Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Isaiah 32:14-20 describes a progression which leads from desolation to comfort and prosperity. The place which was a home to royalty (v. 14) is forsaken and becomes a desolation. It's where wild animals roam and people might raise flocks. The city is overcome with grass, becoming a pasture. This is the fall of a society.
What hope is there? Do we force society to return to a longed for golden age? Actually, we can't manage that, no matter what the current crop of classical educators says. It isn't within our ability. This is something that only happens by the work of the Holy Spirit.
That's exactly what does happen in Isaiah's description, starting in verse 15. The Holy Spirit comes and the land becomes no more barren. It is fruitful. Yet the fruitful cropland doesn't remain in the same condition it was found. It becomes a forest, which is where Isaiah 32 pictures God's justice dwelling.
A forest, then, at least in this passage, is a place of safety, of provision, a place from where all manner of resources can be derived. The peace, justice, and righteousness that dwells in this forest is a haven for God's people.
Eventually, when the forest falls down, what is left? The people who have been nurtured in God's peace, justice, and righteousness still have a place of safety and peace.
God puts his people in a place of hope. There's nothing that we will lack, at least as it regards eternity. We have all the forgiveness, life, and salvation we could ever need through trust in Jesus. We have been restored to fellowship with God. He is able to keep us in that place of peace and hope.
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