Thursday, November 9, 2017, 6:28 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Trust and Obey.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 2 (Quoting select vv. NASB).
The Chief Mountain (vv. 1-2)
The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
The last days are considered to be the Messianic age, beginning with Jesus Christ’s first coming and consummated with his second coming, when he returns for his bride; his church; the saints of God, who are his body.
Here in verse three (in the next section below this one) it mentions the “mountain of the Lord” and “the house of the God of Jacob.” Then it says “He will teach us his ways…” Grammatically speaking, the “he” refers back to the subjects “mountain” and “house.” As well, the “he” refers back to the “law” that will go out from Zion and the “word of the Lord” that will go out from Jerusalem. And, in keeping with the understanding that we are speaking of the Messianic era here, the “temple” of God is both Jesus Christ (See Jn. 2:19-21) and it is his church, the body of Christ (See 2 Co. 6:16). Also, Zion is a reference to the church (See Heb. 12:22), as well as is Jerusalem, for physical Jerusalem is now of Hagar, the slave woman, but we are of the free woman. And we, who are Christ’s followers, are the children of promise, i.e. we are heavenly Jerusalem (See Gal. 4:21-31).
So, understanding all of what we just discovered above, we can read this passage as thus: In the last days, i.e. in the days of the Messiah and his church, Jesus Christ will be established as superior to all other gods, and things that are worshiped, and also places of worship (Ref: mountains as high places of worship). He will be exalted above the heavens (See Heb. 7:26). In fact, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name…” (See Ph. 2:9). And, all nations will stream (run) to him – to his gospel of salvation – people from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues (cf. Rev. 7:9-10).
That He May Teach Us (v. 3a)
And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
The many peoples here are the people from all tribes and nations and languages who are turning their hearts to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in these last days before Jesus’ return. And, they are the ones inviting others to also come to faith in Jesus Christ. But, they aren’t inviting them to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ just so they can go to heaven when they die. They are calling them to come to him, to learn from him, and to be taught concerning his ways, so that they can walk (in lifestyle) in his paths of righteousness. They are people, thus, who understand what true faith in Jesus Christ means. They are not those who are just looking for an easy out from punishment, or a free ride to heaven.
So, what are God’s/Jesus Christ’s ways in which we are to walk? And, that we should be telling others about, so that they can walk in them, too?
Fundamentally, it is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not just so we can escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die (1 Pet. 2:24). It is also that we who believe in Jesus have been called out of darkness (sin, wickedness) into God’s wonderful light (truth, righteousness), and that we have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and of Satan so that we can now walk in the ways of the Lord (See: Acts 26:16-18; 1 Pet. 2:9; Col. 1:13). As well, it is that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk, not after the flesh, but according to the Spirit, for if we walk 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, then we will live with Christ for eternity (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25).
Come, Let us Walk (vv. 3b, 5)
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem…
Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Jesus Christ is the Word. And, his Word is the scriptures (the Bible). He is the fulfillment of the law. And, his (agape) love is also the fulfillment of the law, but then He IS Love (agape). So, HE is to go forth from us, as well as is his Word, and as is his love. In other words, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be Jesus to the world around us in carrying his word, and his love, and his ministry to the people of this world. But, what we take to the world needs to be HIS words, representing HIS truth and HIS ways and not man’s words and man’s ways. And, it needs to be HIS love, which is divine love, which prefers what God prefers, i.e. that which is moral, just, upright, honorable, honest and decent. So, we need to be discerning to make certain our “mission” is not of man, for today’s idea of being “missional” often has little to do with Jesus Christ or his gospel or true agape love. Just noting!
So, our message, both in word and in deed, needs to be consistent with what Jesus taught and lived, NOT consistent with our culture, which we are NOT to immerse ourselves in just so that we can show the love of Jesus to people. And, we need to make certain we are truly loving others as Jesus did, and not as man thinks Jesus did or would like to project that he did. Yes, he went around healing the sick and afflicted, casting out demons, raising the dead, feeding the hungry and comforting the sorrowful. BUT, he also preached repentance and obedience for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God in heaven. And, he confronted sin in sinful humans, and he told people the cost of being one of his disciples. And, he warned of judgment and was quite bold in his stern rebukes against the Pharisees.
So, although we are not to be combative, mean or harsh, we also are not to water down the gospel message so that people will like us or so they will feel more comfortable about believing in Jesus. We need to tell people the truth, and we need to live the truth, and that is that faith in Jesus Christ means death to sin and living to righteousness. If we want to walk in the light of the Lord, then we need to walk in his truth, and in what his word teaches us with regard to holiness and righteousness and forsaking sins and cutting out of our lives that which leads us into sin. The way of the Lord is not a broad road that many travel, but it is a narrow road that few travel, and that is because it is the way of holiness, and not of compromise with the world.
Trust and Obey
John H. Sammis / Daniel B. Towner
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise,
not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove
the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do,
Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.