For the week of August 14, 1999 / 2 Elul 5759
Torah: Devarim /Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9
Haftarah: Isaiah 51:12 - 52:12
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).
Isnt it wonderful to receive good news! Probably one of the most encouraging things that could happen to us in a day is for someone to tell us something good we didnt know yet. It could be something expected or not. It could directly affect us or not. It could be about almost anything. Theres nothing like good news to brighten up your day.
There doesnt seem to be a lot of good news these days. Shootings, plane crashes, droughts, wars. Just this week my family went to a beautiful lake nearby. A television news crew was there. Someone drowned the day before. That is not good news. Not good news for the victim. Not good news for his family or friends. Definitely bad news.
We dont hear a lot of good news. Hard to know why that is. Is it that good news is not that exciting? Is it too common? Or maybe not common enough?
Isaiahs words above exclaim how wonderful it is when someone brings good news. Their feet are called beautiful.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news
In those days if someone wore footwear at all they likely wore sandals. Feet, therefore, were the dirtiest part of the body. Feet that climb mountains would suffer far more than normal. And yet these feet are beautiful.
Since these feet climbed a mountain, it appears that they went to a lot of trouble to get to the hearers of the message.
And what a message they brought! The people of Israel had a history with God. They were all aware of the stories of their ancient ancestors. Stories of signs, wonders, and miracles. Yet times were hard. There was not a lot of good news. Until the messenger arrived.
"God is alive!" he announced to them. "He is not some mythical character out of a fantasy book. He reigns! He is in control! He will help us!" This is good news.
We are not alone in the universe. God is real; he is alive and well. Not only that, he loves us and wants to help us. Good news.
Sometimes we have to go to great bother to bring this message to people. It can be like climbing over a mountain. Maybe this is what you have done and it has had some adverse effects. Your feet may not be as dainty and soft as you would like. But look again. God says they are beautiful.
After all, look at Yeshuas feet.
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