Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Comfort My People: The Prophecies Of Isaiah, Day 35

Comfort My People:
The Prophecies Of Isaiah
Day 35

We are still in Chapter 13, in the prophecy the Lord gave Isaiah against Babylon. This chapter involves both literal Babylon who will take Judah captive, and it involves a spiritual Babylon which is the spirit of pride and arrogance that has boasted itself against the Lord since the creation of man. The verses we look at today are about the end times, when God will judge the wicked.

"I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of His burning anger." (Isaiah 13:12-13) The Lord is speaking here of the dark days that will come upon the earth during the Great Tribulation, after Christ has removed His bride from the world. Right after those days, after the earth and the very heavens are shaken, immediately after the distress of that time, "Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30) Those who have rejected Him will mourn when He comes to judge the world. The nation who scorned her Messiah at His first advent will also mourn, but with a "spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son." (Zechariah 12:10) This mourning is not the mourning of the lost, but the mourning of those who realize they initially spurned the love of the One who was pierced for their transgressions. 

We too can mourn who we once were, grieving over the fact that our own sins pierced Him. When Jesus was nailed to the cross He took on the punishment for the sins of every individual. Our own failures and mistakes and willful sins were laid on Him. We pierced the One who loves us and gave Himself for us. But because we have been transformed by our relationship with Christ our Savior, we rejoice in the freedom of who we are now: the children of God. 

The prophet Haggai also spoke of a day when the Lord would shake the heavens and the earth. This prophecy was given to him after the return of the exiles to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord Almighty." (Haggai 2:6-7) The day of the Lord will shake the heavens and the earth during the Great Tribulation, and after those days "what is desired by all nations will come". This passage of Haggai has long been considered a Messianic prophecy by both Jews and Christians. 

The deepest desire in the heart of mankind is to know our Redeemer, though millions may be unaware of it. This is the gnawing emptiness in the pit of our soul. This is the need nothing else can fill. This is the hollow place that cries out for communion with someone bigger than ourselves. The world offers us many things in place of a relationship with our Lord but none of these things will ever satisfy. We were created by and for our Creator. Nothing less than a deep connection to Him can fulfill our inmost desire.

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