Isaiah 13

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.

Isaiah 13.

Lots of judgment, war, doom and gloom. The earth will shake. The stars will stop shining.  Verse 22: “Babylon is doomed. It won’t be long now.” (MSG)

This all sounds horrible, doesn’t it? “I will punish this evil world
and its people because of their sins. I will crush the horrible pride of those who are cruel.” (v11, CEV).

The New Testament writers confirm God will bring His wrath on the nations, especially those nations who have not been kind to Israel.  Matthew, Mark and Luke all note these things will indeed occur.  And then…

“Right after those days of suffering, “The sun will become dark, and the moon will no longer shine. The stars will fall, and the powers in the sky will be shaken.”  Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man. All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. At the sound of a loud trumpet, he will send his angels to bring his chosen ones together from all over the earth.” (Matthew 24:29‭-‬31, CEV).

And Luke says: “Then the Son of Man will be seen, coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.” (Luke 21:27‭-‬28, CEV).

My heart grieves that if this doesn’t occur in my lifetime some generation down line from me will experience this torment and doom. Someone within my family’s bloodlines, and within yours, will face the peril of the earth. The good news is: “You will soon be set free!” We will all be set free!

This is the hope we all have! Even when we see the words of the prophets seemingly coming to pass on the nightly news, we will all be set free! That’s news that Isaiah 12 says that we are to shout to the nations! “Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” (Isaiah 12:6, NIV).

Isaiah later proclaims that God will bring about new things:

“I am creating new heavens
    and a new earth;
everything of the past
    will be forgotten.
 Celebrate and be glad forever!
I am creating a Jerusalem,
    full of happy people.
I will celebrate with Jerusalem
    and all of its people;
there will be no more crying
    or sorrow in that city.” (Isaiah 65:17-19, CEV).

“We will all be set free!”

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Raise a Hallelujah? Yes!

There is freedom in praise!

There’s a new song many churches are singing today during their worship services. It’s called “Raise a Hallelujah” by Bethel Music.

For some of us it’s easy to praise God and sing “Hallelujah,” right? You’re going on vacation. It’s summer. The bills are paid. The kids are behaving. Life is good.

But there are others (most of us?) who are just not feeling it. There is pain. There is disappointment. Life is one big slog each and every day. How do we sing in the middle of the storm? How do we even manage a smile when we are feeling defeated?

The answer is this: We can praise God by the power of the Holy Spirit who is in every Believer.

There’s something amazing that happens when we praise God… especially when we offer a praise to God when it’s hard to do so. And we don’t have to have a beautiful singing voice. It might be as simple as viewing an amazing sunset and exclaiming, “Wow, God!”

I believe praise releases God’s love and grace and power and provision in our lives. You may have heard the story of two disciples of Jesus. They were in prison, locked in chains, because they had been sharing the Good News. But they didn’t let shackles hold them back.

Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose. Acts 16: 25-26 (MSG)

There’s something about praise that sets us free. No matter what is holding you captive, bring it to the Lord in praise.

Let me encourage you to sing, to pray, to exclaim or even lament in the middle of your storm. Tell God how much you love Him. Tell God how much you trust Him.

And believe Him to bring you His freedom and His joy!

Raise a Hallelujah? Yes!

© Rich Ronald. 2019.