Isaiah gives us the first picture of the gospel witness as he talks about the herald who will come to report to an exiled people that their rescuer has come to redeem them. This was to be the state of the people after Isaiah’s prophecies came about. Many would be carried off by the Babylonians and Jerusalem laid waste. But God would not leave them forever. A day would come for their redemption, as the suffering servant comes to restore them. This passage is what Paul quotes when explaining the importance of hearing the gospel of Jesus proclaimed.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns. The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem. (Isaiah 52:7-9)
On a different but related note, I was struck by verse 4 which says, “they will see his face…” no one in the Old Testament could see his face and live. But in the end, after the work of restoration is complete, this is no longer the case. Huge.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Dt 25, Ps 116, Is 52, Rev 22