“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.
The prophet Isaiah’s words are spoken to the people of Israel. As it is well known, Israel habitually disobeyed God and ignored their status as God’s children. They chased ephemeral things that were beneath them, but they chased nonetheless.
This disobedience broke Yahweh’s heart. Despite His broken heart, He desired to bring His people back to Himself. In this there were times of difficulty and punishment for the Israelites. No doubt some Israelites began to define themselves not as God’s children, but as punished ones – transgressors of God’s law. No future, only pain.
Isaiah prophesies to Israel that God will not remember their past and that they should not dwell on their past. God is doing a new thing in Israel! He is renewing his people – making a way in the wilderness and creating streams in a place where this once was impossible. A new day is dawning for God’s people.
In the same way, as God’s people today, we are encouraged that God is doing a new thing in our life. We are to not dwell on the past, regardless of how rebellious we have been. Only God can do a new thing – count on Him to do a new thing during this Lenten season!