Today’s readings.. (Joshua 20), (Joshua 21), (Isaiah 26), (Isaiah 27), (Hebrews 10)
In Isaiah and Hebrews today we have some heart stirring verses. Isaiah says to the Almighty, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in you” [ Ch. 26 v.3] One can live surrounded by confusion, as Paul often did, but still have peace of mind. Isaiah writes of the ideal attitude, “My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you” [v.9]. He looks ahead to when God takes action against the evil in the world. There will be an ultimate time of when this will happen!
Of that time the LORD says, “Come my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” [v.20,21] Those who God regards as “my people” will be prayerfully waiting and maybe in a sense “hiding” as they wait for his deliverance – maybe an angelic one – because they have “drawn near to him with a true heart in full assurance of faith” as we further read today in Hebrews 10 v.22.
This letter continues, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for he who promised is faithful” [v.23]. These words would have served a purpose in all the calamities that surrounded Jerusalem in AD67-70 and they have been just as meaningful in many situations for fully faithful believers ever since! His advice continues, “Let us consider how to stir one another up to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day of God’s ultimate judgements drawing near.” [v.24,25]
That encouragement is followed by a warning to those who have “outraged the spirit of grace” [v.29] who may be inclined to accept the philosophy of some churches of ‘once saved, always saved’ regardless of how you lived after your conversion. The words (quoted from Habakkuk) in v.37,38 seem so appropriate to conditions in the world today, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and not delay, but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”
By our concept of time he has delayed, but the signs are multiplying that man’s “time” is almost at an end – and our eternal future depends on us using ‘our time’ now by keeping our mind stayed on our Lord.