I have been singing, “help me trust you more and more. Help me give my whole heart to you”.
“ Your focus has been on trusting Me for the path ahead into the future. Your focus is on the journey over the river Jordan to the ultimate celebration of victory and a table set for you and a myriad of others. Now you want to trust me more and more. Look back – look back at my history with my people and you. See that shining light – it is so bright it’s soars into the sky and can be seen from everywhere. Look what it is lighting up – the moment of victory – on an old ugly cross in Israel – on my Son calling out, “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” That is a moment in history which has been documented. Now let your trust start there – place your feet on that Rock of certainty and look forward with that as your launching pad and come and follow Me, take up your cross, put to death all self-reliance and doubts and let us walk together into the future, towards the New Jerusalem.”
We come now to he end of this long prophetic book, Isaiah. There has been a great amount of input, much of which has been repeated in various ways for further emphasis and clarification. Ch 66 gathers together a few of these themes.
Of greatest significance, Jehovah speaks about Himself. Which reminds us that He has been and is and will be the center of everything. Firstly He reminds us that, as much as He gave the instructions to build a temple which would symbolize His presence, no building can hold Him. The entire universe is His footstool. (vs 1) a good reminder of what He has said earlier that His ways are far higher than our ways. We cannot put Him in a box to suit our understanding.
Secondly. He can do the most amazing acts in an instant. (vv 8,9). As much as a baby is born in a few minutes, so He can make a nation in the same time.
Thirdly. While much of this passage is devoted to reminding the reader of His judgement against all who do not worship Him. He will treat Israel (all His people) like a mother treats a son (v 12,14). Giving comfort and bringing great joy.
But fourthly, the most telling statement comes in v 23. It will remind you of Philippians ch 2. In the end all mankind will worship Him. For all eternity.
Most of the rest of the chapter is a reminder of the repeated statements that there are two kinds of people. There are those who are deemed to be acceptable to God. Who are going to spend all eternity with Him. They are variously described as, “humble and submissive in spirit” v 2 “Who tremble at His word”. vs 2 and 5. And then there is the all-encompassing word in vs 23; “Those who worship Him.” What a wonderful summary of the true followers of Jehovah, who later are taken into His family through the work of the “Suffering Servant” on the cross. He also makes it clear that His invitation to be part of His kingdom extends to everyone.
Then comes the jarring note. The note which so many of us tend to skip over as we read. That is the description of those who reject God. Apart from those who openly rebel against God, now as elsewhere in the book, He singles those out who say they are worshiping Him, yet are consorting with all the the pagans. It seems to me as I reflect on this that this is perhaps one of the main issues in Christianity today. The many who claim to be followers of Christ, but their hearts have not been converted. Their worship is only superficial and does not indicate a changed heart. It speaks volumes that the last verse of this book describes the fate of all who reject God.
In this weeks weekend Burger was an interview, a whole page with an ex-dominie, who has just published a book. “The bad news of the gospel”. He describes himself as an agnostic. The reason, according to him that he cannot accept Christianity is that we are called to believe that far more people will go to hell rather than heaven. It seems to me, denying what is a major theme of the bible will not change it. At the same time this should be a major spur for all of us to share the gospel with as many people as we can.
For those of you who are persevering with me and my blog, I am starting to read the gospel of Matthew. It connects very much with the Old Testament and much of what Isaiah has written about, giving a New Covenant understanding to it.
- Assyria Attacks
- God's Purpose for His People.
- God is with Us.
- The Word of God Continues to Increase and Spread.
- God is love.
- Wisdom expressed in Perseverance and Hope.
- Future Grace, Living a Life that gives God All the Glory.
- Yahweh, the only Living God.
- Turning God's Wrath Away.
- More on Listening and Love.