Let’s listen to the Lord and discover in a fresh way, just who He is.
He is the First and the Last, He is the Maker and Maintainer of heaven and earth…and He loves us (Isaiah 48:14) with a love that is everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3). A large part of what we read in this section of Isaiah is how the Lord will defeat (He will crush) the enemies of His people. Take heart my friend, the God of the universe is on our side.
Now, that doesn’t mean that all of God’s people experience all of the blessings He had for them on this side of time. We read reasons for regret and “would have beens” in:
Isaiah 48:18–19 (NKJV) “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 19 Your descendants also would have been like the sand, and the offspring of your body like the grains of sand; His name would not have been cut off nor destroyed from before Me.”
Even as God’s people, saved and protected by the Lord, it is possible to miss out on some of His blessings if we chose not to obey His Word.
Another truth we see in this section of Isaiah is that the Messiah, Jesus Christ will be instrumental in this wonderful work of God with His people.
Isaiah 48:16b (NKJV) “And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me.”
In reading the New Testament we find that Jesus was sent by the Father to save His people (John 20:21). The Prince of Peace has come; there is peace for us, but not for the wicked (Isaiah 48:21-22).
Isaiah 49 reveals Jesus as the Servant. He is God’s weapon (Isaiah 49:2), He is God’s Israel (Isaiah 49:3), He is God’s light (Isaiah 49:6), and He is God’s covenant (Isaiah 49:8). Jesus brings salvation to Israel, to the Gentiles and to all the ends of the earth. Jesus’ first coming was the Day of Salvation, which is why it’s critical to receive Christ as Lord and Savior now, before it’s too late.
Creation sees it, we should too – God’s amazing mercy and comfort.
Isaiah 49:13 (NKJV) “Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted.”
We must not allow the enemy’s lies to find a home in our heart. God has not forgotten us – God will never forget us. Our names are inscribed on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:15-16). When we read that our walls are continually before Him, God’s speaking of those wall of protection. Nothing can touch us unless God allows it, and if He allows it, we can be sure, it’s for our good (Romans 8:28). Trust Him my friend, wait on Him, rely solely on Him. (Isaiah 49:23; 50:10).
God will defeat our enemies (for Israel it would be Babylon) and He will protect our posterity.
Isaiah 49:25 (NKJV) “But thus says the LORD: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.”
God’s got your back. He will deal with anyone who does you wrong.
Not only that, but because we’ve placed our faith in Christ, God is willing to forgive us and restore us if we repent and return to Him. Israel had been issued a certificate of divorce from the Father, but by His grace, they were reconciled (Isaiah 50:1).
Isaiah 50:4 may be speaking of the prophet himself, and definitely Jesus, but I also believe it can be applied to all of us. Isn’t it a blessing to know that God wakes us up morning by morning, to speak to our hearts? He speaks in our ear and puts words in our mouths, to encourages others who are weary in their journey.
Many of you reading this daily blog find yourselves in that specific spot. If it’s okay to say, “I’m proud of you.” The way you seek the Lord, day by day. The way He speaks to you…and the way He uses you to speak to others. Praise God!
If we’re saved, we should no longer walk like the rest of the world walks. They don’t know God, they’re in the dark by not knowing or understanding His Word, they don’t have the Holy Spirit, so they have no Godly counsel or conviction, this is why they indulge in every kind of pleasure this world has to offer. This is why so many are filled and flooded with greed.
If we’re Christians, than Jesus has taught us to put off the old man (our old ways, our sinful nature and inclinations) and put on the new man. We’re not to be like the world; we’re not to be the way we used to be before we were saved.
So, we put off the old man (by not lying) and we put on the new man (by speaking the truth – Ephesians 4:25).
We don’t allow anger to fester, for in doing so we give the devil open doors and opportunities in our lives; on the contrary we work out our differences, hopefully before the end of the day.
We don’t steal from others any longer, instead we work hard to be generous and give.
We don’t belittle others with our words, we build them up.
Forgiving others as God has forgiven us might sound impossible for us – and it is – but it’s not too hard for God who happens to live within us. This is an important one, for Jesus said if we don’t forgive others, we won’t be forgiven.
Matthew 6:15 (NKJV) “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Who do you need to forgive today? Give it to God. It’s time to let it go.
This time David was REALLY struggling. This Psalm is a prayer for deliverance.
Over the years we’ve all seen people, or at least heard of others who are being attacked by the enemy and hence sinking into the mire (Job 30:19; Jeremiah 38:6). That might even be you today.
David was hated without a cause. David was being persecuted because of his faith (Psalm 69:7, 9). It’s important to remember that sometimes we suffer, not because we’ve done something wrong, but because we’ve done something right. If you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s all it takes for the enemy to hate and oppose you. Maybe the enemy sees the potential you have and he therefore attacks viciously.
If that’s you, I pray you’d know, God loves you and He hears your cries. It may require some time of suffering, but please, do not lose heart. I’d encourage you to make this Psalm your own. Even though we sometimes feel like we’re in this “neck-deep” and about to be swallowed up, God will lift you up and out of the mire. He did it for Job, Jeremiah, and David. God even made David a king. He will do the same for you – He’ll lift you up and set you right where you belong.
Pray these prayers…from the heart:
Psalm 69:13–14 (NKJV) “But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, hear me in the truth of Your salvation. 14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters.”
Psalm 69:17–18 (NKJV) “And do not hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in trouble; hear me speedily. 18 Draw near to my soul, and redeem it; deliver me because of my enemies.”
Proverbs 24:5 (NKJV) “A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; 6 For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Who is strong? And why is he strong?
According to the Scriptures, the wise man is the strong man. We read it here in verse 5. Later in his life Solomon even said this in:
Ecclesiastes 7:19 (NKJV) “Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten rulers of the city.”
Solomon also told us that spiritual strength is better than physical strength.
Ecclesiastes 9:16 (NKJV) “Then I said: ‘Wisdom is better than strength…’”
If we do things God’s way, according to His Word of wisdom, we’ll win the wrestling match, we’ll defeat the flesh and forces of hell. We’ll become Spiritual Samsons with muscles able to move mountains.
This leads the second question: Why…is he or she strong? Or more specifically, “Why do we need to be strong?”
Because of the war we are in (read again Proverbs 24:6). Do you realize that you’re in a war? We wrestle not against human beings (flesh and blood), but against the demonic realm (Ephesians 6:12).
God help us to be strong and to wage war with Godly counsel.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.