Monday, July 21, 2014

Looking for stability in times of Trouble

Read Isaiah 33.

God delivered a series of judgmental "woes" against those who rejected and ignored Him.  Judah knew better, but they chose to place their faith elsewhere.  In verse 1, the LORD called them traitors.  They betrayed the God who loved and cared for them.  The betrayer will be betrayed by those they trusted.  Placing one's faith in anyone or anything other than the LORD will ultimately prove to be in vain (vv.11-12).

All their efforts to negotiate alliances and bring peace to their land would not work.  When the Assyrians invade, they will make everything desolate.  But Jerusalem and the remnant of those who turn to God will be spared.

Like many of the prophetic passages, the message blends the historic happenings with future hope.  The prophets could not see the gaps between the two, unless God revealed to them an exact amount time.

In trouble, there would some who will cry out for God's grace and deliverance (v.2).  When the LORD is exalted, "he will be the stability of your times" and provide the "salvation, wisdom, and knowledge" they so desperately needed.  However, it came with the stipulation that they respond in obedience to God's word.  Such holy fear, or respect, for the LORD is called "Zion's treasure" (v.6).

In that day when Messiah reigns, things will be different (vv.13-24).  The godless will be afraid.  The righteous will openly demonstrate their faith by what they do and do not do.  They will dwell securely and with abundance.   The focus will be on the Jesus.
"Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty..." (v.17)
"...there the LORD in majesty will be for us..." (v.21)
"For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us." (v.22)

In the meantime, we are "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

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