Starting off, verse 17 says that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, this topic could take up a whole blog's worth of posts, and we don't have the time here. I encourage you, if you're interested, to research more about this! The second part of verse 17 says that "the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." Which means that we aren't going to look back on things we've done and cringe. There won't be guilt about things in the past, there won't be grieving about things in the past. Well, there won't be grieving at all, but we'll get to that later.
"But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more." This is what we have to look forward to. If you've kept up with any of the news about Jerusalem and the surrounding lands, it most certainly has not reached this point yet, which means this is something that will happen in the future. God will rejoice in us forever. He'll take delight in us and there will be no more crying. Think of the last time you cried, what was the reason? It might have been a recent death, stress, anger, etc. There won't be any of that in heaven, we won't have a reason to cry!
This next verse talks about death and life. It tells us that there won't be "an infant who lives but a few days"and "there won't be an old man who does not live out his years." You might have known someone who would fall into these categories, they won't have to if they're in heaven! These categories won't exist there! "He who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth"; you might think of living to a hundred and groan, but in heaven, when we live to a hundred, we won't be ill at that age, we'll be a healthy and happy person! Who wouldn't want that?
Verses 21-22 say that when we build a house, it's gonna be for our own benefit. The same goes for planting food. This might sound like a selfish lifestyle, but I think what it really means is that we won't have to work. Why do people build houses and plant vineyards besides for their own benefit? It's to make money, to work, it's their job. We won't have to do any of that in heaven. No work. No 9 to 5. :) Hallelujah? Hallelujah! Skipping down to verse 24, which is super cool, "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." Have you ever prayed for something and then had to wait for God's timing? If you have, you'll agree with me that it can be so very frustrating. God says that there won't be waiting for an answer. Before we even ask, he'll answer. Or while we are still spekaing, he'll hear us. I love this chapter... I love having something this exciting to look forward to!
The last verse may be the most well known...
"The wolf and lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain."
Just yesterday my brothers and I were watching a tv show about the giant octopus. This thing was massive, and it was lethal. But, on the new earth, it will be gentle enough to hang out with Nemo! Yes, Nemo. hehe I couldn't resist... Getting back on topic, "the lion will eat straw like the ox" there won't be carnivores, no killing another living thing for your own well being. The verse goes on to say that "dust will be the serpent's food", that goes back to Adam and Eve and the devil taking the form of a serpent, the devil will have nothing to help him grow or prosper. He will be nothing and God will be everything. God will be everything and He will delight in us.