Behold! Brand New

Behold! Brand New

Behold! Brand New.

There are some individual words and short phrases in Scripture that need to be highlighted as they are read, words or phrases that are significant or point to something meaningful. Some phrases might be: Fear not. Here I am. Woe to you. One another.   And maybe some words are: AmenHallelujahBlessedAbba. Come.  The word Behold! is one of those significant words, an exclamation that is intended to get our attention. Listen, people, this is something you need to hear! Behold says to the audience, Look at this and take note! You would be wise to remember these words and think about them! Careful now, don’t be deaf to what I am about to say! Stop what you’re doing and listen up! As the Eastern Orthodox Christians say before they read the Gospel in the Liturgy… Attend! The following verse begins with Behold! So the words that follow must be important.

Behold! I am about to do something new! I have already begun, and you shall suddenly perceive it. Will you not be aware of it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. Even now it shall come to pass. It is bursting forth, a road through the desert, a river through the waste land.” (Isaiah 43:19).

This prophecy of Isaiah is like a three-stage rocket booming through the atmosphere. His words can be applied to the immediate, the distant, and the far distant. This prophecy is fulfilled soon, then within 700 years, and then after a few thousand years. Of course, God is outside of time, where the blinking of the eye is the same as a thousand years. So a three-stage prophecy traveling through time is nothing to Him. The first stage of the prophecy is intended to be an immediate source of comfort and encouragement to those in Babylonian exile. Things look bleak there in Babylon, the Jews have lost their homeland, their freedom, and their center of worship where they could meet with their God. This first fulfillment of the prophecy is a promise of restoration to the people of Judah. This first “new thing” is God’s deliverance of the Jews to their beloved homeland, and it looks forward to Judah’s return from Babylon. Behold, says the Lord. You who are in exile will be newly restored, and you will be free to worship me once again in your promised land. I will make a way for you to return home, says the Lord, and your new life will be fruitful. You will enjoy the fountain of life as this river will make all things fresh and green once again.

The second stage of the prophecy is clearly messianic. The “new thing” will be a Redeemer that will emerge in Jerusalem. This Savior will be a Suffering Servant who will redeem the people from their sins, a Messiah who will live, die, and rise again for the forgiveness of sins. This New Thing will result in a fresh new movement of the Holy Spirit. This Messiah will replace the obsolete Law of Moses with the new Covenant of the Messiah between God and man. This new Law of the Lord will fulfill the old Law of Moses, resulting in a heart of transformed flesh instead of a heart made of stone. Old believers will become new creatures, with a new righteousness and a new way of life in the Lord. This Messiah will change everything in newness of life.

The third stage of the prophecy is in the far distant future at the End of Days. God will do a “new thing” in every way conceivable. The Redeemer will usher in a new kingdom of God, a new heaven and a new earth. Believers will dwell with the Redeemer and His Father and His Spirit in a new creation. As was declared by He who is seated on the throne at the end of time, “Behold! I will make all things new! Consider this… I am making everything to be new and fresh. In fact, I will be making the whole of creation new!” (Rev. 21:4-5). In all three stages of Isaiah’s prophecy, God is declaring that He will make a way to newness that will change everything. The God of newness is declaring, ” The old conditions and the former order of things have passed away. Behold! I am making something new! Do you perceive it?