Our Redeemer Has Come

Their Feet Run to Evil
Isaiah 59:1-8 ESV

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies;
your tongue mutters wickedness.

“No one enters suit justly;
no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.
They hatch adders’ eggs;
they weave the spider’s web;
he who eats their eggs dies,
and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.
Their webs will not serve as clothing;
men will not cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
and deeds of violence are in their hands.

“Their feet run to evil,
and they are swift to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
desolation and destruction are in their highways.
The way of peace they do not know,
and there is no justice in their paths;
they have made their roads crooked;
no one who treads on them knows peace.”

There are people (including professing Christians) who blame God for their sins. Or they blame other people for their own wrongdoings. They won’t take personal responsibility for their own sins, of their own choosing, so they find someone else to blame to alleviate their own guilty consciences.

They know right from wrong. They know when they are doing wrong, so it isn’t that they don’t know. It is that they are not willing to give up the sin. But sometimes they feel guilty, or they get frustrated over their own inability to control what they do, and so they blame someone else.

But the problem does not lie with God or with other people. The problem lies within their own hearts. It isn’t other people or God who is making them sin. It is their own sinful hearts. It is their own choices, of their own free will, to sin against God, which come between them and the Lord.

They want God to hear their prayers and to answer them, but when he doesn’t answer, or they don’t see evidence of an answer, then they take it out on God instead of looking within their own sinful hearts to see where the true problem lies. And so, they sin all the more.

Hands defiled with blood doesn’t have to just mean that they have killed the innocent in the sense of literal death, but it can mean that they have killed others’ hearts with their hateful and bitter words, and with their continued adulteries, and with their habitual lying and betrayals.

But these sins they commit are not accidental instances of sin in a weakened moment, but they are contrived in advance. They are premeditated, willful, habitual, and deliberate sins which they plot out in advance, and on their beds. They plan to do evil to others, often without any conscience.

And then they put those evil plans into practice. And then they cover them up with more lies and deceptions, some in advance to try to throw off any suspicions coming from others who know them, and some after the fact, in hopes to alleviate any suspicions that they might be doing evil.

But they aren’t satisfied just with engaging in their own evil practices, but they work to bring others down with them. So, they set traps for others, and they “set them up” for a fall, or they try to trip them up with their words so that they have cause to accuse them, especially those they see as a threat.

For, they don’t care who they hurt. They are so driven by their own fleshly desires that they will stomp on anyone who gets in the way, or they will try to drag their opponents into sin with them. They prey on the weak and unsuspecting, and they usually attack those who “have their number”.

But it will not go well for them in the end, for the way of peace with God they do not know, even though many of them profess Jesus as Savior. For there is no justice in their paths. They have willfully made their ways crooked, and they have willfully rejected the way of righteousness.

Truth is Lacking
Isaiah 59:14-15 ESV

“Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has stumbled in the public squares,
and uprightness cannot enter.
Truth is lacking,
and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.”

I see this here as a sign of the times we now live in. Justice is turned back because evil is being regarded as good and good is being regarded as evil. Satan is twisting everything so that things are backwards of what they should be. Lies, deceptions, manipulations and wickedness abound!!

And this is happening within the gatherings of the church, too. I can’t say for certain when this shift began, but I definitely became aware of it as early as 1999, although I know it began way before then. In the 1950s, the church at large, of multiple denominations, joined with the US government in an unholy union via the 501c3, and they became a corporation of the state.

The church at large (not including every congregation) began then to treat the church, the body of Christ, as a business, and they began studying how to market the church to the world using worldly marketing schemes in order to attract the world to their gatherings.

So, they altered how they did church, and “the church” now became a public gathering place for people of all walks of life irregardless of whether or not they believed in God or in Jesus Christ at all. For, it became more of a social club and an entertainment center in order to attract the world.

And, in order to attract the world to their gatherings, they also altered the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more acceptable to human flesh. So, they removed God’s requirements for repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord, and/or repentance was reduced to mere admission of sin.

So, one can now pray a prayer to “receive Christ,” and they are promised that they are now saved from their sins, they are part of God’s family, and that heaven is guaranteed them as their eternal destiny and that it can’t be taken away from them, regardless of how they live their lives.

So, many people who are now professing Christ as Lord and Savior are not changed in heart and mind, for they have not died with Christ to their sins, and they are not living to Christ and to his righteousness, because they are believing the lies which tell them they don’t have to, that Jesus does it all.

Those Who Turn from Transgression
Isaiah 59:20 ESV

“’And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,’ declares the Lord.”

It is true, though, that we can’t be saved from our sins in and of our own selves. Nothing we can do in the flesh can earn or deserve our own salvation. We will always come up short of attaining God’s divine approval. It is only by God’s grace, through God-given faith, that we are saved.

But this does not mean nothing is required of us. We are required of God to repent of our sins, to turn away from them, to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and to now live and walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit living within us.

But this isn’t optional! For, if we don’t repent of our sins, and we don’t follow Jesus in obedience, but we keep on living in deliberate and habitual sin against God, heaven is not what is guaranteed us. We will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God.

But if we walk (in conduct) in the light as God is in the light, and if we walk (in practice) according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, and if righteousness is what we practice, and not wickedness, then we do have the hope of eternal life with God, and one day we will see him face to face, and we will be with him forever. Praise His Name!

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

Only Hope

By Jonathan Foreman

I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all

So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope

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