Monday, March 27, 2017, 9:55 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Give Ear to Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 42 (Select vv. NASB).
The Chosen One (vv. 1-4)
“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
“He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
“A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
“He will not be disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”
Jesus Christ, our Messiah, is this chosen servant of God, yet he is also God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God the Father sent his Son Jesus to the earth to be born of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus walked the face of this earth, he was fully God yet fully human. While in a flesh body, Jesus suffered like we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. Although he was God, yet he was also man, so God the Father put his Spirit on Jesus, so that he was also filled with the Spirit of God.
So, how did Jesus or how will Jesus bring forth justice to the nations? Another word for justice is righteousness. Well, first of all he taught the righteousness of God when he was on the earth. He confronted sin in sinful humans, warned of divine judgment, called for repentance, and promised the hope of eternal life with God for the repentant sinner. He also promised the blessings of God for the humble of heart, for those who have grieved over their sins, for those who show his mercy to others, and for the many who yearn after God’s holiness, purity, and uprightness in their lives.
Yet, not only did he teach it, and not only did he live righteously, but he provided the way in which we, also, can be righteous before God. Although Jesus knew no sin, yet he became sin for us when he was crucified on a cross (2 Co. 5:21). So, when he died, our sins died with him and were buried with him. When God the Father resurrected him from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death on our behalf. Thus, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we can be delivered out of bondage (addiction) to sin, be forgiven our sins, relieved (set free) of eternal punishment, and be given the hope of eternal life with God. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).
Sometime after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he ascended back to heaven, where he is seated at the right hand of the Father. He then sent his Holy Spirit to indwell the hearts and lives of his followers. When we believe in Jesus, and we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life (born again), the Spirit of God comes to live within us to teach, guide, comfort, encourage, train, convict, counsel, strengthen and empower us to walk godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. And, one day Jesus is going to return to the earth to judge all humankind and to take his followers (his saints, his bride) to be with him forever.
Open Blinded Eyes (vv. 5-9)
Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk in it,
“I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
“I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but he is God, and he is our creator (See: John 1). He is the giver of life. Not only did he provide the way for us to be made righteous before God, restored to fellowship with HIM, but he called us in righteousness to live righteously (godly, holy, and uprightly in purity and integrity). He, as well, was called of the Father in righteousness. So, although this is primarily speaking of Jesus, our Messiah, yet as his followers, this speaks of us, as well, for we are his body; his temple.
Where he was called to live righteously, so are we. Where he was called to be a light to the nations, so we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. Where he was called to open blinded eyes and to deliver the captives out from their prisons, so we are called to rescue people out of darkness, and to snatch them from the fire and to save them. This is what it means to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people. We tell them that Jesus died to set them free from slavery to sin so that they can now live for Christ and walk (in lifestyle) in his holiness.
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, which divinely persuades us as to God’s will for our lives, we are turned away from living for sin and self, and we are turned to Christ to live godly and holy lives pleasing unto him, empowered and strengthened by the Spirit of God now living within us. Our old lives of living to please self are done away with because Jesus put sin to death on a cross. And, we are born anew of the Spirit of God to new lives in Christ now under the direction and influence of the Spirit of God. The old has gone. The new has come. Jesus doesn’t slightly clean up our old lives, but he gives us completely new lives!
Give Ear to This (vv. 17-23)
They will be turned back and be utterly put to shame,
Who trust in idols,
Who say to molten images,
“You are our gods.”
Hear, you deaf!
And look, you blind, that you may see.
Who is blind but My servant,
Or so deaf as My messenger whom I send?
Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me,
Or so blind as the servant of the Lord?
You have seen many things, but you do not observe them;
Your ears are open, but none hears.
The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake
To make the law great and glorious.
But this is a people plundered and despoiled;
All of them are trapped in caves,
Or are hidden away in prisons;
They have become a prey with none to deliver them,
And a spoil, with none to say, “Give them back!”
Who among you will give ear to this?
Who will give heed and listen hereafter?
Here, the servant being spoken of is not Jesus, but it is the people of God, i.e. now it is the church. Although coming to Christ means death to sin and living to righteousness, it is possible that believers in Jesus can be led astray from their pure devotion to Christ, and they can get entangled in sin once again (See: Rev. 2-3, for example). There can be a spiritual decline take place within the church when sin is left unchecked and undealt with, and when worldliness begins to take a foothold within the gatherings of the church. And, this is where we are in America.
So, God is now calling out to his church, i.e. to those who are living spiritually adulterated lives in one way or another, and he is, once again, confronting the sins in the church, calling for repentance, warning of judgment, but promising hope, healing and restoration to the repentant. He is pointing out such sins as idolatry, stubborn hearts, willful closing of eyes and ears to the truth, and disobedience to his Word. Although Jesus set us free from slavery to sin, many have allowed themselves to come back under a yoke of slavery (addiction, bondage). And, they have closed their minds to the truth, and have gathered around themselves preachers who will say what their itching ears want to hear, i.e. feel-good messages which do not convict of sin, but which allow them to remain in their sins guilt-free.
So, the Lord is calling his church to listen to him, and to heed what he tells them. God is not pleased with us no matter what we do, no matter who tells you that. He has standards for us. His Word is his standard for our lives, which we must follow. We are not bound by Old Testament laws and regulations, but we are still commanded to obey the Word of Christ, i.e. his instructions to us. He says that if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them (die in our sins). But, if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), we will gain eternal life. Paul reiterated this message when he said that if we walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh, we will die (in our sins), but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (with Christ for eternity) (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14).
So, don’t mess around. Don’t take God/Jesus or his grace for granted. God’s grace to us is not a free license to continue in sin. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). If we claim to have fellowship with God, but we walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin), we don’t live by the truth (1 Jn. 1:6).
Give Ear to Jesus / An Original Work
Based off Isaiah 55 / February 16, 2016
Call on your Savior.
Seek the Lord while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way;
Turn to the Lord.
God will have mercy.
He’ll forgive you of your sin.
He will freely pardon you
And give peace within.
Turn from your sin, follow Jesus,
Be cleansed from sin.
Give ear to Jesus.
Come to Him. Your soul will live.
Listen to Him speaking to you:
“Eat what is good.”
If you are thirsty,
Come to Jesus, drink from Him.
Drink His Spirit given to you.
Be born again.
Listen to Him. Do what He says.
Rejoice in Him.
God’s Word, eternal,
Will achieve what He desires.
He is willing none should perish,
Saved by His blood.
Share now the gospel.
Jesus died so we’d go free.
Walk in vict’ry,
Free from your sin, eternally.
Die to sin, and live to Jesus.
In Him believe.