On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 25:6-8)
- “This mountain” is Mount Zion. Why “this mountain?”
- The Lord will prepare a banquet, destroy the shroud, swallow up death forever, wipe away tears, remove disgrace
- Repetition of “all:” all peoples (X2), all nations, all faces, all the earth
- God is called “Lord Almighty” and ‘Sovereign Lord”
We (Christians) often think of the Old Testament and New as distinct, as revealing one God and then another. So much so I understand some early Christians rejected the Old Testament and saw the New Testament and Jesus as superseding the Old Testament and Yahweh.
But this passage sounds so much like the New Testament – for example, John’s vision in the last part of Revelation of a New Heaven and a New Earth. A great banquet for all, the death of death, the comforting and caring of God.
As an adult I experienced my dad very differently than I experienced him in my childhood memories. Yet I realize today as I think about this passage that he was the same person (although like me he grew, too, over time).
It is worth remembering that God has always desired to gather the nations and the people to himself… to destroy the great destroyer, Death… to comfort the people. And that Isaiah’s visions suggests all — not just Israel, but all people, all nations and races. The grace of God is who God is and not just something that springs into life at the death of Jesus!
Lord Almighty, you are the giver of banquets, destroyer of death, wiper of tears. And always have you been so and desired to do so! Today may I remember that you are the same today as you always were. Help me to understand what that means. And to remember that your faithfulness stretches to the beginning of time and will endure until its end. You promised and perfected this vision of Isaiah for us in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus and in his name I pray. Amen.