They will build houses and dwell in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
Isaiah 65:21 (NIV)
I love Isaiah 65 as it addresses the New Heavens and a New Earth. It paints such a beautiful picture of what God yearns to create. To experience something like this would bring each of us great joy. Verse 18 even alludes to this: “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create” (NIV).
It’s interesting that in painting this picture of a New Heavens and a New Earth, God intentionally references housing in Verse 21, our Key Verse. Having a home in which one’s family can live at peace and with joy appears to be a high priority to God. If the regions in which we live are going to experience “palpable kingdom presence”, then we have to be experiencing this kingdom of heaven in our homes.
Yet housing is becoming more and more something that differentiates us. I have been welcomed into many very modest homes around the world – dirt floors, leaky roofs, no electricity or plumbing, no protection from mosquitoes, and prone to literally topple when hit by any significant act of nature. I have also been welcomed into what anyone would certainly refer to as our mansions on earth – huge homes where often just 2-3 people live. Zillow recently reported that the United States now has almost 500 cities where the average cost of a home has hit $1 million.
Is Jesus pleased with these kind of disparities? Wouldn’t it please Him much more if we would simplify, sell those huge mansions, and direct those funds to enable dozens of families to have a basic dwelling in which to live? That would be something new – a New Heavens and a New Earth! Lord, may we join you in making that become a reality!
This is the first in the “Ensure Safe and Affordable Housing” series of blog posts on our Journey to Palpable Kingdom Presence.