A Glorious Feast
“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’”
- Isaiah 25:6-9
The prophet Isaiah originally wrote to the nation of Israel who had been dispersed after the Babylonian conquest. They were exiles of their land, longing for the day when God would restore his people. As God had always known his people, he knew them and saw them in their time of exile. He knew the desires of their hearts; he saw their pain and their longing. The Lord spoke through Isaiah of a new day. On this new day, the Lord would prepare the greatest feast for his people. They would gather on Mt. Sinai for this time of extravagance and grace.
For this glorious future feast, the Lord would pull out his best wine, wine that had been in the cellar for just this occasion. Along with the perfectly aged wine, there would be rich food prepared by hands of love. There would be celebration, joy, fulfillment, and abundance. The exiles could look to this eschatological day with hope and eager expectation. On this eschatological day, the Lord would enlarge his feast. It would be a time when the nations would be invited to dine with the Lord and enjoy his goodness.
Beyond a great meal, fabulous wine, and new friends, the Lord speaks of the great enemy of all mankind being swallowed up – death itself. God would not only swallow death but comfort his people who had lost those whom they loved. The Lord himself would wipe the tears from their faces. He would comfort and restore.
The Lord longed for his people to thrive, to live in perfect relationship with him, and to enjoy his glory and promises. Sin continually broke people from this perfect fulfillment of the Lord. Thus, the Lord alludes to a day when his people will be truly free – free from death, sorrow, fear, and sin. What a glorious day that will be! The exiles would have longed to see that day just as we long to see that day.
These verses close with the clear reminder that we are to wait for the Lord and that salvation will come from him alone. We wait in hope; we wait in expectation; and we can wait with joy. God’s promises have never gone unfulfilled. He has always been faithful to his covenants. As we celebrate this Easter season, we look to this glorious future that has been promised and made available to us in Christ. Death is not the end. Grief will not last forever. Sin and the reproach of sin has been removed. Salvation has come through the cross of Christ! Reflection:
Do you look to this future day – the day when your tears will be wiped away by the very hand of God, the day when all reproach is gone and you are fully united to the Father?