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 43:19 NIV]
In a way, the Hebrew people in the times of the prophet Isaiah are much like us today. They are in a period of waiting—waiting for when things would get back to normal. The glory days of King David and Solomon are over for them. The kingdom of Israel is split—split into two kingdoms, one of them at this time, the Northern Kingdom, was destroyed by a conquering invader and the people were scattered to other foreign lands.
We live in a world of waiting as well. We want things to get back to normal. Yet, we are divided and are burdened down by so much in our world today. The biggest burden of all is this pandemic that keeps lingering around.
Yet Isaiah says something interesting to the Hebrew people in verse 18 of the 43rd chapter of Isaiah, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.” He is basically saying, remember all the things that God has done for you in the past, how God rescued you from slavery and bondage in Egypt, made a way through the sea and saved you from those pursuing you. Remember these things to give you encouragement and strengthen your trust in God.
But then, “forget them, do now dwell on them.” For you see, God is doing a new thing. If you are looking back in expectation that the same things will happen, that all will be back to the way it used to be, that there will be a return to the glory days—if that is where you mind and spirit dwells, then you will miss out on the marvelous wonders that God is doing. Don’t expect the same. God has a greater plan. He will make a new way, through the wilderness and the streams of the wasteland.