July 08, 2006

Singing From the Ends of the Earth

Isaiah 24:14-16

From the ends of the earth we hear singing ... Isaiah 24:16


Some of the best songs I've heard are ones that I've overheard, like listening to my daughter sing to herself, unaware she had an audience. That's a sweet sound.

In the Leyte Mountains of the Philippines, along the edge of the rainforest, small sounds travel far. I remember winding my way toward a small hut that served as a church and hearing the distant, faint sound of singing that grew louder as I approached.

The scene in Isaiah, sadly, is a picture of a devastated earth defiled and consumed by the sins of humanity. If Isaiah were writing today, he might include media images of the devastation left by natural disasters, wars, pollution, powermongers, and suicide bombers.

But in the midst of all the sadness and horror, Isaiah hears singing from the ends of the earth. The singing doesn't fit the scene, but it's a happy song, a song of praise to the Righteous One.

The joyful hope we can bring to the world is the message that God reigns and will set all things right one day. In the midst of devastation and surrounded by the waste of our own lives, we can sing because we see a vision of the Lord Almighty reigning in glory. And perhaps one of the best ways to get the world to listen is not to turn up our volume but to let others overhear the sweet sounds of God's love through our lives.

Lord, no matter how things may seem, you are still in charge. You rule the nations of this world, and you rule our lives. Set all things right and help us to sing. Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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