Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The Book Of Isaiah. Day 174, The Word Of God Endures

As we move on through Chapter 40 we find the prophet Isaiah proclaiming that the word of the Lord is what endures, not the things of this world as we know it. Isaiah also relays to us his vision of the coming King.

"A voice says, 'Cry out.' And I said, 'What shall I cry?'" (Isaiah 40:6a) I am reading this as the Lord saying to Isaiah, "Cry out," and as Isaiah replying, "What shall I cry?"

This is the message from the Lord: "All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." (Isaiah 40:6b-8) The lives of humans, plants, and animals are frail and fleeting. But the eternal God and His plans and purposes will endure forever. 

You and I are reading the word of God together today, even though these words were written down thousands of years ago. But where are the people who were alive at that time? Where is the grass that was growing at the time? Where are the flowers of the field from that time? They have all passed from this earth. By contrast, the word of God is eternal, infallible, and unbreakable. What was true in Isaiah's day is still true in our day. 

I think that the voice crying out in the book of Isaiah represents not only the prophet Isaiah but all the prophets and all the godly men and women who ever have or who ever will share the word of God with mankind. Primarily I think this next segment looks forward to those who have been proclaiming the gospel message ever since Christ ascended to heaven. The king in these next verses is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

"You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, 'Here is your God!' See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and He rules with a mighty arm. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him. He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:9-11)

The Lord Jesus spoke words like these in reference to Himself when He said, "Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done." (Revelation 22:12) The Lord isn't preaching "salvation by works" when He says each person will be given something in accordance to what they have done. Salvation has always been by faith. But good works should accompany salvation and much has been said in the books of the New Testament about that. Salvation isn't earned by good works but rewards are. The Apostle Paul discusses this in more detail in 1 Corinthians 3, for example, when he speaks of those who are basically just saved by the skin of their teeth and then never do much for the kingdom of God compared to those who get saved and then diligently work for the kingdom of God. There are degrees of rewards for believers, just as I assume there are degrees of judgment for those who reject Him, for there are unbelievers who live basically moral and law-abiding lives and then there are unbelievers who actively work to commit all types of wickedness on the earth and who perpetrate abominable deeds against their fellow man. 
I love the way today's passage ends with the Lord being depicted as the Good Shepherd. Note how tenderly He cares for those who belong to Him! He's so gentle and loving. It will be a fearful day for the Lord's enemies when He returns in power and might but it will be a day of celebration for those who long for His kingdom to come. It will be a day of celebration that never ends!

No comments:

Post a Comment