Delivering the Good News

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 52:7 NIV)

In Paul's letter to the Romans he zealously declared that salvation is by faith in Christ and that the Mosaic Law upon which the Jews were so desperately dependent for salvation was null and void. He states, "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Romans 10:14-15)

Both passages evoke a notion of someone bringing good news – not just good news, but life giving, great news. In Isaiah the messenger proclaims God's promise of redemption, a return of the remnant in Babylon to His holy city, promise of peace and tranquility, and above all the sovereign rule of the Lord God to protect them. How beautiful are the feet of that messenger. Watch now, going forward into verses 8 and 9; we see the watchmen, who have heard the good tidings 'lift up their voices. . .[and] sing for joy'; and in verse 10, the promised 'salvation of our God'. (Is. 52:8-10)

To the  Romans Paul has stated that all are saved by the Calvary event – but all aren't aware of that event – and there is a cry for someone to preach the salvation message. Some messenger must go. And again, how beautiful the feet that bring that message.

There are many obstacles to the messenger's feet. A world view would ridicule the message and vilify the messenger. The evil one will place many a stumbling block in the way of the messenger, enticing him with pleasurable side paths, bright lights, and worldly treasures. Our Lord Jesus taught us from the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matt. 5:9-12)

But God provides the true bright light for the messenger – a lamp unto his feet and a light for his path – His holy Word – and a true Guide in the person of the Holy Spirit.

We, my friends, are called to be the messenger today. Just as the people of Jerusalem were watching and waiting for the message of God's return with his remnant and just as Paul exhorts us to take the message to those 'have not believed' because 'they have not heard', there are those who are waiting for a message; a message of salvation, of love, and peace, and joy; that they too can join us in rejoicing in God's favor. They are waiting for us. Waiting for you.

I once heard in a sermon that there is someone in your realm of influence that will never hear about Christ unless you tell them. When I first heard that statement I was a little skeptical – thought it a little far fetched. "Really? I am their only source for the word of God?" But upon deeper reflection I thought – "What if?" Do I dare deny such a premise?

And then there was this from an atheistic comedian; "Who do you hate so much that you would keep secret from them your message of salvation?" Do you really hate your next door neighbor that much? Do you really hate your co-workers that much? Obviously the list could go on and on. A favorite worship song says "They will know we are Christians by our love".

On that last night in the Upper Room, Jesus told His apostles, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 emphasis added)

So in conclusion we might declare that the beautiful feet of the  messenger will be recognized by our love for another.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, "Here I am, Send me!" He said, "Go and tell this people…" (Isaiah 6:8-9a)

"Let it be so. Or in Hebrew, "Amen".

Comments

  1. This message reminds us that we don’t have to go off into foreign lands or the wilderness to spread His Word…just love on your neighbor and friends…love sends the message like no other can.

    • Michael Warnock says:

      Sometimes our mission field is within our own home. To show love when circumstances would drive us to criticism or condemnation is a sure sign that Christ is abiding within. Let us show love where love is not warranted. Who will cast the first stone?

  2. Paul Cherry says:

    I never related feet to good news before but it is done so beautifully in these two passages…………Paul

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