of vision.” In her book Gold by Moonlight, she wrote, “In the midst of a crowded day we are given almost a glimpse of ‘the land of far distances,’ and we stand still, arrested on the road.”
The prophet Isaiah spoke of a time when God’s rebellious people would turn back to Him. “Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar” (Isaiah 33:17). To view this “land of far distances” is to be lifted above the circumstances of the immediate present and to gain an eternal perspective. During difficult times, the Lord enables us to see our lives from His viewpoint and regain hope. “For the
Each day, we can choose to look down in discouragement or lift our eyes to “the land of far distances,” to the Lord who is “our Mighty One” (v. 21).
Amy Carmichael spent more than fifty years in India helping young women in great need. How did she do it? Each day she fixed her eyes on Jesus and placed her life in His care. And so can we.
In today’s reading (Isaiah 33), King Hezekiah mourns the Assyrian oppression of Judah. Yet the promise Isaiah the prophet gives is that those who trust in God can see past their present reality to a time of triumph in which the promised Messiah will be victorious over all enemies. Jerusalem is where God’s kingdom will be realized (Jeremiah 3:17; Revelation 21:1–2, 10).
Today we may not be oppressed by a foreign power, but each of us can think of someone who has treated us unjustly. It’s comforting to know that our ultimate destiny is a place of peace and joy.
In what ways does recognizing you have a future heavenly home give you grace to face the challenges of life?
For further study see OT Survey: Ecclesiastes–Isaiah at christianuniversity.org/OT224.