6/14/2021

Where did my peace go? (Isa 30.15)

Some years ago, the Lord impressed this verse in my heart and it seems to be beckoning me again.  Of course it is an appeal to Israel to come back to the Lord after much rebellion.  However, it speaks to this blogger in a different way.  The verse:

"In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength..."

It's always been clear, as a believer, that worldly pursuits, ideas, ways, keep one from the comfort of the Holy Spirit.  Still, believers get "sucked" into this world, many times, without realizing what it is doing to the peace once known.

That is the case with this blogger.  Without going into detail, my prayer is forgiveness of the things I've yielded in the flesh that cause so much unrest. Satan is "more subtle than any beast of the field." (Gen 3.1) Thus, His intention is to draw the believer's heart from the One who would give rest and peace.  The song was rendered of life; "it's a battlefield, not a recreation room."  True, true, true.

We are to turn to the One who gives such comfort, "The Comforter," promised by the Lord Himself. (Jn 14.26, 15.26, 16.13)

Words like, rest, peace, quietness have been circling my head for a few days.  I feel like a thirsty man in the desert with an ocean of water in view.  It occurs to me from the verse noted today, that "returning" is the way back to rest of the spirit, quietness of soul and confidence in the daily believers walk.  Thereby, giving much needed strength to the soul.

If you are weary today, take thought that it's probably because much of the world and its ways have been allowed into your life.  STOP the technology.  "Return" to "The way" and "walk" in it! (Isa 30.21)


3/19/2021

What/Whom do You believe?

 The prophet is permitted to announce the coming of the Lord Jesus.  Read on in the passage of Isaiah 9.2, 6, 7, for the full description of the One whom we are to believe.

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The might God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace (there shall be) no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever.  (Here's this word again) The ZEAL of the Lord of hosts WILL perform this."

The Lord, in His great love for His people, Jew and Gentile, is eager to share the "way, the truth and the life," with such as the lowly sinner.

Such truth is too wonderful to expound.  Read and examine the heart for yourself.

Amen.

3/18/2021

What does it mean to believe?

 Current devotional reading in Isaiah brings the following verse to the forefront:

"And He shall be for sanctuary; BUT for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense...for a gin (trap) and for a snare...And MANY (not all) shall...stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken." (Isa 8.14, 15)

We know, of course, this prophecy is to "the house of Israel."  We also see in verse sixteen of chapter eight that the words are to be "(bound) up...among (the Lord's) disciples." (8.16)  What is this blogger saying?

To follow Christ is to know, "stumbling," offending others, hurt, brokenness, possibly captivity in some way. Peter told us in I Peter 2.6-9, 

    "Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light;"

In other words, just like the Lord Jesus was crucified on an "old rugged cross," so His disciples will suffer and be misunderstood in this world.  However, take heart.  Peter also told us we are "a chosen general, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, (yes even) a peculiar people..." who have a purpose, to shine the Lord's light in a sin-cursed, dark world.

There is much in the scripture about suffering for the cause of Christ. Read for yourself. (Jn 16.33, I Pet 4.12-19, 5.10, Jms 1.2-4, Rom 8.18, Rev 21.4, 2 Cor 4.8-10, Isa 43.2, 2 Tim 3.12, Ps 34.19).  

There is also much in the scripture about the reward for such suffering.  Our reward is on the other side of life, of course.  But in this life we know that "godliness with contentment is great gain." (I Tim 6.6) We also read that if we "suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him." (I Tim 2.12).  The song was written that said, "the way of the cross leads home."

The life of a believer  has also been stated this way, "prepare to be unappreciated."

Before despair sets in, read the verses above about suffering, then read all the verses that can be found about heaven at the end of the way.  

God bless is my prayer for you. Ps 57.7


2/27/2021

"His train filled the temple..."


"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." (Isa 6.1)

In ancient times, the flowing train of a monarch's robe was symbol of glory and splendor. It was the part of the robe that signified majesty and authority. The longer the back hem of the robe, the more powerful the sovereign.  There is no doubt as to the authority and majesty of the One to whom the "train" belongs in this passage in Isaiah.

While there are many other symbols and spiritual applications in this imagery, this blogger would focus on the "train" today.  The meaning of "train" from the Hebrew according to Strongs concordance is: skirt (of robe), such as a high priest's robe, the bottom edge of a robe.  As a noun, Webster's 1818 dictionary describes the word this way:  

  • The tail of a fowl. For example, The train steers their flight, and turns their bodies, like the rudder of a ship. 
  • A retinue; a number of followers or attendants, My train are men of choice and rarest parts. The king's daughter with a lovely train.
  • A series; a consecution or succession of connected things, Rivers now stream and draw their humid train
Breaking the word down into Webster's meaning gives our readers a beautiful view of parts of the Lord's character and what He does for His people.  
  1. Like the tail of the fowl or the rudder of a ship, the train is the part that steers the bird or the ship.  So it is with the ways of the Lord, if we walk in the council of His will and way we will be "steered" always in the right direction.
  2. Like the train that accompany's the brides garment as she is admired from the back, like minded believers will follow, completely and without hesitation the "beauty of His holiness." (I Chr 16.29, II Chr 20.21, Ps 29.2).  Thus causing them to "walk in His ways." (Deut 8.6)
  3. Like the definition of "connected things," believers are united in Spirit as brothers and sisters in the Lord and "fluidly," like the connected rivers and streams, follow the Lord. (Rom 12.5, I Cor 3.9, Gal 6.10)
This train has much meaning. More than this simple minded blogger can comprehend. But make no mistake, it is an important, relevant part of how one is to view the Lord, "high and lifted up."  If His "train filled the temple," then we are to be covered and out of view while He gets all the glory and is all in view.

God bless and keep each reader. Amen..

2/25/2021

Purging

 The term comes to mind when meditating on Isaiah, chapter 5.  It is evident that judgment will occur because of the sins of the people.  The chapter starts out very lovingly, "Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard...in a very fruitful hill:..." (5.1) Then, verse 5 turns "sideways." "I will take away the hedge thereof and it shall be eaten...break down the wall...it shall be trodden down."  Why?

Verse 20 notes that it is because God's people, "Israel," "Call evil good, and good evil..." They are "wise in their own eyes and drink "strong drink."  It seems another world is watching this change also.  "Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure...and (they) shall descend into it." (5.14)  You better believe, "the devils believe and tremble." (Jms 2.19)

Yet, because of the Father's great love for His own, "his hand is stretched out still." (5.25)  The Lord never leaves His people in sin.  Judgment and purging must take place.  Verse 24 explains how all will be burned and consumed with fire.  This is God's way.

Much has been preached, taught and said on the subject of "purging." It is the Lord's way of separating the "wheat from the chaff."  Purifying the gold by "burning off the dross" that hides the gold. (Mt. 3.12, Mal 3.3)  This purging in Isaiah 5 is for the good of those the Lord calls His own.

Webster's 1828 defines purging this way; to cleanse or purify by separating and carrying off whatever is impure.  To clear from guilt or moral defilement.  The Psalmist said He would "purge" away our sins, for thy (His) Name's sake. (Ps 79.9)  The psalmist asked to be "purged with hyssop (so he could be) clean." (Ps 51.7)

My dear, fellow believer, be assured that the Lord applies the principle to His Jew and Gentile bride.  While santification is setting apart, there is no need to "set apart" unless one has been "purged."  So, when fiery trials (I Pet 4.12) come your way, know that your are being "purged."  And remember, it is grace in action because "His hand is stretched out still." (5.25)

God bless you and keep you. Amen