Thursday, February 13, 2014

"This is OUR God!!"

Day #48:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - February 14th

Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 34 - 39 ...

People who are living in this world today without the knowledge of the one true God have no idea what happened in the past - and why ... no understanding of what is happening in the world today - or why ... and no understanding of what is about to happen in the world - and why!  As it was in the days of Isaiah, so it will be at the return of Jesus.  Judgment will come suddenly on the enemies of the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and of His people, Israel.

Chapter 34 declares that "the LORD is angry with all nations; His wrath is upon all their armies" (34:2).  Isaiah describes in 34:4 the same scene described in Revelation 6, the opening of the sixth seal, and in other places in the prophets.  The stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll.  This points ahead to the end of this planet before the creation of the new heavens and the new earth.  Chapter 35 describes God's salvation for the redeemed; the narrow "Way," where only the redeemed may walk.  These will enter Zion (Jerusalem) with singing! (35:10).

Isaiah's prophecies turn to his present in Chapters 36-39, revealing as clearly as anywhere in history the wisdom and power of God.  Assyria had already defeated the northern kingdom of Israel, as well as many other nations around them.  Judah was next ... this small, almost insignificant people in the midst of the nations of the world ... except to God.  From Judah the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Ruler appointed by God would come.

So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, came against Hezekiah, king of Judah, and announced that the LORD, the God of Judah, would not, could not deliver them from his hand.  "How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?" he asked (36:20).  But God told Hezekiah's officials not to be afraid or listen to the king of Assyria because God would deal with him (37:5-7).

Hezekiah came to the temple and prayed to God, declaring, "You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.  you have made heaven and earth!" (37:16).  "Now, O LORD, our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that YOU alone, O LORD, are God" (37:20).

God answered Hezekiah by telling him that He would save a remnant and that Sennacherib would not enter Jerusalem for the sake of David, God's servant (37:31-35).  How would God do it?  How would He stop this powerful army that had virtually conquered the whole world?  "Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp" (37:36), and upon his return to Nineveh, Sennacherib was worshiping in the temple of HIS god when his own sons came in and killed him!

Jumping ahead to Isaiah 52:7:  "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "YOUR GOD REIGNS!!"  This is OUR God!!  Do you know Him?  He alone is God, and through faith in His Son Jesus Christ you can KNOW that He will deliver YOU and you will be part of the remnant that marches to Jerusalem, singing His praises FOREVER!!

"Oh LORD our God, how can we give You the thanks and praise that You deserve?!  As we await Your coming judgment on those who do not know You, we give You thanks for Your gift of salvation to us, who by Your grace, are Your people today.  Our hearts, our lives are Yours, O LORD, in Jesus' name, Amen"

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