Isaiah 24&25 read like the Apocalypse, foretelling the day of the Lord when He “strips the world bare” and purifies the land of the arrogant who reject Him. God brings judgement on human kings and those hidden spiritual powers which rebel against Him. Isaiah 25 contrasts the fate of the city of chaos and the city of God. The Lord will be a refuge for the poor and needy, while fierce and cruel tyrants (who are compared to blistering heat or a raging thunderstorm) will be subdued. In the new age, the Lord will provide for all people who seek Him. YHWH will dwell among us, defeating death and wiping away every tear. This judgement imagery lies behind Jesus’ parable today.
To refuse the wedding invitation was to shame the King. Killing the servants was an act of treachery. The parable is an illustration of the human response to Jesus. Our decision to respond has eternal repercussions.
Too often, we fill our lives with nonsense, allowing the temporal to overshadow the Eternal God. We cling to passing things and unknowingly embrace death—for in this world all is tainted by sin and death. Isaiah and Jesus provide the terrifying alternative to a faithful response.
Yet, the message is one of salvation and a promise of abundance—a mountain banquet of rich food and wine, a wedding banquet. We celebrate the mercy and love of God. This is what motivates Paul, who is locked in a prison awaiting death, to write the most uplifting letter in the New Testament. He cheers us on to a spirituality of praise. "Rejoice in the Lord always, again, I say, rejoice!" The Lord is near. Stop worrying...
The Christian mind is peaceful and joyful--it generates praise and thanks. It is the worldly mind which centers on fear, doubt, darkness and gloom. It is easy to be swept away by bad news. It is easy to forget that "the Lord is near." He comes to judge the powerful who reject Him. He comes to feed the poor and defeat death. He calls us to the banquet. So rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, rejoice.