This morning I spoke at Glad Tidings Church in Greeley. It was another opportunity to share my story and encourage people in the challenges of life that they may be experiencing. It was a special treat for Debbie and me to reconnect with our friends John and Linda Harris. We have known John and Linda and their family for years and they served with us for a time when were at Dakota Ridge Church in Littleton.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.” And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.” Isaiah 62:11,12 ESV
When many read the Old Testament, they just see the harshness and judgment of a Holy God. The more I read the Old Testament, I see the mercy and longsuffering of a God who works in behalf of His people.
God could have been much more severe with His people than what we see. Instead, what we observe in the ages past is what we see in the present; God allows us to experience the natural consequences of our own actions. When God’s people rejected the Lord, they lost their way and would be over-run by their enemies. When they sought the Lord and put Him first they would be victorious and secure. It is unfortunate that they failed to understand the connection and were so easily drawn away in times of peace and prosperity.
Isaiah is a prophecy about salvation. We not only see the reference to the salvation of God’s people as a nation, but we see the promise of salvation from the “sin that wars against the soul” through a coming Messiah and Savior.
We see it in verses like, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6 ESV)
Verses like, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live…” (Isaiah 55:1-3 ESV)
Then we see the promise of the Lord’s salvation in Chapter 62. The Lord taking action to show Himself faithful to His unfaithful people. We see the promise of restoration. The Lord is coming not with a sword to destroy, but as a triumph King who rewards. He turns the condition and destiny of His people on its head. From captivity and a loss of home and identity, the Lord declares His people as a “…Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord…Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.”
As the Apostle Paul declared salvation available to those who “call on the name of the Lord” he quotes several Old Testament verses including Isaiah’s words, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” (Romans 10:20 NIV)
We can read in Revelation words that echo back to Isaiah of old, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me…..” (Revelation 22:12 NIV) Revelation 19 reveals the resurrected Christ as the “rider on the white horse” coming in the clouds with the “armies of heaven” to bring about His final salvation to the earth.
Regardless of what is taking place in our world today. Regardless of what we see, it does not negate the plan and purposes of God that are taking place and will be fulfilled in their proper time.
Paul declared of Jesus birth, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law…” (Galatians 4:4 NIV) We can have confidence that at the “right time” God will signal His Son to return to bring a final salvation to the world. Those who acknowledge Him like God’s people of old will be know as, “…Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord…[those] Not Forsaken.”
Prayer for today….. Lord thank You that You do act in response to the cries of Your people. But allow us to remember that You act as well by Your sovereign will and plan. Allow that to encourage us to be faithful to You regardless of what we see, knowing that You are a God of personal salvation and the One who is working out all things according to Your good purposes.