Wednesday, February 8
As we continue on with Isaiah, we also continue on with scripture about judgement. The book of Isaiah as a whole can be split into two sections: judgement (1-39) and restoration (40-66). Therefore, if you aren’t a fan of this judgement variety, then just stick with it and the restoration will come at the close of Isaiah. However, even if you aren’t a fan of the judgement material, valuable lessons can still be learned from it.
When reading the judgement material throughout Isaiah, I get a bit tense. I get tense because the judgement that is coming for so many is severe. We see the sin of Israel and the surrounding nations causing God to become angry with people, and in reading Isaiah, we are assured that God’s wrath will come out sometime. The following snip-it’s from this reading give a sense of the kind of judgement coming: “the LORD will utterly destroy,” “shall be cut off,” “destroy both soul and body,” “anger will be directed to their destruction,” “kill the wicked,” “destroy its sinners,” “destruction from the Almighty,” and “fierce anger”. This is what is coming for those who do not turn their lives over to God. Furthermore, from Isaiah 13: 6, 9, and 22 we know this day is coming soon. Although turning our lives over to God to escape this punishment should not be our main focus or motivator, it is still a motivator nonetheless. I know personally, I do not want this punishment that many will receive. We know many will receive this destruction as God says, “I will make people more rare than fine gold,” (Isaiah 13:12). Last time I checked, there wasn’t just a bunch of fine gold laying around.
Yes, escaping a severe punishment that many will receive is motivation to give our lives to God. However, the greatest motivation of all is found in chapter 11, and that motivation is the Kingdom of God. One thing the Church of God as a whole is great at is keeping the focus on the Kingdom of God. One of the great Kingdom prophecies is found in Isaiah 11:6-9. This passage describes the peace that will take place in the Kingdom. It describes that a nursing child will play over the hole of the cobra. Last I checked, no parent in this present age won any parenting awards for leaving their babies next to cobra holes. However, in this future Kingdom, there will be no death, mourning, crying, nor pain in the coming Kingdom. The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD. The Kingdom is a never ending celebration. I know that I want a part in this. To do this, we must turn our lives over to God. Let the hope of the coming Kingdom drive you in growing closer to God every day of your life. The reward for living a life for God is beyond imagination.
(Photo credit: http://www.verseoftheday.com/en/11092012/)