by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
The Prince of Peace, the Son of David, was announced by Isaiah. The story of his coming was proclaimed by the evangelists, each with a different emphasis. Jesus made God's kingship real in this world. Today, the kingdom is here—and it is coming.
'"All mankind will come and bow down before me ... and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me" (Isa. 66:23–24).
We wish that the book of Isaiah would have ended with the picture of the new world and the new Jerusalem, where all nations worship God forever and ever. But our last glance is at the fire rather than the feast.
The word-picture Isaiah uses to describe the future is filled with familiar objects. All people come to the temple in Jerusalem where they worship the true God. That worship is everlasting: from new moon to new moon, from Sabbath to Sabbath. But when they "go out" of Jerusalem, they see the offal burning in the valley of Ben Hinnom (Jer. 7:31, etc.). That fire, too, lasts forever. "Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48).
Nobody may take the picture of prophecy and draw a map of the future world. We don't know much about heaven, and we know even less about hell. Here we speak carefully, lest we dishonor God. But nobody has the right to deny that next to the feast there will be a fire.
The comforting book of Isaiah contains the sounds of angels over Bethlehem and the sights of the new world. But it ends with a sob for those who rebel against the holy God.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version