Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Isaiah 7

3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, [b] to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman's Field. 4 Say to him, 'Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah's son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 "Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it." 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
" 'It will not take place,
it will not happen,

I am always amazed in Scripture when God seeks out evil men to change their hearts and their circumstances. Here we have Ahaz an evil King who worshiped the idols of Molech, and through the prophet Isaiah God brings him a message; “calm down, I’m here, don’t be afraid, trust me I’m telling you this great travesty that these to weaklings are planning will not happen, it will not take place”. How cool is that! God brings a message of peace and victory to a man who is not even interested in Him.

Ahaz wouldn’t trust God. He held onto his fear and his people followed suit. The very people God longed to call His own wouldn’t place their hearts in His hands, If the king of Judah and the people of Judah had put their trust in the LORD, they would have had the peace of God in this conflict. Why was it so hard for Ahaz to do this? Because he didn't see the situation the way the LORD did. Ahaz looked at Israel and Syria and saw a terrible threat. God looked at Israel and Syria and saw two stubs of smoking firewood. To the LORD, they were all smoke and no fire!
The interesting thing here is that God offered Ahaz both “peace and victory” all he had to do was trust. He was even invited to prove God worthy by asking for a sign.
10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 "Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights."
12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test."

I think Ahaz was not only evil but was crazy! Don’t you wish God would do that for you. I would love to hear Him say those words to me “Susan I know your struggling with trusting me, ask me for a sign, you name it, I’ll bring it and then I know you will trust”! Instead Ahaz says “no thank you… all set” The Victory comes because God said it would and He didn’t change His mind (which He could have; He could let Judah fall but He chose to give them the victory for His greater plan). Ahaz thinks he had victory because of some backdoor deals he makes, but the truth still stands that God ordained it. Ahaz loses the blessing of being “established by God”, Judah gets the victory but the people including Ahaz don’t get the peace God promises.

As I have struggled with trusting God, this chapter has so loudly spoken to my spirit. God clearly has told me… Susan I’m still going to do what I’m going to do, for I have planned it before the beginning of time. I have victories for you, and I will give them whether you trust me in them or not, and I want to give you my peace in the them too, for victories can only come after a battle, so you can go on not trusting me to bring you through them, or you can “'Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart” and have my peace in the battles.

I will choose both! The peace and the victories! How about you?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Isaiah 6: 1-7

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

This chapter of Isaiah has been so huge to me. How do I write about “and the train of His robe filled the temple”. As I have pondered this while I was away on vacation, those descriptive words took on a life of their own in my spirit. I don’t think we (and I include myself each time I use the word “we”) can ever understand while we are here on planet earth the full Majesty and Awe that Isaiah is trying to explain.

A number of years ago I was in England and was able to stand outside of Buckingham Palace, staying long enough to see the changing of the guards. It is an event filled pomp and circumstance in the fullest sense of the word. In that one moment I believe I understood just a bit of what the word “Majesty” is all about.
“Majesty: regal, lofty, or stately dignity; imposing character; grandeur, supreme greatness or authority; sovereignty: (usually initial capital letter ) a title used when speaking of or to a sovereign. Christ in Majesty, a representation of Christ as ruler of the universe.” ( From )

These few verses have spoken so deep to my spirit, as it has helped me begin to take a different perspective of His greatness. You see as the week went on I seemed to have this feeling of great agitation that I could not explain. It was starting to wreak havoc on my much needed tropical vacation. And it wasn’t until Wednesday evening that I understood why I was in such a funk, I was seeing myself just as Isaiah did when he said in verse 5:

5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

I too felt the need to lie prostate before the King Eternal and admit my sinful human state, as in my spirit I saw Him afresh as King, all powerful, full of awe and wonder. God spoke so clearly to me that He himself had atoned for those sins, and that I as His daughter can approach the very Throne of Grace just as Isaiah had after his lips were touched with the live coal. For after that Isaiah was pure before God and was sent forth as an instrument of His will.

6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."

How I praise Him for taking me through this process, even for the agitation I felt as I came to realize just who I am; a sinner, standing before the King Eternal oh how thankful I am that my sins have been atoned for, not from a live burning coal, but by the gift of Jesus who took my place on the cross. Praise Him!