Hope you all had a great Father's Day.
I have found it a little harder than I thought in Isaiah looking for the Impact moments on Christ. So much of the first five chapters is all about the punishment God was sending down on Israel and Judah. I cannot imagine being Isaiah and having to be the one writing these words telling the "chosen people of God" that their sin was going to lead them to devastation. It must have been heart wrenching for Isaiah, not to mention dangerous because of how much he would have been hated for it.
Yet, Isaiah 6 tells us of the "encounter" Isaiah had with the Lord and why he delivered these heart wrenching, gut busting messages.
Isaiah finds himself in a vision, in the Holy presence of God. Even in his vision, Isaiah could not bear the torture of sense of sin on his lips and the lips of his people. But in Gods mercy, he provides a painful solution to Isaiahs pain, seating his lips with a hot coal. It sounds like punishment, but to Isaiah it was like a soothing balm on his lips. Sin and holiness do not mix.
Next, Isaiah hears the "call" of the Lord! "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
In his haste to want to please the Lord, Isaiah throws his hand up like an excited school boy and says, "Here I am, Send Me!"
God accepted his offer with these words (and I paraphrase) "Go! Tell them my message! But know up front, few will listen, few will hear, few will see, but tell them anyway!"
Isaiah agonized over these last words. Basically he was being told he carried a message that would save his people from Gods coming punishment, but no one was going to listen to him. Isaiah cries out, "How long do I have to do this Lord!"
The answer was simple, "Until I say it has been enough!" (My paraphrase again.
I looked at these words and realized Jesus, prior to coming to earth must have been asked the same thing, and like Isaiah he answered the call. But the end of his journey was much different:
"Of all the ones the Father has given me, I have lost none!"
Firstly I am grateful Jesus before he came, and once he grew into the understanding of why he came, was willing to raise his hand and say, "Here am I, send me!"
"Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid." Isaiah 7:4
The kingdom of Judah was in the eyesight of the kings of Israel and Aram. It says the heart of the king of Judah and all the people was "shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind." 7:2
Things did not look good. Ahab, king of Judah was not a man after Gods heart. Yet, for Davids sake, God still stood for the people. However, what they faced was more than they could imagine. Left to themselves they would certainly have been trampled under the feet of these two other kings. Yet God sends Isaiah to say "don't be afraid."
God offered to give Ahaz proof everything was going to be okay, but Ahaz refused to specify a sign, so God gave this one:
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (God with us.)" 7:14
As Jesus read these words, I am sure he could sense the severity of the situation the people of Judah faced. As he read of their trembling hearts, I am sure he felt their anguish. However, God stood for them! Therefore, no weapon formed against them would work.
Then Jesus reads the "sign." A child, born to a virgin. As he grew older and came to the full understanding of the miracle of his birth, Jesus would have read these words and realized, "This is talking about me!"
That means everything that followed would have become extremely important to Jesus. He would have wanted to know the purpose of his life. He would have wanted to know what he was going to accomplish. Therefore, Jesus, a son born of a virgin, would have paid very close attention to the words he heard and read because he grew to understand there was something of great importance that he was going to accomplish.
That is why verses like 8:11 spoke so clearly to him "The Lord spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people."
And verses like "do not fear what they fear and do not dread it (death)" 8:12
And "The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be your sanctuary;" 8:13-14
And "Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples. I will wait for the Lord . . . I will put my trust in him." 8:16-17
Jesus, realizing who he was, gave himself to these things and whenever things seemed uncertain, or hard, he would remember these words:
"Should not a people inquire of their God?" 8:19
I am so thankful that God put these words in Isaiahs mouth before the king Ahaz in order to prepare Jesus to live out these glorious words. I pray my life will be impacted by this passage just as Jesus' was.
It has been a long day! Mowing yard, hauling hay, delivering sheep, and helping a friend fix his trailer! Just got home.
Isaiah 9 delivers this famous passage:
"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the Increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." 9:6-7
As Jesus read these words and came to understand that he was the "child" and "son" who would reign on Davids throne, he could have gone in several directions.
He could have caved under the pressure. This is quite the load to carry. Can you imagine realizing you are the one who would be called Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God. . . ? That is a lot of pressure to bear.
He could have become proud. His attitude could have changed and he could have become boastful in his ability as "this child who is born."
Thankfully, instead, he received this news with humility. Because he did, he now reigns forever and his kingdom has never stopped growing and expanding. He trusted that his Father would keep his promises and exalt his name above every name, therefore he did not have to be boastful or proud or try and do things on his own. He also did not have to cave to the pressure and hide from who he was because he knew his Father was able to do all he said he would do.
I am so grateful Jesus did not run from his identity. I am also grateful he did not become proud of who he was going to be. I am eternally grateful he accepted who he was and is with humility and that now I can call him my Prince of Peace!
"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse: from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord - and he will delight in the fear of the Lord."
As Jesus reads Isaiah 11 as he grows in wisdom and favor with God and man, he realizes he is this "shoot" growing out of Jesse's stump. I have recently learned that Nazareth was known as "shoot town" giving even more significance to this verse in Isaiah.
As Jesus allows this to soak in for nearly 30 years, he sees all this come to pass as Luke 3 tells us that the Spirit rested on him. Luke 4 tells us that the Spirit filled and led him. In Luke 4:14 we are told that Jesus returned in the "power of the Spirit."
Because Jesus gave himself to be this "shoot" he grew to bear fruit. Because he lived his life through the Spirit, he was able to judge rightly, to live justly, slay the enemy, and open the doors for you and I to enjoy an abundant life living in the kingdom of God. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
Realizing his true identity and living in the full promises of his Father, Jesus has accomplished and fulfilled all of these words, thus allowing you and I to sing along with Isaiah in chapter 12 "Surely God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song, he has become my salvation."
Today, I want to encourage you and I to "Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things, let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel, among you!"
Today I am grateful that God wrote all these words through his servant Isaiah, so that Jesus could listen to them, meditate on them, and allow them to form him into the Savior I so desperately needed!
Isaiah 13-14 speak of Gods coming wrath on Babylon. Yes, they were his instrument of punishment for the sins of Israel, but their time would end. God was very clear about his intentions on returning Israel to their land. (14:1)
But there is so much more going on in these verses. As Jesus read "Babylon" he also connected it, as did Isaiah to the "morning star, son of the dawn. The one cast down to earth." 14:12
These words were much more than just a declaration of Gods punishment of Babylon and deliverance of Israel. They were foreshadows of a coming wrath against the one who attempted to "ascend to heaven" to raise his own throne. They also were foreshadows a coming Deliverer for the people of God. As Jesus read these words, how reassuring the words of Isaiah 14:24 must have been
"The Lord Almighty has sworn, Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand."
What amazing words of confidence in which to live. Everything Jesus read about the coming Messiah would take place. The enemy would be defeated and forever cast away. The people he came to redeem would forever be delivered.
As Jesus lived his life and came to understand that he was the Deliverer, he could live with boldness knowing God would bring to pass all the things He had promised!
What words of Impact, but not just for Jesus, for you and I as well. For we have been told we have been made victorious in Jesus. We are more than conquerors and that The kingdom of God has been given to us as an inheritance. We have been told our enemy has been defeated and we have been made righteous in the eyes of God!
What God has planned, so it will be, what God has purposes, so it will stand!
So yesterday was a rough day around here. Started out by me being up all Friday night because of a gall bladder attack. Finally went to sleep around 5 am and then got up at 8:30 and did several things till some kids came over around 4pm. Then Knox, our youngest ended up in ER with a busted chin that had to be stitched up. Needless to say, when we finally got the bed, we were ready for rest.
Today I did my "catch up" reading. Unfortunately, Isaiah 15-18 is pronouncing curses on lands. I struggled through with my thought on "how did this impact Jesus?" I was not particularly struck by anything.
However, in the course of my reading through Psalms with another brother, I read Psalm 46 today.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. . ." 46:1-2
What an astounding song for Jesus to have on his lips. He surely heard this Psalm over and over as a child, the message resonating to his soul. God is his refuge! God is his strength. God is his help! He had no reason to fear!"
No matter what chaos seemingly was going on around Jesus (mountains falling, waters roaring) he learned he could take refuge in God. When he faced trouble, he learned he could turn to his very present Helper, God!
"The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress." 46:7
When men rose up against Jesus, hating him, longing to kill him, Jesus knew this one truth, God was with him. Jesus learned that wars ceased at Gods command. He learned bows were broken, spears shattered, and shields set on fire by the One who was "with him", the One who was his fortress!
Jesus learned the most necessary words needed to enjoy life with his Father. . .
"Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
If Jesus was going to grow up and become the one he was meant to be, our Redeemer. He first had to learn to "Be Still."
In the stillness he would learn to "know" that God was God and that if he was going to be exalted in the earth, God would have to do it. It was not up to Jesus to lift his own name high, it was in the hands of the One who was his refuge, his strength, his help, his fortress, the One who was with him.
If Jesus was going to fulfill the law and prophets, he had to learn to live in this truth, he had to Be Still and Know God was God and that by living in the stillness inside his fortress, refuge, and strength, Jesus could be all he had been sent to be!
Praise His Name, Jesus learned to Be still and know God was God!
I pray I will learn to Be still and know he is God so that He can make me into who he wants me to be so I may accomplish the purpose he has sent me to accomplish!