“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be.” Isaiah 65:21-22
The important point here is that people will settle down in heaven. In this world, many find a home but they don’t get to enjoy it.
- You finally get settled, and then your employer wants you to move to another part of the country. You have to give up the home that you have come to love.
- As you get older, you find that you cannot maintain the family home you have loved for so many years. You don’t want to move, but you have to.
- Tragedy comes and you have to flee. The home you built is destroyed in a flood or in an earthquake or in a war. And you have to start all over again.
The transience of this world wrecks community. It tears up relationships and ruins stability. It means that many people do not have the joy of seeing relationships mature. They are not able to stick around long enough to see what comes of their work.
But Isaiah says that in the new heaven and new earth his people “shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity” (65:22-23).
We won’t be bearing children in heaven—Isaiah is using what we know to point us toward what is hard to understand. Here’s what he is saying: In this life, some children are born into desperate circumstances of poverty, war, and abuse. No more. Instead, God’s people will live together in love and harmony and peace and joy.
Give thanks that God will bring restored community in the new heaven and new earth.