Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
In the two verses preceding today’s passage Isaiah used these words to describe the most important event in Israel’s history, “This is what the LORD says-who makes a way in the sea and a path through raging water, who brings out the chariot and horse, the army and the mighty one together (they lie down, they do not rise again; they are extinguished, put out like a wick)” (Isaiah 43:16-17 CSB).
The events that Isaiah so poetically described was the exodus, which he then describes in todays passage as the past, and “the former things”. But God then turns the attention of the hearers to something new, a new exodus. Because this time God will not create “a way in the sea” (v. 16), but a way in the wilderness. This future deliverance is pictured as a reversal of nature, with “streams in the wasteland”. Which is exactly what God can do for you as you start this New Year. God wants you to put aside the things that you have done in the past, and instead put your focus on the new things that God can and will do in your life if you only trust in him. Remember these words from the writer of the book of Hebrews as we begin this New Year, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Today’s Bible reading:
Genesis 1-2; Matthew 1:1-2:12; Psalm 1; Proverbs 1:1-6