How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their eyes the see the Lord returning to Jerusalem. Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God. (NLT)
Ok. This is day two of reflections for Advent. When I was in Kuwait, I picked up a hand out from the chapel that has different verses everyday to read for Advent. Sadly, this is the first Advent that I have taken it from the back of my Bible to glean from it some good stuff to reflect on as I prepare for Christmas. There are two things that jumped out at me about this passage. First, is the portion about the watchmen. After the building of the Tabernacle and later the temple, the Spirit of God resided in the holy of holies. He was an ever-present part of his temple. When his people rejected him to follow after pagan gods, the Spirit of God removed himself from the temple. Through the destruction of the temple and the exile the people realized that they had been abandoned by God for their sins. When they returned they prayed that God would return to Jerusalem. Little did they know that God had already planned that very return. They never realized that this return would be in physical form as opposed to a spiritual presence. God would intend return to Jerusalem. In the form of a little child born in Bethlehem.
Secondly, he talks about the ruins of Jerusalem breaking into joyful song. This reminds me of Palm Sunday and the triumphal entry. Jesus said that if he were to silence the people, that even the rocks would cry out. What an amazing picture. The ruins of the city of Jerusalem recognized their creator and redeemer, even if the people did not. That is just awesome. Even if we never recognize and worship God for all that he is, all of creation will worship in our place.
Ok. I said two, but I have one last thing that just jumped out to me. He also says that all of the earth will see the victory of our God. This speaks to the promise that God had made to Abraham. He promised that all of the families of the earth would be blessed through Abraham. The victory of God is the extension of salvation through his Son to all the people of the earth. It is amazing that we have a God that is forever faithful to the promises he makes. He knew when he promised Abraham, that he would send a Son, and that Son would provide a way to bring victory over sin and death to all the people of the earth.