Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Comfort My People: The Prophecies Of Isaiah, Day 175

Comfort My People:
The Prophecies Of Isaiah
Day 175

The Lord's people have been promised restoration. Their nation will be rebuilt never to be destroyed again. God is going to show the world that the people the Gentiles once believed were forsaken by Him are actually His crown jewels. There would be no salvation if there had been no nation of Israel, no tribe of Judah, and no Messiah and Lamb of God. 

The Lord reveals the prosperity of Zion when at last she is fully His, "The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His mighty arm, 'Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled; but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary." (Isaiah 62:8-9) In affirming this promise the Lord swears upon the greatest name He knows: His own. This takes us back to what He said to Abraham in Genesis 22:16-18, "I swear by Myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed Me." In explaining this passage in the book of Hebrews, the Apostle Paul said, "When God made His promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, He swore by Himself." (Hebrews 6:13) The Lord makes the promise of eternal protection to His people and that promise is unshakable because He took an oath on His own name to uphold it.

"Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations." (Isaiah 62:10) The people are looking forward to freedom from Babylon and the return to Jerusalem, but this verse seems to speak of a more permanent return to the land. It will be an everlasting possession and the nations will be drawn to them because of the Child who was born to them and the Man who died for the sins of the world. In today's world some of the best friends Israel has are Christians. We think of them as our Savior's people and whether or not we agree with everything they do, we feel a kinship with them. We desire to see them live in peace as a sovereign nation and we want to see them live in peace with God. We may or may not agree with Israel's every action or political decision, but the last thing we'd want to see is the nation destroyed. Like Isaiah, we understand how critical the existence of Zion is to God's plan. 

"The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: 'Say to Daughter Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him.' They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted." (Isaiah 62:11-12) Works are not what save us but, as both the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul attested, a day is coming in which the deeds of every man and woman will be judged and rewards will be given in accordance with those deeds. (1 Corinthians 3:8-14, Revelation 22:12) In today's passage we see the blessings that will be given to the faithful ones of God's people Israel when the Savior comes. The faithful ones look forward to His appearing, just as we who are the church long to see His face. It will be a glorious day when the Savior appears to those whose spirits say, "Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!" But as we will see in tomorrow's section, it will be a dark day indeed for those who have made themselves His enemies.

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