November 1, 2017 • Life for Leaders
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
The middle section of Isaiah 52 celebrates the coming of God’s salvation to the whole world. Verse 7, using the idiom of “beautiful feet,” rejoices in the “good news” of peace and salvation.
What explains this extraordinary turn of events? How have things been made right in Israel and, indeed, throughout the world? These questions are answered by the core of the good news announced to Israel: “Your God reigns” (52:7). It isn’t just that God is mending the broken world and restoring his broken people. Rather, this act of global healing comes as a result of God’s royal presence and power. When he reigns, and only when he reigns, all things are made right.
Remember that the “peace” associated with God’s reign includes but is much more than merely the absence of conflict. Nor is it merely or mainly a feeling of inner well-being. Rather, the peace that comes when God reigns—shalom in Hebrew—includes making all relationships right, those in the private sphere and those in public. God’s peace includes God’s justice, as we’re reminded in Isaiah 9:7, which foretells the birth of the child who will be called Prince of Peace: “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
Jesus reiterated the good news of Isaiah 52, with its promise of God’s reign, but with a stunning twist. Jesus’s message, in a nutshell, was this: “The time has come… The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). In Jesus, God has come to reign on the earth. Though the fullness of the kingdom is still to come, when we put our faith in Jesus, we begin even now to experience the peace, justice, and power of God’s reign. The good news we embrace as Christians is not only that we get to “go to Heaven” after we die, but also that we can begin to experience Heaven now.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
How have you experienced God’s reign in your life?
Where do you resist living under God’s authority?
In what ways do you live under God’s reign in the context of your work?
In what ways do you need to experience God’s power today?
Gracious God, how wonderful indeed is the good news of your reign. That which was promised in Isaiah has begun in Jesus. You have come to earth to mend this broken world. You have come to bring peace saturated by justice and mercy. All praise be to you, Mighty King and Gracious Savior, for the salvation you bring.
O Lord, may we live this day under your reign, intentionally and joyfully. May we attend to the guidance of your Spirit. May we be used to extend your kingdom wherever we are. Fill us afresh with your power, so that we might share the reality of your kingdom in word and deed.
All praise be to you, our King, for you reign, indeed! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: The Serving Son of Man
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.