We are instructed in this week’s Torah portion to “see.” What are we to see? It’s essentially that there are profound blessings that flow from living true to God’s expectations and curses that flow from going down wrong paths. With keen insight and in rich detail, Moses gives us clear direction on how best to live in the way of blessing.
One other thing we see in these particular weeks of Torah/Prophets readings is how much the people strayed from that way and the pain they experienced in the curse of exile.
Even to us, the pain of exile – theirs (and perhaps ours) – is something we see and feel in too vivid colors, that is, until the tears blur our vision.
Yet, there’s something else we see. God offers the deepest sort of consolation in the Isaiah verses. We have experienced loss, but we have the promise that the whole world can be God’s resting place in the future. Hope remains. God still intends renewal for us and our children. There is great hope and mission in Jerusalem: “I will extend peace to her like a river….Like a man whose mother consoled him, so I will console you, and in Jerusalem you will be consoled.”
Here’s what we now see: “You will see and your heart will exult, and your bones will flourish like grass.” “We will see your gladness.”
Indeed the vision is greater than ever: for those who “listen to the word of God” and “are zealous regarding His word,” the time has come “to gather all the nations and tongues, they will come and see My glory.”
So, re’eh, re’eh, see, see! The “poor and broken-spirited who are zealous regarding My word” have the most comforting and glorious sight: God gives us a path back from the exile after straying, and it’s a most extraordinary path at that. “For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I will make and endure before Me, so will your offspring and your name endure.”