Todays readings.. Joshua 5&6, Isaiah 10, 2 Thessalonians 1&2
“COMFORT YOUR HEARTS AND ESTABLISH THEM”
Our 5 chapters today contained an overflow of challenging – and in one or two cases – puzzling prophecies: but these should be seen as part of the wisdom of God – otherwise his word could be left on our bookshelves much of the time after we had resolved and understood all that it had to tell us.
In Joshua we read of the dramatic destruction of Jericho – but first Joshua had an encounter with an angel, “the commander of the LORD’s army” [Ch. 5 v.15] parallel to Moses’ experience: he is told to, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.”- this removed from his heart any sense of his own worth in what was about to happen.
The 34 verses of Isaiah ch. 10 are quite a mixture, we are told “the LORD” is “the Holy One of Israel” and “A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.” [v.20,21] – not just return to the land, but return to God. We await that time.
In 2nd Thessalonians we learn that “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels” he will be ” inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” [ch. 1 v.8,9] They will suffer “eternal destruction … when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at among all who have believed …”[v.9,10]. There is no value in understanding the true gospel if we fail to obey it! There has been distorted teaching among Christians, and how to live a Christ-like life, from the time of Paul.
Paul also told them, ” the mystery of lawlessness is already at work” [2 v.7]! The world is full of lawlessness today, but it is the spiritual kind that is worst of all in God’s sight. At the final time, Paul tells them, “the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” [2 v.8]
Verses 11 and 12 cause us much meditation, “God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Knowing what is true requires a genuine God-fearing way of life by us!
May the way Paul ends this chapter be seen as specially for us today, “may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”