Isaiah 23

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.

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 23.

More woe. That certainly appears to be a constant theme, right? This time the circle expands to the north of Israel, to what is Lebanon today. Tyre of Ancient Days is near today’s Beirut. It is most associated with precious metals and the source of King Solomon’s wealth. The location of Tarshish has been lost to antiquity. Some suggest Italy or as far away as southern Spain. Or even right near Tyre.

This is again a reminder that man’s wealth is but a mere speck in time. It comes and goes as the waves of the oceans upon which the sailor journeys.

One day, the city of Tyre’s wealth will be restored. But look at this:

“At the end of those seventy years, the Lord will let Tyre get back into business. The city will be like a woman who sells her body to everyone of every nation on earth, but none of what is earned will be kept in the city. That money will belong to the Lord, and it will be used to buy more than enough food and good clothes for those who worship the Lord.” (v17-18, CEV).

This outlines an amazing principle. No matter the source of the wealth, it all belongs to God and God will use it for His purposes. He can use even the evil of the world to bless those who worship Him.

I’m reminded of the story of Joseph in Genesis. His was a life of major trials. His own family sold him into slavery. He was unjustly imprisoned for years. And yet, God used all of that for God’s glory and Joseph’s joy. As the story concludes Joseph is reunited with his brothers and declares that he holds no ill-will towards them:

“Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people.” (Genesis 50:19-20, MSG).

As you trust Him, God will use your trials — even things that might be considered evil directed against you — for His good, for His glory, and your joy. Our call is to be faithful to Him no matter the circumstances or situation.

Paul says it this way: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).

 

If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

God’s Warranty is Never Cancelled

So, it’s now a few weeks after Christmas.  Did you have to take anything back?  Was it a problem with the retailer or were they pretty good about the exchange?  Did you get a gift card or a refund?  It’s usually pretty easy to get an exchange these days because they want your future business… but have you ever had to wrangle for them to make good on the warranty on something?  From car dealers to computer stores to contractors, often we find ourselves having to haggle and argue and negotiate for the warranty deal that we thought we purchased.

I have good news for you… with God it’s simple.

Check out Romans 11:29 from The Message:  God’s gifts and God’s call are all under full warranty.  Never cancelled.  Never rescinded.

God assures us that He has a call on our lives… a plan.  In the story of Joseph in Genesis 37, he calls it a dream.  He dreamed very big dreams!  And, it took many, many years for those dreams to come to pass.  But they did!  And God has not abandoned His plans, or His dreams,  for you.

Despite your setbacks.  And maybe, in spite of setbacks.  Along the way, we may feel that because of a curve ball of some sort, because something didn’t work out the way we planned, that God may have changed too.  But may I tell you today: He has not.  He has not abandoned His plan for you.  He loves you.  His plan is for your success.  Jeremiah 29:11 affirms this:  I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  (The Message)

Will you trust it?

It is never cancelled.  It’s for today… and for all eternity.

(c) 2012. Rich Ronald