Saturday, March 25, 2017, 3:21 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “When in the Stillness.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 32:1-8 (NASB).
A King Will Reign (vv. 1-2)
Behold, a king will reign righteously
And princes will rule justly.
Each will be like a refuge from the wind
And a shelter from the storm,
Like streams of water in a dry country,
Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.
Though an earthly king may have been in mind here, he was merely an antitype of the One and Only truly righteous king to come, and who has come, and that is Jesus Christ, our Messiah, Savior and Lord. And, although this appears to speak of his future millennial reign on the earth, with his saints ruling with him, I believe there is an application of these truths which we can make to his kingdom now, in today’s world.
Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God (God the Son), left his throne in heaven, came to earth, was born as a baby, grew to be a man, suffered as we suffer, and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. When he walked the face of this earth he was fully God yet fully man. Although he knew no sin, he became sin for us when he died on a cross, so that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).
If Jesus is the King, then we are his princes, and we are given the task and responsibility of taking the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of this world so that they can also enter into Christ’s eternal kingdom. Jesus Christ is our refuge and our shelter from the pain of unjust suffering and from slavery to sin. He paid the penalty for us for our sin so that we could go free from slavery to sin, and so we might find our peace in him. As His servants, we are his messengers in taking this message of hope, healing, restoration, comfort and fulfillment to a hurting and dying world.
Yet, not everyone is going to receive the message of the gospel of our salvation. In fact, even many church leaders will reject the true gospel and its messengers, and maybe even some will ban us from their churches because they are more concerned about what people will think of them and their “church” than they are concerned about people dying and going to hell. So, they dilute the gospel message by teaching a half-truth (false) gospel, which does not teach death to sin, but which rather entertains it. They tell people that all they have to do is repeat some words after them in a prayer and that now salvation and heaven are guaranteed them, no matter what.
The problem with this teaching is that it is a lie, and a lot of people are believing it, i.e. they are trusting in a false hope of entering into God’s eternal kingdom, so that is why we, as Christ’s followers, must tell them the truth. We must tell them that faith in Jesus Christ is God-given, is spiritual, and is divinely persuaded as to God’s will for our lives. Thus, it submits to Jesus Christ, and the believer is crucified with Christ in death to sin and is resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See: Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24).
Blinded Eyes Opened (vv. 3-4)
Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded,
And the ears of those who hear will listen.
The mind of the hasty will discern the truth,
And the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly.
When the truth of the gospel is preached, those who are now blind spiritually will be able to see the truth clearly. They, who put their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and as Lord of their lives, will be turned from darkness (sin) to light (truth, righteousness), and from the power of Satan over their lives to God and to his righteousness, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by God-given faith in Jesus Christ (See: Acts 26:16-18; cf. Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
A saved life is a changed life, transformed of the Spirit of God in new birth (born again) to a living hope. The old life of living for sin and self is forsaken, i.e. put to death, and a new life is given to be lived to Christ and to his righteousness. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin, wickedness), we are liars. If we walk according to the flesh, or if we hold on to our old sinful lifestyles, we will die in our sins. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we are walking in the Spirit, then we will live with Christ in his eternal kingdom.
Wicked Schemes (vv. 5-8)
No longer will the fool be called noble,
Or the rogue be spoken of as generous.
For a fool speaks nonsense,
And his heart inclines toward wickedness:
To practice ungodliness and to speak error against the Lord,
To keep the hungry person unsatisfied
And to withhold drink from the thirsty.
As for a rogue, his weapons are evil;
He devises wicked schemes
To destroy the afflicted with slander,
Even though the needy one speaks what is right.
But the noble man devises noble plans;
And by noble plans he stands.
Right now, on this earth, we often have things backwards. We, as humans, often end up honoring the thief, the scoundrel, and the wicked charmers who are deceitful and full of lies, while we reject and persecute the honest, sincere and righteous individuals, who are telling us the truth. We do this because we think the righteous are “holy rollers” and not “normal,” because they take God and his Word seriously, and because they are truly living lives separate (unlike, different) from this evil world, because they are being conformed into the image of Christ.
Yet, we accept the scoundrels because they make us laugh, and they are fun and entertaining, and they don’t talk about sin so much, whereas the righteous individuals confront sin in sinful humans, warn of divine judgment, call for repentance, and promise hope only for the repentant. The wicked scoundrels, masquerading as servants of righteousness, don’t tell people the truth they need to hear, but they tell them what is pleasing to their ears, because they want the people to like them, even if it sends them straight to hell. But, those who are noble (honorable, upright) will care more about those who are dying in their sins than they will care about their own reputations, and so they will often suffer injustice and false accusations in order to continue to bring people the truth so they can be free from sin.
Yet, one day, when Jesus returns, it won’t be like this at all. The scoundrel, the liar, the deceiver, and the workers of iniquity will not be honored, but the honorable, trustworthy and righteous will receive their eternal rewards. Those who work iniquity will die in their sins and will face eternal punishment, while those who sincerely trusted in Jesus Christ to be their Lord (owner-master) and Savior of their lives will live on with Christ forever, for they didn’t love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Rev. 12:11).
So, each of us must ask ourselves here where we fit into all of this. Do we honor God with our lives, and do we speak the truth in love to people, or do we dishonor God and tell people lies so they will like us, even if people get hurt in the process? Who do we love more, ourselves or God and others?
When in The Stillness / An Original Work / September 26, 2011
When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.
While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.
Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.