I am deeply desiring to “know” God’s glory. I see a light upon the mountains, it is growing in intensity and brightness – till it fills the whole earth – till it fills the whole universe.
“That is My glory – My glory is the reason I created. My Glory is the reason for history – and ultimately, when the ‘The Marriage Supper of the Lamb’ is celebrated, will be when My glory will finally be revealed. I have created each person individually and uniquely different – yet with one purpose – to bring Me glory. Yet, sin causes each man (woman) to seek his (her) own glory rather than mine. Even those who serve Me and love Me are often drawn away to seeking their own glory. So I am manipulating the whole of history to demonstrate My glory. You cannot see it, yet the whole earth is covered in My glory like the waters cover the sea. Go out and allow Me to show My glory through you and enjoy it, rejoice in it, it is the highest goal”.
We follow Israel’s story in Isaiah 36:21- 37:28.
What was the reaction of Hezekiah and the people to the threats of the Assyrians? The immediate instruction was to not answer the Field Commander. Not to try and argue with him. No explanation is given. (37:21)
Secondly there is this picture of various people tearing their clothes (37:22; 38:1). Associated with that, of putting on sackcloth. What does that mean? Well it was the outward sign of the people of that era of distress (37:3) and mourning. There is also a hope expressed that God will still act (37:4c). The bible often associated mourning with a recognition of sin and a sign of repentance. How do we interpret this action here, though?
Its almost as if the people are driven there by fear and hope that their mourning will move God to rescue them. Notice where the hope of the rescue is focused – 37:4d. The remnant which we have been following throughout this story. Something of Hezekiah’s spirituality is revealed in the prayer that follows in 37:14-20. Notice where the focus of his prayer is. He reminds himself of God’s souvereignty in creation and calls on Him to show this by rescuing them, “So that all the kingdom’s on earth may know that you alone are God.
Presumably he is being reminded of the importance of this. Notice the parallel to what God said to me this morning. His glory is paramount. His name is inextricably linked to His glory. This places Hezekaiah’s prayer right alongside the will of God in defending His name, in the face of all the mocking blasphemies that have been made.
Finally then, Isaiah brings God’s reply (37:22 – 35). I suggest you study it carefully. Here are some interesting points that I have noticed. In vs 26 we have a strong reminder that God has had a souvereign plan throughout the whole of history. Nothing has happened by chance, in the past and because of God’s zeal everything He has ordained for the future, will still happen 37:32.
Secondly we are reminded here of God’s omniscience (knowing everything) concerning everyone in the world(37:28), not only of each one of us Christians, as in Psalm 139 . God has an intimate knowledge of friend and foe alike. Finally as in 37:4d, the focus for the future of Israel lies with the remnant 37:31.
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So what do I hear Jesus saying to me from this passage? The comfort I received is that God is still working out His plan, which might at some times appear unlikely in the face of disaster. That plan still focuses on “the Remnant” of which Jesus was the first fruits in the New Testament. Everyone who is “in Jesus” is therefore part of that remnant and hence, I am still part of this unfolding plan. Then there is a reminder of something in our lives, which should be reflected in our prayers. God’s name and His glory should be central. If we do that then our prayers will be right alongside God’s will.
Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The Hebrew verb translated “commit” there, actually means “lay your plans alongside God’s”. That is the great reminder of the power in prayer. The challenge to me lies to live that out.