Friday, April 23, 2010

Isaiah 4

(from the Message)
2-4And that's when God's Branch will sprout green and lush. The produce of the country will give Israel's survivors something to be proud of again. Oh, they'll hold their heads high! Everyone left behind in Zion, all the discards and rejects in Jerusalem, will be reclassified as "holy"—alive and therefore precious. God will give Zion's women a good bath. He'll scrub the bloodstained city of its violence and brutality; purge the place with a firestorm of judgment.
5-6Then God will bring back the ancient pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night and mark Mount Zion and everyone in it with his glorious presence, his immense, protective presence, and shade from the burning sun and shelter from the driving rain.”

Whew finally something good! The first three chapters of Isaiah were pretty rough and here we have a sweet promise that God will restore that which He purged, He will give them a lush land and feed them from the abundant produce! He will cleanse them and call them ‘holy’

From David Guzik’s Commentary:
“ but in the days when the Branch of the LORD reigns, the distinguishing mark of all, including the daughters of Zion, is that they shall be called holy.
i. Holy does not mean "super-spiritual." It does not mean sinless perfection. It does not mean spiritually superior and obnoxious. It means a life, a heart, a mind, and a body that is genuinely separated unto the LORD. It is a life lived apart from the thinking and heart of this world, this flesh, and the devil, and lived apart to the LORD.
If we are really born again, we want to be washed, have the presence of the LORD, and enjoy His protection. Many people only want the LORD's constant presence and protection. But He doesn't grant those apart from His cleansing.”

I want to be called Holy, I’ve been called a lot of things in my past; bitter, angry, resentful, and vengeful. But my heart longs to hear “you are Holy as Christ has made you holy”. What first had to take place is that I willingly submit all of these things I just listed. Give them over to the one who came to purify me, to wash me and cleanse me so that I could be made Holy. His promises can never be mine if I’m not willing.

I find Guzik's statement that we want His presence and His protection, but don’t touch my sin, my idols, my right to do what I want to, so very true. We as a people who call ourselves His have fallen so far off the mark. Maybe it’s time we fall on our faces before Him, and with outstretched hands finally give over the part of us that we have not wanted to relinquish, that final idol that keeps us from completely worshiping Him in truth.
Come… be washed by His purifying fire like never before, give over all your sin, hold nothing back and know that in the end He, the Branch of the LORD will call you Holy!

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