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.
Bad news for the sinner — that’s us.
Good news for the chosen ones — that’s us too!
“I, the LORD, will make them pay for their sins and for those of their ancestors… they have disgraced me by burning incense (to idols) on mountains.” (v7, CEV). God calls out those who do religious things just to be religious. For those sins they will have to pay. And, we’re in that category, too, right? Because as Paul notes: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). And that’s precisely why Jesus had to come and had to pay the price for everyone’s sin. Even those whom God is addressing here in Isaiah 65.
But, good news! “I won’t destroy everyone.” (v8, CEV).
“I am God! I can be trusted. Your past troubles are gone; I no longer think of them. I am creating new heavens and a new earth. Everything of the past will be forgotten.” (v16-17, CEV).
God CAN be trusted. I love that He, infinite God that He is, forgets our past when we confess our sin and trust in Jesus. And, even though He forgets our past, He doesn’t forget the pain we may have suffered or the heart-ache we might have endured. His love and grace wrap around us like a comfortable blanket.
Look how Paul says the same thing: “Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.” (1 Cor. 5:17, CEV). We are chosen because Jesus went to the Cross, and rose again, on our behalf.
Isaiah concludes this chapter with blessings that abound for the chosen ones:
“My people will live long lives and in their own homes.”
“My people will harvest and enjoy their own crops.”
“Your work won’t be wasted.”
“Your children and grandchildren will be blessed.”
“I will answer their prayers before they finish praying.” (parts of v21-24, CEV).
Don’t you just love that? He will answer our prayers even before we finish offering them! What great promises are in store for us, because we are chosen! We are chosen only because of the grace and love of Jesus:
“But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind He is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God’s gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own.” (Ephesians 2:4-8, CEV).
Can we thank Him for His good gifts to us… the blessings we are promised in Isaiah and receive through Jesus, the Messiah?
If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.
(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.