Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How to Find Hope in the Doom and Gloom

The days of Isaiah were filled with decay and dread. What was once the glorious united Kingdom of David, was now two divided kingdoms… a southern, Davidic dynasty ruled over the tiny statelet of Judah (with people from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and some Levites) and the rest in the larger northern Kingdom of Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s half tribes). As if the shattering of David’s Kingdom wasn’t enough, the ancient Israelites now, at best, only half-worshipped God; most of the time they simply embraced the backward ways of the Levantine culture, the sacrifice of children and injustice in every level of society.

Today's Reading Isaiah 6 - 10

God shows He plays no favorites. Nations, where evil and oppression of people becomes accepted as common practice, are wiped out and suffer wrath and even these instruments of wrath later reap their arrogance.  Whether these nations were ‘God’s people’ or not, His standards are set.

These are not easy chapters to read. Isaiah foretells how the Assyrian army which he compares as flood waters would take away both of these Israelite kingdoms, leaving only a remnant and a land so empty that the vineyards and orchards once glorious and fruitful will be covered in forests of thorns and briers. Not only has the disaster of the breaking of the kingdom come upon ancient Israel, now even the very line of David is under threat.

Understand that the line of David is important because it is Christ’s lineage! Just as Abraham is singled out from Noah’s descendants, Isaac from Ishmael, Jacob from Esau and finally Judah from Israel’s 12 sons, so was David from the Jews (those from Judah)… and now it seems as this family’s genealogy gets narrower but closer to the Messiah, it is extremely endangered; its very existence is about close to being totally wiped out and forgotten.
That is when Isaiah utters what would have seemed to be unimaginable prophecies. He speaks of the virgin birth of Christ, that He is God (Immanuel), that He is the Prince of Peace and brings justice and righteousness and a kingdom that will never end. They are seemingly out of place.

This is a lesson to every son and daughter of God. His plans for you, no matter how bleak your outlook has become, will never be shaken. Even in the midst of almost complete and utter defeat, you can still trust God’s promises are as strong as ever. Maybe your understanding of them requires some pruning and rearrangement of the details (but never the substance). He promises to be with you, to counsel you, to give you peace and a very, very good future. Such times are when you practice faith and patiently seek His guidance as you wait.

Without faith you think it’s over. But with wisdom and some hope, you now surrender as you wait for the Lord. He is not finished with you!

One more thing: did you notice when Isaiah was able to see such things about Christ? It was only after a heavenly vision where he was shown that in God’s eyes he was pure. If you want to truly grow in your relationship with Christ and see your Father as He truly is, embrace the coal from the embers; embrace the mercy afforded you by the blood of Christ. The more confident you are that Jesus’ blood has cleansed you and made you righteous the more you shall grow in your understanding of God.

Let him who has ears to hear, hear and turn and be healed.

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David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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