Todays readings.. 1 Samuel 15, Isaiah 59, Matthew 3&4
Isaiah’s message keeps returning to the theme of the need for reality in human thinking about their relationship with God. Belief in God in those days was not like it is with so many today, indeed in some countries today the majority do not seem to believe in any God at all!
In Isaiah’s day it was worse than that! How was that? Well, they acknowledged that there was a God, but then their “blindness” caused them to fail to have any relationship with him. This, in God’s eyes was worse, than a failure to believe he existed!
Isaiah starts his 59th chapter today with the words, “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 are your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
In tomorrow’s 60th chapter we will see how Isaiah tries to inspire them towards a healing of this “separation.” In v. 2 he draws a contrast between their situation and the rest of the people in the world.
“For behold, darkness shall cover the earth and thick darkness the people.” In contrast, the next words are, “but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations will come to your light” [v.3] Notice that phrase “your light”. Genuine believers in God, if they have a real relationship with Him would shed forth a light in the darkness – a relationship which today is wonderfully established and seen by the eye of faith to become, ultimately, a light to all nations!
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness” [John 8 v.12] In our Matthew 5 reading tomorrow we will see how he tells his disciples, “You are the light of the world … let your light shinebefore others, so they may see your good works and give glory to your Father …” [v.14,16]
For our light to shine we must have a real relationship with God so we “shine” through all we say and do, and as a result, in the future, we will become part of the divine “light” in the kingdom age.
When we come to Isaiah 61 and its vision of the Kingdom we will be inspired by the words – “you shall be called priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God” [v.6]. To be alive then and to serve the Lord in this way – we need to know the Lord now! May there be no “separation between us and our God now!