Saturday, September 3, 2016

Comfort My People: The Prophecies Of Isaiah, Day 67

Comfort My People:
The Prophecies Of Isaiah
Day 67

The redeemed are still singing a song of praise to the King of kings. Their words remind me very much of the psalms of David when they sing, "My soul yearns for You in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you." (Isaiah 26:9a) These are hearts centered on the Lord, with Him on their minds at all time. This isn't the type of yearning or longing that is unsatisfied. It's simply that they know the Lord well enough that they want to know Him better, more and more, every single day. When we taste and see that the Lord is good, we can't help but want more of His presence and fellowship. This is what we were created for and our souls thirst for Him as naturally as our mortal bodies thirst for water. We don't drink a glass of water one time in our lives and say, "There, that's all I need. That will hold me for the rest of my life." The need for water is a daily occurrence because our bodies can't live without it. In the same way, once we come to know Christ, we don't say, "That's all I need of Him. The experience I had in His presence today will hold me for the rest of my life. I don't need any more." The need for fellowship with Him is a daily occurrence because our redeemed souls live on it. This is how we grow and thrive as Christians.

The people again praise the Lord for His judgment. "When Your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness." (Isaiah 26:9b) There are those who respond correctly to the discipline of the Lord. They "learn righteousness". In times of peace and comfort, man is more likely to fall into the habit of relying upon himself. When trouble comes, this is often when man looks up for help. 

But there are those who do not respond correctly, either to peace or to discipline, "But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord. Lord, Your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see Your zeal for Your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for Your enemies consume them." (Isaiah 26:10-11)

God has been merciful to us all, broken sinners that we are. Jesus said that God "causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous". (Matthew 5:45) Into every life will come both sunshine and rain, but the appropriate response in both circumstances is to ever yearn for a closer relationship with Him. The sun (the good times) ought to bring praises from our mouths. The rain (the hard times) ought to cause us to seek His will and His direction in our lives. Isaiah is telling us there are some people God can't be good to, that He can't bless with the sunshine of peace and comfort, for they continue even further down a wayward path. So He brings the rain into their lives as a form of discipline, to encourage them to come to Him for help, and even then there are those who will not take His hand. This makes them the enemies of God. I wish I could remember who said this, because I read it in some background materials just recently, but this particular Bible scholar said that we who are in Christ can sing, "What a friend we have in Jesus," but those who reject Him have to sing, "What an enemy I have in God." We are either with Him or we are against Him. 

"Lord, You establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us." (Isaiah 26:12) Amen, the Lord Jesus is our peace and He has made peace between us and God. It was not the works of our own hands that made us right before a holy God, but it was the works of a perfect Redeemer. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." (Romans 5:1-2a) No wonder we will someday lay our victory crowns at His feet! (Revelation 4:10) Christ won those crowns for us. He is the mediator of a covenant of peace between us and God. He is the sacrifice that makes us whole. He is the one who conquered death and the grave for our justification. On the day we bow in His presence and cast our crowns at His feet, we very well may say, "All that we have accomplished You have done for us." As the old song goes, "Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe."

The only way to have peace with God and to sing, "What a friend we have in Jesus," is to accept God the Son. This is the way God the Father has chosen for mankind to be made right with Him. When we surrender our lives to Him, we do not surrender on our own terms but must come to God on His terms, and that is through His Son. "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross." (Colossians 1:15-20) 

Below is our worship song link for today.

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