Light to Live By

"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

Category: Isaiah (page 1 of 3)

that T in the road

bumbling through life

Quite

Unaware

I encounter a

T in the road

What to make of this T?

An impasse? The end of my road?

A signal I should QUIT?

Or does the T signal, not a Termination, but a Transition?

As I consider my options something Emerges, standing between me and that fateful T

Exaltation of the King who rules my journey

Examination of my heart as part of my journey

Exploration of the King’s leading for the next stage of the journey

In fact, I discover the E is not just one thing, but many things

Yet it is not Everything

No, that is the Exclusive domain of my King

Him alone in that place between me and the T

Embracing Him as my Everything Transforms my journey

opening new options as I stand there before that great T in my road

there, with Him the T no longer demands I QUIT, but invites me to become QUIET

for, says my King, “in Quietness and in Trust is your strength” for this journey

On That Day

“It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)

newdaybreaking

Isaiah repeatedly speaks of “that day” (over forty times!). It is a “day” when things will be different than they are today.

Here Isaiah anticipates that “on that day” what will be different is that God will show up—clearly, undeniably, manifestly, and demonstrably. There will be no arguing to the contrary. The evidence will be indisputable.

The Lord’s appearance will come after long waiting by His people. The lengthy anticipation will serve only to heighten the joy felt “on that day.” All the faithful will be able to say at that time: “Behold, this is our God” and “we have waited for him, and he has saved us.” The hope and faith of the believing will be vindicated. What they’d tried to describe to others along the way through each “today” will be then demonstrably set before their eyes. “On that day” God’s people will simply call them to look and “Behold” that of which, heretofore, they had only heard.

This reminds us that today’s faith-filled risk/obedience will be vindicated. Guaranteed. Hope will be fulfilled. Him whom no eye has seen nor can see will be where we can “Behold” and see Him in His glory. Time is on the side of the believing. Vindication of every step of trusting obedience is inevitable.

So trust the Lord today with great abandon. Step out in obedience with every confidence. On this day follow without fear, for “on that day” we will “be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Accept today’s price for hope, but know that tomorrow’s payout will dwarf any cost you incur through today’s obedience.

What will it take?

“I saw the Lord, sitting upon a throne …” (Isaiah 6:1)

tunnel.light

“What will it take to set you free from the world’s idolatries—what will it take to keep you from trusting in things that are no gods at all? What will make you free from the world’s immoralities—what will it take to make you untouched by the lust for smut that the world peddles and with which worldlings ruin their lives? What will it take to liberate you from the world’s false perspective on the way things are—the perspective that assumes there is no god, there is no revelation of truth in the Bible, and there will be no judgment?

I’ll tell you what it will take: it will take seeing God as he is. Beholding God will break the chains of idolatry because when you see God, you see what Deity is, and that exposes the idols as worthless and unworthy of trust. Beholding God will purify you from immorality because when you see God you see what beauty and faithfulness are, and that exposes the ugliness of adultery. Beholding God will give you new lenses through which to look at the world because God himself defines reality.”  –Dr. James M. Hamilton, Jr. (Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches, p.130)

The Idiocy of Idolatry

american.idol

In Isaiah 44:9-23 the prophet is on a rant against idolatry. It is a diatribe against idols. And it is one we need to hear, for idols not far from any one of us.

The great irony in Isaiah’s words is that while the Israelites had chosen god’s which they have “made” with their own hand (or minds), it is the true and living God who has “made” them!

Notice the emphasis …

  • “All who fashion idols … Who fashions a god … He fashions it with hammers …” (vv.9, 10, 12)
  • “Thus says the LORD who made you . . . I formed you . . . Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb …” (43:2; 44:21, 24)

All of the words in bold render the same Hebrew word which means “to make.”

The cure for idolatry says Isaiah, is found first in what the Lord Himself has done (redemption) and then in our response to it …

Remember
Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.” (44:21)

Return (repent)
“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.” (44:22)

Rejoice
“Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD have redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.” (44:23)

Idolatry (whatever form it may take) is, then, fundamentally …

1. A departure from reality. Remembering is a function of our intellect, our minds, of our brains. This should tell us that long before a person “fashions” an idol with his hands, he has already “fashioned” it in his thoughts. We in the Western world who tend not to indulge in “classic idolatry,” fashioning gods with our hands and bowing down to them, are no less in danger of idolatry than those in the 2/3’s world who may have a greater proclivity toward physical idols. We do well to ponder just how we fashion gods with our thoughts, assumptions, reasoning and goals. We need to “remember” the reality that God has formed us before we have formed our gods. He has redeemed us to make us His servants. While we may have forgotten God, we “will not be forgotten” by Him!

2. A deluded journey. Because of a miscalculation in thinking about reality (imagining a world with the Lord God defined out of the equation), we have undertaken a deluded journey. The only answer is to turn around and return to the truth, thus changing our journey. This is possible only because even while we were delusional, God redeemed us for Himself and blotted out our sins.

3. A dungeon of despair. Instead of the joy of worshiping offered to the true God who redeemed us by His grace, we are entombed to a life of marionette, puppet gods. We hold them up, we manipulate their strings … and we have no one over us to rescue and redeem us, the future is up to us and our efforts to make the gods we have fashioned “perform” according to our desires. There is no higher purpose, just our whims and wishes sought through manipulations of hunks of wood, stone and metal that we ourselves have fashioned. Worship thus becomes about manipulation, not joy.

So let us remember Him who has fashioned and redeemed us. Let us return to Him even now, through His Son, Jesus. Let us rejoice in the grace freely given through Jesus and by which the Father will receive us.

Look What I Discovered

Earlier today while searching the web for something entirely different I happened upon this …

P2P.italian

Funny, the publisher never told me they had arranged for it to be translated and published in Italian! Life is full of fun surprises.

It is available in both paperback (here and here) and an electronic version (here and here). Or read a sample here. So if you speak Italian or know someone who does, spread the word!

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