7-29-2023 Deliverance or Destruction
Destruction or Deliverance
I’m becoming more and more amazed as to how the Old Testament reflects the conditions of the world today and how much Father has been longsuffering with us. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words “Woe unto you, Chorazin and Bethsaida, for had they seen the works done in you and Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes (Matt. 11:21). Where does this put us today? How do we compare with the Israel of 2000 years ago? Now, I’m anxious to read the next twenty-four chapters because Father keeps showing how much Jesus is also spoken of in Isaiah.
In Isaiah chapter forty-two, verses one through seven, it sure looks like to me that Isaiah is describing the ministry placed upon Jesus: Father speaks of one in whom His Spirit resides, He will bring a new covenant to the people and a light to the Gentiles, as well as heal the sick and free the captives (from sin), etc.
Compare this passage with Jesus’ statement that his blood is the new covenant which is shed for many (Mark 14:24). Jesus quotes from Isaiah when He says that Father his put His spirit into Him and He shall show judgment to the Gentiles in Mathew 12:18. In his opening comments, Paul in his letter to the Colossians cites that since he heard of their faith in Christ Jesus he has prayed for them (Col. 3: 3 & 9) because they had been delivered from the power of darkness (prison of sin) through the blood of Jesus (Col. 1:1-14). What about us?
In our passage from Isaiah, Father then makes a statement “I will not give my glory to another nor my praise to a graven image (v8)”! God is a jealous God (Exod. 20:4-6).
How can we praise God/Jesus as Lord and Savior and then turn around and pray to some idol made with man’s hands which has eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear (Matt. 13:14). Jesus declares that the people of His time have become just like those idols (Matt. 13:15). But the eyes and ears of those who were following Jesus were opened (Matt. 13:16). Isn’t it a good thing that the world has learned from those early followers of Jesus? Or has it? Father always has our best interests at heart (Prov. 3:11) so whatever He tells is for our edification and we should do as He directs (1 Thess. 5:13-23, read the whole passage).
Note, in our chapter, verse nine “Behold, the former things shall pass away and I declare new things. And, I’m telling you about them before they come to pass. Father tells us that there are no other gods besides Him (Isa. 44:6, Rom. 12:1-2) He accents this by telling us that He directed even the paths of Cyrus (a pagan), the king of Persia by opening doors for Cyrus’ conquests and in so doing Father declares (again) that there are no others gods other than Himself (Isa 45:1-7). So why would Father then accept us giving our devotion to anything but Himself?
We are to sing a new song and sing His praises all over the earth (v10-12). Even as the angels and those in heaven do in God’s presence (Rev. 7:9-12).
The Lord shall go forth and stir up jealousy like a man of war, He will cry and roar and prevail against His enemies (v13). Father reminds us that vengeance is His (Rom. 12:19) and His wrath can be expressed here in this world (Gen. 19:23-28) or assuredly in eternity for those cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 13-15, 20:10).
Father says that He has held back for a long time, but He also says that He will cry out as a woman giving birth (a very loud shriek) and suddenly come upon His enemies (v13-14 - in a time in the future). Don’t be in error, God did destroy some of His enemies as He did in the Old Testament, but in the end, all His enemies will be ‘finalized’ in the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).
I will lay waste to the mountains and dry up the herbs, I will turn rivers into dry land and dry up the pools of water. I will lead the blind by means which they have not known and I will make the darkness become a light before them. I will do all this and not forsake them (v 15-16). Look at the miracles Father cites!
Those who have trusted in graven images and called those statues gods shall turn back (v17 – turn away from false gods and come back to God).
You who are deaf, listen to what I am saying and you who are blind look and see (v18). Who is blind, but my servant and who is deaf as my messengers whom I sent (v19)? They see things but they really don’t observe what they see and they listen, but they don’t really hear (v20). Sounds, to me, like the scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus called whited sepulchers because they showed themselves to be religious when they were full of hypocrisy (Matt. 23:27-28). Sound a bit like anything you have seen or heard?
The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake and He will magnify the law, making it honorable (v21). God will honor that (those) who abide in Him (abide in His love, John 15:9-12).
Yet His people have robbed and spoiled and they are all trapped in what they have done. They all are trapped in holes and in prisons. They are prey which no one shall deliver and they are spoiled and no one shall say ‘restore’ (v22).
Listen to what Isaiah says to the people of His time about what they do. They have stolen from some and set traps for others and in so doing they don’t even realize that they are imprisoned by the evil which prompts them to do so! They dig a pit and fall into it themselves (Psalm 7:15). Sound familiar to anyone?
Who of you will hear this? And who will understand, for the time is yet to come (v23).
Isaiah has been speaking of things (attitudes) yet to happen down the road – even until today! Look around and see for yourselves!
Who let Jacob become a spoil and Israel to be robbed? Wasn’t it the Lord, against whom these people have sinned? Why? Because they would not walk in His ways nor obey His law (v24).
Who “let” Jacob become a spoil? The earth is the Lord’s and all that’s in it. The world is His and all that lives in it. He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord. Who shall stand in His Holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. He who has not lifted his soul up to vanity nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation (Psalm 24:1-5).
Satan could not come against Job without God’s permission (Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-6). And those who are in the Lord’s sheepfold (saved) enjoy the same protection, yet we know that Father does chastise those whom He loves (Heb. 12:6-8) and, as long as we abide in God’s love, whatever comes upon us is to shape us and mold us into a better person. We are the clay and the Lord is the potter (Isa. 45:9-11, Jer. 18:1-4).
Therefore God has poured out upon them (who defy Him) the fury of His anger and the strength of battle and set a fire all around. Yet he did not recognize what was happening and did not set all this into his heart (v25).
So, when man turns away from God is when God releases His fury. Read the Old Testament. Every time Israel turned from God, they were conquered by a foreign power and removed from the promised land. Then, like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), each time they repented and came back to God, God blessed them again as many returned to Jerusalem. Lesson, even when we ‘mess up’ and we truly repent that of which we have been guilty, Father will forgive us and set those sins behind His back (Isa. 38:17), so they can slide into the sea of forgetfulness (Micah 7:19).
In this one chapter from the book of Isaiah, we see why Father wreaks havoc upon His people. A little more reading of the bible helps us t understand that, as children of the living God, He will take the necessary measures to get His people back on the right track and start loving Him again. He loves us. God is love (1 John 4:16)! Jesus desires that we abide in His love as He abides in the Father (John 15:9) so Father, Son and we (us) might all be one (John17:20-23).
As a whole, the bible shows us how God deals with us – reprimand or blessing. We stray, God calls us ) with whatever it takes to get our attention). We return and Father blesses us. In the end, which do we choose? Destruction? Or deliverance?