and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
Her people will be a source of joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and delight in my people.
And the sound of weeping and crying
will be heard in it no more.
'No longer will babies die when only a few days old.
No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life.
No longer will people be considered old at one hundred!
Only the cursed will die that young!
In those days people will live in the houses they build
and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.
Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses
and confiscate their vineyards.
For my people will live as long as trees,
and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains.
They will not work in vain,
and their children will not be doomed to misfortune.
For they are people blessed by the LORD,
and their children, too, will be blessed.'"
God gives us the vision of what he desires for humankind. His list includes all this: a beautiful heaven and earth. His people as a source of joy to all (including himself!). No death or cause for sorrow or weeping. Work and the ability to enjoy the results of work. No fear of invasion from enemies. Our continual dependence on him for our needs and his glad answers to our prayers. Peace and harmony in all of nature—no more pollution or even "survival of the fittest." We're not there yet, but we will be! It's what he intends to restore.
—Diane Eble, author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions