‘You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.’ – Isaiah 55 v12From Toni Clark:
I love this verse. It reminds me of a song we used to sing at the church I grew up in. I remember singing it once and a little girl who was next to me turned to me whilst we were singing, and looking very serious she said “But trees don’t have hands…..” and rolled her eyes in exasperation – it still makes me smile when I think about it now.
This verse is a vision of the triumph of God’s grace, when the effects of sin and the fall are rectified and creation itself breaks into song in celebration.
I don’t know why but this verse always reminds me of springtime, as the world awakes from its winter slumber and there is a burst of new life as flowers blossom and the trees start to come into leaf. I imagine the rustling of the leaves in the wind is almost like clapping. We may not live in mountains and hills but it is wonderful to hear lots of birds singing after the quiet winter months – although round here the squeak of the parakeets is not the most tuneful sound!
This Spring, as we begin to come out of lockdown hopefully for the last time (as I write this we are still on track to be able to meet outside……) do you have a sense of joy and peace? I know for some there are still worries and fears about the virus, and becoming ill. For others, there is real joy at the prospect of being able to meet up with friends and family – albeit outside and still no hugging.
In the meantime, as we wait, we can look around this Spring and take joy from the wonder of God’s creation bursting into life once more. If you are feeling worried, let God’s peace be with you as you venture out, knowing you are not alone, and let that knowledge give you joy.
However you are feeling, I think this verse is a great encouragement. We can feel joy and peace because we know that wherever we are, God is with us, we are not alone. As Christians we have the sure and certain hope of eternal life because of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, and that should make us want to burst into song in celebration – just not in church yet!