There is something marvelously comforting in God’s promise to create anew. While this promise is given to Israel here in Isaiah, it is later repeated in Revelation which is to all believers.
There are two parts to this particular promise. Part one is a promise to create anew. Part two is a promise to put the past behind us.
God promises to create new heavens and a new earth. The current heavens and earth are mind boggling in their complexity. Science has been observing and taking notes on the current creation for centuries and still new things are learned regularly. The current heavens and earth are home to us as we are now. The new heavens and earth will be home to us as we will become. Nestled into this promise is the implication that we also will be new. It used to be that one did not move into a new house until the family outgrew the old or circumstance — job and so on — made the move necessary. Something necessitates the switch from current heavens and earth to new. We will be new, also. Different than we are now.
God also promises that the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. In context, He may be speaking of the former heavens and earth, but it is also possible that He means what everything — the heavens, the earth, and the denizens thereof — once were. The rest of the chapter bears this out as the promise includes people being shocked by a lifespan of less than a hundred years and predatory animals hanging out with prey and no animals dying. The whole thing sounds odd from this side of the promise, but that is because the former things mentioned are current things for us. There is, I suspect, another promise tucked into the folds of this one. That what we once were will not be brought up any more.
In Revelation, Jesus says that He is making all things new and John is told to write, because those words are faithful and true. God will make all things new in His time. When the new has come, the old will no longer be remembered. There are a lot of thoughts this brings, but the most powerful impression left on me is one of comfort. As C.T. Studd wrote, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, / Only what’s done for Christ will last.” Only what is done for Christ will last. All the other things will be forgotten.