Isaiah 24:4–13, Zechariah 14:8–11, Revelation 22:1–5
The curse. As we read about the curse in Isaiah, we can easily read into it the current fears, concerns, and observations regarding our environment. Truth be told, if we are called to be stewards—rather than dominators—of Creation, we can see our responsibility regarding Creation. The context of this passage is indeed the damage done to Creation as a result of humankind’s behavior. It is not the “fouling the nest” concept that is the origin, but that hearts were resolutely turned away from God. The land, ultimately, was a symbol of God’s blessing (the “land of milk and honey”) or the removal of it. While it is cursed land, it is not God’s desire that it occurred, but the natural result of human hearts’ desires for something wholly other than God.
As the social/religious/political center of Israelite and Jewish life, Jerusalem was the most cursed of all. Yet, Zechariah provides a vision of a healed city whose healing waters will flow into the world. Jerusalem would be transformed from a place of desolation and death to a place of wholeness and life.
In Revelation, the image takes on greater depth as the water imagery of the Water of Life that flows from God the Father and Jesus the Son. It also revolves around the opposite of the curse…God is the center of their lives.
1) If “the land” is still a symbol of God’s blessing, what does that mean for us?
2) How do you see God as the center of your life? How does that differ from the vision of Zechariah and John’s Revelation?
3) What is it about the Water of Life flowing from the throne of the Father and the throne of the Lamb that is important? What is the “hidden” image?