Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday - Isaiah 35 - The Way of Holiness

H yes, good times are coming. God is going to win in the end. Satan will be defeated.  God’s children will experience complete victory and peace.  God’s enemies will be eradicated completely.  When the deserts bloom with luscious plant life, when God's glory is visible in Palestine, when weakness is turned into strength, when fear is replaced by comfort, when blindness gives way to sight and deafness turns to hearing, when the lame leap and the dumb sing, when dry ground is well watered, when parched lands become fruitful fields, when all wild beasts are tame, when the route to God is the main highway in every town and when the redeemed see all sighs replaced with joy and gladness; then there will be no doubt that King Jesus reigns in Jerusalem. When all of these things come together, and the whole earth is filled with the glory of the Lord, then there will be no doubt that God's great kingdom will have arrived on earth. Call it the Millennium. Call it the millennial reign of Christ. Call it the last dispensation. Whatever the title, it will be a time like no other. What a day that will be! Together we pray now, "Thy kingdom come!" Make straight a way for our God! Holiness is on the way! Hallelujah!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thursday - Isaiah 34 - Read the Book of the Lord

OME, hear and hearken (so begins Isaiah 34)!  This is, of course, imperative.  We must come to God. We must know what God has to say. We must obey God's words.  Without these 3 things, a man is doomed. I have a book in my hand that claims to be the book of the Lord. I have a Bible. And, I believe it too.  It's perfect and infallible (Psalm 12:6).  I'm sure of it.  By faith and by experience, I have confidence in its accuracy and its practicality.  Both testaments; all 66 books; given by inspiration; breathed by the Spirit of God (2nd Timothy 3:16). It is a book worth reading!

Now, not everything in God's Word is comforting or comfortable. There are certainly some large and sour pills to swallow as we turn from one page to the next in reading the Holy Scriptures. This chapter, for example, has some rather harsh descriptions of God's furious judgments against sinners.  In this case, Edom is mentioned, but the ramifications appear to be much broader than just Edom. All of the enemies of God and of God's people are in for a rude awakening. The destruction of the wicked, the stink of their carcasses, the flow of their blood, the falling sky upon them, the sword of the Lord used against them, their ritualistic slaughter (as if they were sacrifices), the vengeance of God against them, their fiery damnation, their empty metropolis, confusion and ignobility among them... all of these very grave consequences were prophesied in "the book of the Lord" against His opponents. The message of the Bible is not necessarily always pleasant. It is, however, always true and pertinent.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tuesday - Isaiah 33 - Who Has It... and How did They Get It?

SAIAH 33:14-17 closely resembles Psalm 15:1-5 & 24:3-6. What a grave question each passage aims to handle! Who qualifies to “stand in His holy place?"  Who is accepted & acceptable?  What does it take? What is required? Who has it, & how did they get it?

We should all consider this issue seriously. Thankfully, we aren't left in the dark in this chapter. A tremendous gospel message is included. Isaiah 33:22 makes it clear, "The LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; He will save us." Amazing! Having all jurisdiction; having issued all edicts; having the authority and power to execute all justice... He executes justice on His own back and offers salvation to the guilty. He who could rightfully demand justice alone, extends unforeseeable mercy (Isaiah 33:24). In short, the only way to gain access into God's presence is to be perfect; holy; godly. Yet, for that to happen, a great transaction called "justification" must occur, because nobody has ever measured up to the standards described by either David, Isaiah, or Moses.

We are guilty... plain and simple. Not only that, we are the initiators of our own guilt (Isaiah 33:1).  We are deserving of hell, and are in desperate need of God's grace (Isaiah 33:2). We are at His mercy. Our destiny is first and foremost at His discretion.  We must wait for Him.  If we are to be rescued, He must be our salvation.  He is strong enough to do it.  He is good enough to do it.  And, above all, He is willing to do it. Despite the fact that we have been overrun by evil, and have joined ourselves to it willingly, He desires to save us. He longs to bring us back to Himself.