Todays readings.. 1 Samuel 17, Isaiah 61, Matthew 6
We read 3 fascinating chapters this morning! First was the account of David’s total faith “in the living God” as he went forth against Goliath – he had no confidence in human armour and we should have no confidence in human reasoning. Then in Matthew’s gospel we read the continuation of the sermon on the mount and the many vital principles we need to live by today; “do not be anxious” about having the food, drink and clothing you need. There is a difference between what human beings ‘want’ and what they ‘need’.
We need what is essential – “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” [6 v.31/32] “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” [v.33] When will they be added? Consider the wonder of what we learn in our other reading!
Our Isaiah chapter (61) starts with the verses Jesus read in the Synagogue (Luke 4 v.18/19), “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favour” – but then he stopped! He then told his audience, “Today is this scripture fulfilled …” – challenging them to recognise his ministry – who he really was!
What he did not read – was the next statement, “and the day of the Lord’s vengeance.” But, wonderfully, after the time of the Lord’s vengeance (which came first to the Jews, and is now imminent for the Gentiles – all other nations) – after this will come blessings beyond our ability to visualize.
These are for those who have truly followed the Lord after accepting (in true faith) from their hearts the “good news” (gospel) and followed the way of life he proclaimed. We learn in Isaiah that these “shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations and … shall have everlasting joy.” [v.6,7] Let us be ready to endure “the day of vengeance”; accepting Jesus’ point which we will see when we come to Matt 10 v.22 “the one who endures to the end will be saved.”