Isaiah’s vision of a new, ever-expanding family of God is not a prediction but a narration –he is describing what is already underway as the message of salvation spreads wider and wider.
The nations surrounding Israel can praise Yahweh not because of any suffering, pain, or judgment they are currently experiencing, but because of what God has done with Israel—and through repentance and faith and the ongoing plan of God, what God can do with them as well.
Just as it would not serve our children well to stay stuck in the first grade curriculum with first grade questions and first grade answers, neither does it serve us well as maturing adults to discontinue the challenging work of growing in faith.
They knew that the life of discipleship was hard and that it took faith, and they were willing to do what needed to be done. But, they didn’t want to get wet.
If we only focus on why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed (it’s not what you’ve been taught!) and not focus on God’s protection and mercy in saving one small family, we lose the whole point of the story.
In the midst of the storm, we discover just what we really believe about God. All of our creeds and systematic theologies mean little when we come up against the reality of our own destruction. In the midst of the storm, we find out how much we trust that God is in control, that God is present somewhere, that God is listening.