Isaiah 55:3-7 Pay attention and come to Me;
listen, so that you will live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
the promises assured to David.
4 Since I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples,
5 so you will summon a nation you do not know,
and nations who do not know you will run to you.
For the Lord your God,
even the Holy One of Israel,
has glorified you.”
6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call to Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked one abandon his way
and the sinful one his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord,
so He may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for He will freely forgive. (HCSB)
Read this whole chapter of Isaiah this Christmas and let it fill you with joy and hope. I love the image of the trees clapping in celebration as mankind returns to God!
And why wouldn’t they clap?
Throughout this chapter, God reminds us that all good things in life come from his hand.
Anna knew this. Her many years of existence depended upon the provision of God.
Living in the temple, Anna had access to two sections only: the Women’s Court and the Court of the Gentiles. To walk between the two, Anna would go through the Beautiful Gate.
In the Court of the Gentiles, she would the traders, the money collectors and exchangers, and the animals available for sacrifice. It was a busy, and likely a very noisy place.
But Anna would also see the penitent and those seeking God who came from every country and every culture to worship at the temple in Jerusalem.
Nations who knew nothing of Anna’s heritage would run to her, listen to her and hear of the redemption promised. They would hear of the Messiah who would come, not for the Jews alone, but for all people.
(Most likely, these truths were conveyed in the trade Greek of the day.)
But whatever the language or the method they communicated in, as the Gentiles left Anna and returned home, I know they heard the mountains singing.
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas