How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’ The voice of your watchmen – they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion. Break forth into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Is. 52:7-10)
What a beautiful thing to behold…a messenger with good news. The imagery of this passage is eye-catching. Feet that have been running over the mountains all day don’t strike me as the most beautiful things I could think of. But the picture that it creates in our minds; the reality of the exuberant messenger running over the mountains heralding the good news of the gospel is a beautiful thing indeed.
This soul-swelling, happy gospel of peace, salvation and the reign of God causes the waste places to break forth into singing. Waste places are those which are irrecoverably ruined. Yet, these are the very places where there is now cheerful singing. There is no hint of hesitation and no remaining trace of dismay. The ruined people of Jerusalem with ten thousand woes suddenly break out as an unsolicited choir! This happy hope and unflinching confidence in the validity of this news ultimately rests in the reality of the one on whom it relies. The people do not hope in themselves. They are not banking on a lucky break. Their hope is the reality that the strong arm of the LORD has been bared for every eye to see (v. 10). It is the salvation wrought by God himself that is now being published in every corner of the world.
In the natural realm God has ordained the singing of the birds to herald the coming of spring. It is their chirping song which notifies us that the blustering coldness of winter is being overcome by the warmth of new days breaking in on us. In the realm of grace, God has ordained that redeemed humanity, those whose hearts have found relief from the frigid darkness of sin and have come into the warm light of the gospel, are to be the ambassadors of that grace…the heralds of that news. We are heralds of the news that our holy God who reigns in Zion has bared his holy arm in our salvation. We proclaim the removal of wrath and the revelation of the grace that is found in Jesus Christ, who has himself become the propitiation for our sins. The better the news, the more ready the messenger is to run with it (2 Sam. 18:24ff.). So then, Christians, let the gospel provide the “shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15).