Reading the book of Isaiah has been an emotional journey--rather like listening to the beautiful music of an epic movie's soundtrack (by epic movie I mean something akin to Lord of the Rings or Narnia.) One moment unbearably, agonizing sad and heart-rendingly hopeless. The next, gloriously beautiful, gloriously joyful; like the first strains of major chords in the movie's climatic battle scene, where all seems lost and hopelessly dark until the first white crest of reinforcements come surging over the hill like the break of day.
It is such a contrast, the bleak extremity of man's sin and depravity, of how far he has distanced himself from God--and then the seemingly impossible, their reconciliation. The second chance. The redemption.
Isaiah 54 was one of those glorious, redemptive chapters where God calls His alienated people to repent, return, to all the goodness they had originally rejected. We see God's mercy despite having seen man's sin.
“For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with deep compassion. I will bring you back.
8 In a surge of anger
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness
I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
9 “To me this is like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
never to rebuke you again.
10 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken,
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
God promises us so much. Security. Forgiveness. Fruitfulness. Joy. Comfort.
And we know that God will keep His promise, because He couldn't be God if He didn't.
17b "...This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord."
But there's another guarantee we have (thank you Search the Scriptures for this thought!)
These blessings are the heritage of His servants, His 'vindication'; something rightful, to be claimed, even.
And we know that we can claim to be His servants, claim these blessings--
--because Christ died to make us so.
Not because we keep ourselves from sinning (we can't.)
Not because we do all the right things (we don't.)
Not because of our own merit (we don't have any.)
Because of Christ.
And that's our guarantee--an infallible, absolutely secure guarantee--to the promise of God.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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