There is more to our stories than just the beginning of our lives. We all come from somewhere and from people that had stories into which we entered. Our predecessors also had stories about where they came from, and so on and so on. We need to understand this as it provides us a context into which we have found out where God has placed us. However, not all of us can trace our ancestry back very far because our lineage includes a destroyed history. We don’t look back to hearken back to a better time, but instead, we look back to remind ourselves that we are part of something bigger than just our lives. We look back to understand that God is the originator of the Earth, and from the Creation, God has sought to redeem our lives throughout history.
Isaiah teaches us that even though Judah’s people were in exile, they were not isolated from God’s mercy and salvation. It may not be easy to see in their humble circumstances, but God used them to bring salvation into the world. Just as God placed Esther as Queen to enact saving influence to the Hebrews, through Judah and Israel, God would bring mercy, justice, grace, and peace to a world full of darkness. As we look upon our history, we must focus upon what God has done in it, and doing through us now, and what God’s plan is for our future.
Isaiah 51:4-6 (NIV)
4“Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.
5My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.
6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.