I like to keep a Bible study going at all times. Not because I am so very holy but because I have scripture ADD and am 100% incapable of not jumping all around the Bible when I don’t have a study keeping me on task. I finished a study recently (called Gospel Transformation, in case you’re wondering), so I’ve been doing my scripture hopping as expected. But this time I keep hopping back to Isaiah. I’ll flip to John or Psalms or something, but my fingers keep flipping the thin pages back to that prophet. And I think I know why. One word: SHALL.
It has become my favorite, that word. As I’ve been reading Isaiah, specifically chapters 61, 62 and 63, I’ve come across that word a lot. I guess because he is prophesying so he is speaking in future tense, saying what God will do, shall do. I realize I am stating the obvious, but that future tense is doing something to me. That word “shall” is doing something to me. Whenever I read it, I want to breathe it in. The shall. The what God will do. What he has promised will be done. How he will remain the God of his people even when they don’t deserve him. Try it. Read this, and each time your eyes go over the word, feel the certainty of it:
“Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah [My Delight Is in Her], and thy land Beulah [Married]: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (Is. 62:4-5, KJV).
That’s a lot of shalls. That’s some intense promising just in those two verses. God must know how much affirmation we need. At each corner and intersection and change and obstacle, we need shall to be breathed into us. We need to feel that promise into our feet so that we can walk as people who know that He shall.
And He shall.