Before we get into Isaiah today, I wanted to tell you that the neatest experience I have had in this world o’ blog is meeting and getting to know fellow blogging sisters in person. And beyond that, becoming their friend. If you had told me that a year ago, I would have had a few comments and questions: what is a blog? Why would I write on a blog? There is absolutely NO WAY I am doing that! Who would even read it anyway?
Two bits o’ business before Isaiah: Sydney’s fever finally broke tonight! We are not sure, but are watching for little roseola bumps to appear. We’ll see. Second, we have no real news on a job, yet. Chris is still in the mix for one and we have not heard a yea or nay. We shall report soon, I hope. But I have settled in for the holiday for the time being! We even worked a puzzle today and had some coffee and hot spiced cider. I think we will enjoy one another when retirement comes!
Let’s get into Isaiah now, shall we? One thing that Joanne and I discussed today had to do with the extremes and opposites. If it were not for the extreme bad happening, how would we ever fully appreciate the extreme good? We come to appreciate that God marks the boundaries for these extremes. In measure, he allows us to experience quite a wild ride called life. In the extremes, we find a balance that is God-ordained.
So beginning in Isaiah 13 going through chapter 24, we find that God is proclaiming judgement and wrath upon various nations. Honestly, I am thankful that He does this…for without judgement, He could not be fully God. His holiness demands a standard. That standard is not fuzzy. It is firm. He demonstrates discipline because of His great love FOR us.
Notice in chapter 14, verse one, Isaiah proclaims this: The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel.
Isn’t that marvelous? In every situation you have ever found yourself, God will have compassion upon you. He gives us a “once again.” And that once again is found in Christ.
Looking through the text for Christ, you have to first see this: “This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:26-7 His purpose stands un-THWART-able! Before the foundations of the world, He had purposed that Jesus would be born in that stable over 2000 years ago. Mercy and grace in the form of that babe, the Savior of the world would come…has come…to execute forgiveness, to bring forth redemption. His Hand stretched out to heal. And under that Hand, I bow. What He has spoken over my life and yours, friends, is His unthwartable purpose. We need only listen for His voice saying, This is the way, walk in it. We need only bow and say, Your will, not mine be done.
A balance friends. He brings it.
When we are afflicted, He brings the balance in Christ Jesus as our Refuge: “The LORD has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.” Isaiah 14:32b
When we are oppressed, God’s heart cries out over us, and He speaks healing through Christ Jesus: “In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it—one from the house of David—one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.” Isaiah 16:5
When we are fading and wasting away in our sinfulness, God sends His blessing through Christ Jesus and the remnant that looks to Him. (Isaiah 17:6)
When we cannot see what God is doing, He is raising up through Christ Jesus a Way for all people. (Isaiah 18:7)
When we are in fear from destruction, God has sent to us a Sign and Monument through Christ Jesus: “When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.” Isaiah 19:20b
When we are seized with terror, we find that in Christ Jesus is our Warrior in a Chariot, as we faithfully watch and listen and report about our Deliverer. (Isaiah 21:9)
In Isaiah 21:12, a watchman tells again of the extremes that God has set up: “Morning is coming, but also the night.”
What Jesus Christ opens cannot be shut and what He shuts no one can open. The One who stands at the door, who indeed is the Door, the Gate is able to accomplish…He is un-Thwart-able!
Again opposites: “The LORD Almighty planned it, to bring low the pride of all glory and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.” Isaiah 23:9
Does anyone want honor? Glory? Position? The right house? The right clothes? Then trade the ones you see for the ones to come. Get humble friends, face down before God. It is a trade-off that has eternal significance…and lasts eternally! Like Paul, take pride in your humble and low estate. Can you set your sights on an eternal perspective?
Now for balance (Isaiah 24:1-3):
it will be the same
borrower as for lender,
The earth will be completely laid waste
As Isaiah says at the end of chapter 24, we shall see HIM in His Glory, reigning gloriously! Chapter 25 goes on with a song of praise. I hope you will read it before I write again next week. Don’t miss this wondrous extreme of our Faithful and True.