As I relax in the Lord’s presence, I find myself aware of my breathing – “Your breath is a sign of life – the life I have given you, but it is also a sign of the real life I have given you at your second birth – the breath of the Spirit, who is now present in you as a gift from Me – won on the cross at Calvary. Breathe easily and remember the huge benefits my Spirit brings to you – the difference that makes it possible for you rise up as on the wings of an eagle – with My Spirit in you anything is possible – the mundane falls away in response to My Presence. So breathe my Spirit, allow Him to take over your life and grow you to be like Me – then you will be a true and effective witness to Me and My love, but remember if you move away from My Spirit and Me, I won’t force you to come back – I will woo you – but in the meantime, if salt loses its saltiness – what use will it be – without My Spirit your life will be like salt without its saltiness.”
Isaiah 45:20 – 46:13. Throughout the bible there is one main theme – salvation. It is easy to allow the constant references to salvation to fade into the background. Here in this passage we are again reminded of this important and central aim of Yahweh. The passage is bracketed by two statements about His ability to save 45:21b and 46:13. This follows His statement in 45:20, where He contrasts this with those those who carry gods that cannot save, in a mocking way.
Now this action of God is not an intellectual description of a characteristic of His. It is grounded in the very fact of our real need to be saved. Therefore God demands a response from the hearers, not just a nod of approval. cf 45:22 “Turn to Me and be saved” and he addresses this to the whole world. We are then reminded that there will come a time when the whole earth will be faced with His reality and will be forced to respond in humility to Him. cf 45:23b-25. Remember Paul’s reminder of this to us in the passage in Phillipians ch 2.
His reference to “All the descendants of Israel being saved in 45:25” should be seen in the light of Romans 9:6 ff where Paul states “all Israel is not Israel” meaning that it is only those who have faith in God that are the true Israel. In he same way we become part of Israel when we become children of God by faith.
One or two more interesting facts from Ch 46: Nebo and Bel are two of the gods of Babylon. Throughout the whole bible, Babylon represents all that is evil in the world. Many of the kings of Babylon incorporated the names of their gods in their own names hence “Nebo(u)-chadnezzar”, indicating their absolute alignment with these imaginary deities.
What is significant in ch 46 is the description of the burden that the gods of the Babylonians were to them. They had to carry their gods 46:1,2, whereas Yahweh makes a strong statement contrasting His relationship with His people to this. He is real and does not abandon those who He has made, but carries them, Himself even into their old age 46:4.
So He is calling me today, to remember that He is the God who declares the end from the beginning and is therefore more than capable of accomplishing His central objective. That is to save and as I said last time, not like Nike, where we must do it, but through Himself. He will do it 46:11. What He has spoken, He will accomplish. What a comfort for each of us as we move into old age and this is not the end, it is just the beginning.