“JUST A MOMENT”
“For a small moment, have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” (Isaiah 54:7,8)
I have answered the phone and a computerized message spoke to me and informed me that all their representatives were busy with other customers and asked me to be patient and stay on the line and said, “One of the representatives will be with you in just a moment.” After about seven or eight minutes, I hung the phone up. I assumed that a “moment” was a short duration of time, although I did not know precisely the time element involved in a moment, and I still do not know.
Within our text today, God uses the word “moment” twice. This gracious promise to Israel gives a beautiful insight into both God’s character and the relation of time to eternity. God can be a God of wrath, for He must punish forsaken sin in His people, but He is much more the God of mercy. His prolonged judgment on His chosen people of Israel is only “for a small moment” compared to His “everlasting kindness” toward redeemed Israel in the ages to come.
This theme occurs numerous times in Scripture. “For his anger endureth but a moment;” said King David; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). To the people faithful to God during a time of judgment against their nation or against the world, God says: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers...hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast” (Isaiah 26:20).
Thus, a time of testing or judgment may extend over many days, or years, or even centuries, but this is only a moment in relation to the endless ages of blessing yet to come.
When we apply this to Christians, this concept is stated ever so plainly in the only occurrence of the word rendered “moment” in the New Testament. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Corinthians 4:17). “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind...They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 65:17,25).
Dear Christian, when you start viewing your life as one that is long, tedious and filled with unexpected trials and troubles and circumstances beyond your control, just remember, it is just for a moment compared to eternity when we shall be with our Savior. May our God give us eyes of faith and a heart of understanding to see these “moments” of God in their eternal setting.Pastor H. Preston Parker