14 How can they call on him unless they believe in him? How can they believe in him unless they hear about him? How can they hear about him unless someone preaches to them? 15 And how can anyone preach without being sent? It is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Isaiah 52:7) 16 But not all the people of Israel accepted the good news. Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” (Isaiah 53:1) 17 So faith comes from hearing the message. And the message that is heard is the word of Christ. 18 But I ask, “Didn’t the people of Israel hear?” Of course they did. It is written, “Their voice has gone out into the whole earth. Their words have gone out from one end of the world to the other.” (Psalm 19:4) 19 Again I ask, “Didn’t Israel understand?” First, Moses says, “I will use people who are not a nation to make you jealous. I will use a nation that has no understanding to make you angry.” (Deuteronomy 32:21) 20 Then Isaiah boldly speaks about what God says. God said, “I was found by those who were not trying to find me. I made myself known to those who were not asking for me.” (Isaiah 65:1) 21 But Isaiah also speaks about what God says concerning Israel. God said, “All day long I have held out my hands. I have held them out to a stubborn people who do not obey me.” (Isaiah 65:2)
In this passage Paul references Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Do I see myself as being beautiful in bringing the good news of Christ? Or do I feel that I am stepping on people’s toes, unwelcome, unwanted, making public something that should be kept private? Yet if I look at Isaiah 52:7 the picture is of Israel oppressed by a foreign power, and the good news is that God is coming to comfort and save His people. The messenger that brings this news would be seen as beautiful, for the message is of freedom and hope.
Lord, please help me to see myself as beautiful in bringing the good news of Jesus to those around me. Help me to recognise and be confident that I am bringing a message of freedom from oppression and hope. Paul preached your good news with boldness and courage, yet not all who heard the message came to faith in Jesus. Help me not to lose heart when people reject your good news, help me to stay strong, knowing that some will accept the freedom and hope you offer and it will transform their lives. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh