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Fitting Feet

‘Tis the season of eagerly awaiting the footfall of the Amazon delivery men and women. ‘Tis the beginning of the season when adults eagerly check the mail, eager to open Christmas cards with glad tidings from their friends and family. Feet of those bringing good news and good gifts.

Even those largely unfamiliar with the Bible have likely heard the phrase, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news” taken from the prophecy of the biblical prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 52:7).

For the past few weeks, I have been digging more deeply into the 51st and 52nd chapters of Isaiah which lead up to the festive feet of him who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’ (Isaiah52:7). “

The good news that Isaiah predicts and proclaims becomes even better news when one begins to understand the context into which they were spoken. God’s people have been taken away from their homes, their land, their livelihood and their customs. They have been taken captive as exiles to Babylon.

Rather than trying to capture for you how desperate and desolate God’s people felt at such a reality, I will let them tell you in a song. Psalm 137 poetically captures the sentiments of God’s people upon being taken into exile in Babylon.

“By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres…How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” Psalm 137:1-2 & 4.

Hanging hope, hanging harps, hanging heads. Into this context, Isaiah boldly speaks God’s words of hope for His people. A messenger was going to come with very good news to bring them home. In hindsight, we know that this prophecy found its historical fulfillment in Cyrus, a Babylonian leader whose heart God turned to send to His people home.

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Yet, in addition to the historical fulfillment, there is a clear Messianic fulfillment in the person of Christ. After all, He was the One sent from Heaven to not only boldly proclaim  but also to become the salvation and eternal peace promised to God’s people.

The Apostle Paul borrows these lines for his letter to the Romans later in redemptive history, for those who are ambassadors of Christ, publishing the Good News of the gospel to those who have yet to hear (see Romans 10:15).

As I was studying the words to the proclamation more closely, I realized that the Hebrew word translated beautiful literally means lovely or fitting. Those words struck me as deeply paradoxical considering the literal feet of the Messenger who also was the Message.

Fitting Feet

How fitting? 
How fitting the feet of Him
Who made All that exists
Being knit in the womb
Of a descendent of Eve?

How fitting?
How fitting the feet of Him
Who fetched the sun
Fetching items on errands
As a carpenter’s son?

How lovely?
How lovely the lips of Him
Who spoke earth into orbit
Sealed in silence as a
Lamb before its shearers?

How lovely? 
How lovely the lips of Him
Who trained the oceans,
Parched and pursed in pain
Before Roman persecutors?

Fitting, indeed, the feet of Him
Who purchased peace by pain. 
Lovely, indeed, the lips of Him
Whose loss was our great gain.

As we approach Advent, may we remember that the infant feet of the One sent from Heaven became crushed feet on a Cross. Those same feet walked out of the Tomb will one day walk with us in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

It is only fitting that we would kneel before those feet in faithful adoration and follow those feet in obedient service. Fitting feet, indeed.

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