Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah. Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.
More challenging words of gloom and destruction… My study today took me from Isaiah 10:3 to a couple of places in Matthew and to Revelation.
Isaiah warns about those who make laws that harm widows and orphans and asks: “What will you have to say on Judgment Day?” (v3, MSG).
Then I’m reminded of Jesus’ encouragement to us: “Whenever you did one of these things (acts of care) to someone overlooked or ignored (or widows or orphans, “the least of these”) that was me — you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40. While the grace of Jesus always trumps good deeds, on the Day of Judgement we will want to be able to humbly answer that we were one of the few who responded with action and helped to care for the impoverished.
“Lord, how can we serve you today?”
Isaiah also reminds us that God will use other nations to bring justice and repentance to the people of Israel who have refused to repent on their own. And it may not be pretty for His children. But the good news? “A time is coming when the survivors from Israel and Judah will completely depend on the holy Lord of Israel, instead of the nation that defeated them.” (v20 CEV).
And there is this future promise: “Then they (the Assyrians) will no longer rule your nation. All will go well for you, and your burden will be lifted.” (v 27 CEV.)
Who will lift their burden? Jesus is coming soon! We can see it later in Isaiah (chapter 63) and in John’s Revelation (chapter 19). We can be assured our burdens will be lifted as well. Jesus promises this is Matthew 11: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG).
Let Jesus take your burdens today. The rhythms of His grace are like the waves of the ocean. They keep coming… day after day. You can depend on it! You can depend on Him. It will go well for the people of Israel, eventually. That is a promise the people of The Land count on. It will go well for you and me too!
(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.