Todays readings… 1 Samuel 8, Isaiah 64, Matthew 9
What challenging words are these that we read in Isaiah ch. 64 (v.5) today! What attitude of mind do we have as we seek to “joyfully” do the right thing – especially when surrounded by godlessness? Today’s chapter starts with a petition to God we should be uttering today – and as our world becomes even more godless and evil, surely we should be uttering it! “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known … that the nations might tremble at your presence!”
How utterly astounded the nations will be – especially as they have now convinced themselves there is no Creator, no God to fear and think that everything in some mysterious way sort of created itself. But we jumped over v.4 – and how personally challenging the words we read there! “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.”
So few today believe there is any kind of Creator God at all. But we who believe – what effect is our belief having on our lives? How challenging is the next verse in Isaiah! “You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways.” As we “remember” the ways of God through regularly reading his word, how do they affect us? That is a personal question we each must honestly answer!
And so we come to verse 5 – “You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways” And as we “remember” is our remembrance so strong that we ”joyfully” live in righteous ways, ways that show we really “love” God and his Son? Paul quoted what “is written” that “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”[1 Cor, 2 v.9]
The future for those who “joyfully work(s) righteousness” is beyond our ability to imagine: God’s word reveals them to us – up to a point – and the two final chapters of Isaiah we are about to read will inspire us further.