Let’s turn in our Bibles to Isaiah, chapter fifty six, as we continue our journey through the word of God. Now this is not for your benefit, but for the benefit of the egg heads that might be listening to these tapes. I do understand that some scholars believe that chapter fifty six begins actually the third Isaiah, because of a change somewhat in style, and in content, as Isaiah now turns to sort of ethical type of instructions. I’m aware of this, what I consider to be fallacious kind of reasoning.
I believe there was only one Isaiah, the author of the book by his name, and I reject the duotoral Isaiah, or the trilogy that they do suggest, moving in, in chapter fifty six. So that’s just a, a, a disclaimer as far as I’m concerned of the whole theory. It’s not worth even studying. It’s weak. It lacks really the confirmation of Jesus, and that’s the whole, the whole problem as I see it.
Those who hold to the fact that there were two or three authors of this book ignore the fact that Jesus quotes from both sections of Isaiah, and does attribute them to Isaiah when He quotes. When they are challenged by this fact, they say, “But Jesus didn’t have all of the advantage of the modern day scholarships that we have today!” I asked this professor of USC when he made that statement, I said, “You mean you know more about the Bible than Jesus did?” He said, “Well of course!” Help us Lord!
So chapter fifty six does begin ethical instruction, as God now is encouraging the people to just keep His commandments, to walk in His ways. So it begins with the…
Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice (56:1):
Or “do righteousness”, God wants you to live a fair, honest, just, righteous life. God wants you to be fair in judgment, God wants you to do what is right. Now if you are opposed to that, if you want to do what is wrong, if you want to cheat people, and if you want to be corrupt, if you want to steal, if you want to deceive people, then you object to the way God wants you to live. But only those who are wanting to live corrupt lives could object to the way God wants them to live. But that’s what Jesus said! He said, “I didn’t come to condemn the world, but that the world, through me might be saved! He who believes is not condemned, but he who doesn’t believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the Only Begotten Son of the Father. And this is the condemnation. Light has come into the world, but men will not come to the light because their deeds are evil, and thus they love the darkness, rather than the light.” So there are people who love darkness rather than light. They do not like the commandments of God, because God said, “Be honest, be fair, be just, do the right thing.” They don’t want to, and thus they will not come to the light. So the Lord said…
for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed (56:1).
So the imputes for doing right was, God was about ready to intervene. “Do the right thing because God is going to soon be revealing Himself.”
Now you remember John the Baptist when he was the forerunner of Jesus Christ? John came preaching repentance. He said, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” The idea is, “Get right man! The Lord is going to come on the scene soon. So, “Make this path straight, get your life straightened up, for the Lord is coming!”
Now in these last days in which we are living, God is about ready to move on the scene once more. Jesus Christ is going to be coming soon. So this message that Isaiah gave to the people from the Lord, is a message that is very appropriate today. “Clean up your act! Get right, because the Lord is soon going to intervene. He’s going to come on the scene.” So, “My salvation”, the Lord said, “is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.” God is going to reveal Himself.
Blessed is that man [And the word there is, “oh how happy is that man”] that doeth this (56:2),
No doubt about it, the man who follows after the Lord to do the right things, to live a life that is pleasing to God, that man is a happy man! I am glad that this whole concept that once was almost vogue in the church, is passing, and almost gone. About a century ago or so, they equated spirituality with somber, and sober attitudes. A Christian was never to laugh or if you smiled, you were suspect. The more spiritual you were, the more somber and all. So they put on this whole adaptation of, of great sober, somber kind of, of attitudes you know, of just trying to talk you know, where it sounded like it was deeply spiritual. “Oh brother, you really mean it, boy!” People say, “Wow! He’s spiritual, you know he came right from the presence of God!” Well, thank God that’s past!
We realize that walking with the Lord is a joyous, happy experience. The, the joy of, of the fullness of joy that is a part of the whole Christian experience, and Jesus spoke about it. He related it to abiding in Him, in John chapter fifteen. “That your joy may be full.” In chapter sixteen He relates it to your prayer life. In I John, chapter one, He relates it to your fellowship with God. Thus, this fullness of joy. So, “oh how happy is the man that obeys the Lord, that doeth, that does these things.”
and the son of man who lays hold on these truths (56:2);
In the first Psalm this same word “blessed”, which in Hebrew is, “oh how happy”, the psalmist says, “Oh how happy is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord. In this law he meditates day and night!” The happiness! “The man who lays hold of these truths”…
that keeps the sabbath from polluting it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil (56:2).
Now God throughout history, has made His covenant with man. God made a covenant with Abraham. The covenant with Abraham that God, was that God would make his seed a blessing to the whole world. All of the nations of the world would be blessed. That, of course, was a reference to Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham.
Now God gave to Abraham a sign of a covenant, and the sign of the covenant was circumcision. The idea behind it was that he would be a man after the spirit, walking after the Spirit, not after the flesh.
Now God made a covenant with Noah, that He would never destroy the world again with a flood. The sign of the covenant was the rainbow in the sky. God made a covenant with the nation of Israel, that He would be their God, and that they would be His people. The sign of the covenant was the Sabbath day. It was the sign of God’s covenant with Israel. God made a covenant with the church. The sign of the covenant was the communion, the broken bread and the cup. “This is a new covenant in my blood which is shed for the remission of sins.”
So all the way through, as God would make a covenant with the people, then God would give a sign for that covenant. The Sabbath keeping was the sign of God’s covenant with Israel, and thus, those who would work to proselytize into the Jewish faith, were required to keep the covenant of the Sabbath day.
Now the Sabbath day was not a covenant that God made with the Gentiles. It was a covenant that He made with Israel. It is not the sign of the covenant of the church. Jesus Christ, His death for us, is really the sign of the covenant for the church, and Jesus becomes our Sabbath. For, He is our rest. We rest in the finished work of Jesus. So He is the Sabbath for the church, the rest. But it was the sign of a covenant with the nation of Israel, and God declared that. “It is my covenant with the nation of Israel for ever, throughout all generations.” That is why we do not worship on the Sabbath day, as do the Israelites. We worship on the first day of the week, we worship on the seventh day of the week. The first day, the second, third, we worship every day. That’s the way I am.
As Paul said, “One day, one man esteems one day above another, another man esteems every day of life.” I’m of the second category. Every day’s alike. Every day’s the Lord’s day as far as I’m concerned. There’s no special day for Him. He has the whole thing. I like it that way. Just serving the Lord and recognizing that I, in Him I live, and move, and have my being. So the Sabbath day was God’s covenant with Israel.
Now He’s talking with Israel, and thus God is referring to the keeping of the Sabbath, that it might be revealed, the covenant, this is the sign of the covenant. Jesus said that we were to eat the bread, and drink the cup until He comes, that’s His sign of His covenant with His church. That we will be cleansed and washed from our sins, and made God’s people through our faith in Jesus Christ. That’s the covenant God made. Eternal life and salvation through your faith in Jesus Christ, the sign is the taking of the bread and the cup, and thus we, we observe this taking of the bread and drinking of the cup as the sign of the covenant that God has made with His church. So the Sabbath day was the covenant that God made with Israel. So He is then saying that, “they are to keep the Sabbath from polluting it”.
The interesting thing to me is that they, they made so many rules concerning the Sabbath that it sort of lost its meaning, bound up in, in legalism, so that the one big accusation that they were constantly making against Jesus was His violation of their Sabbath day traditions. Because they had made it just sort of a traditional service. So when He healed people on the Sabbath day, they would climb the wall! They, they were completely upset! When His disciples were going through the fields on the Sabbath day, and they grabbed some of the wheat that was ripening, they rubbed it in their hands to rub the chaff off, and then they ate the wheat. They said, “Oh look at that! Why do you allow your disciples to do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?”
They were constantly accusing Jesus of violating their Sabbath day. But yet, there was that Sabbath that they were to observe. It was a day that they were to keep holy unto the Lord. It was a day in which they were not to work, and they were to just take off a day, and just spend the day with the Lord in fellowship, and in worship. That was God’s sign. So, “the man that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and keeps his hands from doing any evil.”
Now God just wants you to live a good, pure life. He doesn’t want you to do any evil. Those who want to do evil rebel against the law and the commandments of God. Now the Lord said…
Let not the son of a stranger which has joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord has utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree (56:3).
Now there were people who were seeking after God, and who recognized that the Jews were worshiping the true God, and thus they proselytized, and became a Jew, that they might worship God. But, because they were not a Jew by blood to Abraham, they were always considered sort of outsiders, strangers to the covenant. But yet, the Lord is saying, “Look don’t think of yourself, and don’t let the strangers say that, The Lord has separated me from His people”. God has received those who were seeking after God. God will always seek those who seek after Him. So, “Just because you’re not a Jew”, the Lord is saying, “but because you are seeking me, and my covenant, you can be blessed under the covenant.”
Then those who were eunuchs, now the eunuch was a person that was devoted to his master, and to his master’s servants. He gave up the right of marriage, lived in celibacy in order that he might better serve. Wives are wonderful, but they can slow a person down, from the things that they can do if they were not encumbered with a wife. Before I was married, I traveled across the country as an Evangelist. I could sleep in my car. I could survive on a bag of apricots. I’d get in my car, and buy a bag of apricots and take off across the country, just stopping for gas, and when I’d get tired, pull over to the side of the road, go to sleep and then get in and go again. It was cheap traveling. It was something that I could do when I was single. Like the song used to go, “When I was single my pockets would jingle”, but, ha, ha!
When I got married, I found that my wife couldn’t go at that pace. She like to stop in Blythe for a cup of coffee, of all places! Now it was very easy for me to just drive straight through to Phoenix, and, but, you know she needed to get out and go into the restaurant, have a cup of coffee, and a, and a pastry or something. That, to me, “look at the time we’re wasting! Why did I drive sixty five miles an hour just to sit in a coffee shop for a half hour?”, you know! “We gotta get there!” It would throw off my time schedule. So there were those who were eunuchs for the sake of service, that they could serve more freely, that they could make these sacrifices that they desired to make, and give themselves more completely to service.
Now there were those who were eunuchs for the kingdom of God’s sake. They lived celibate lives for the sake of serving the Lord in a freer manner. That’s basically what you have among the Catholic priesthood. That’s the idea behind the celibacy. Sort of the eunuch for the kingdom of God’s sake that they might give themselves more freely, and more completely to serving the Lord. As Paul the apostle said, “He that is married is concerned for the things of his wife, how he may please her. But he who is not married can just be concerned with pleasing God.” There’s no conflict there.
So those that were eunuchs though were prone to say, “But when I die, I don’t have any posterity, I don’t have any children or grandchildren to carry my name on.” The, the idea of carrying on the family name was very important to them. So the eunuch gave up that honor of the perpetuation of the family name. So He is saying, “Don’t let the eunuchs say, Behold I am a dry tree”. That is, you know, “I’m the end of the line!”
For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant. [They keep the Sabbaths, which was the sign of the covenant, they choose the things that please the Lord, and they lay hold on God’s covenant.] Even unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name that is better than of the sons and daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off (56:4-5).
In other words their recognition, and their acknowledgment will come from the Lord, it will be the eternal rewards that God will give to them which will be even superior to having family of children, and grandchildren.
Also the sons of the stranger, [That is that, those who are proselytized again] that join themselves to the Lord to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keeps the sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of my covenant; Even to them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer (56:6-7):
So God is inviting really the Gentiles to come on in, to obtain the covenant of God, to keep the Sabbath, and to worship God with the Jews. God is promising that He would bring them into His house of prayer, into the holy mountain.
and their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted upon my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people (56:7).
Now this is one of those passages of scripture that is quoted by Jesus in the new testament, and attributed to Isaiah. According to the scholars, this was the third guy. They really don’t know who it was, but he must have written some time even later than Isaiah’s day and all. But Jesus quotes this as He cleansed the temple, saying that His house was to be called a house of prayer for all people.
The Lord god which gathers the outcasts of Israel says, Yet will I gather others to him beside those that are gathered unto him (56:8).
So it isn’t exclusively for Israel. He gathers the outcasts, but others will be gathered.
And all you beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all of ye beasts in the forest (56:9).
Now this is a, an extremely difficult scripture to understand. It’s insertion at this point, it’s one that just doesn’t seem to fit, however it does lead into the new thought. So basically the thought closes with verse eight, God gathering together others unto Him. But then the Lord is calling for the beasts of the field to come and devour, all of the beasts of the forest.
For his watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, they love to slumber (56:10).
Now the watchmen were the, were the leaders of the nation. They were the congressmen, the senators, they were the law keepers so to speak. The Lord says of them, “They are blind, the leadership in the nation. They are ignorant, they are like mute dogs that cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, they love to slumber.”
Yes, they are actually greedy dogs which can never have enough (56:11),
What’s gonna happen to you in the state of California? They’ve found new ways of raising your taxes, some seven billion dollars! They’re cutting the services but, raising the taxes. Now I don’t understand! You know, they talk about all the cuts they’re gonna make, but yet on the other hand, they need seven billion more dollars to make all of these cuts in the government services! So, something’s wrong somewhere! “They are mute dogs”! “They are greedy dogs which can never have enough.”
they are shepherds that do not understand: they all look to their own gain, [They’re looking out for themselves, their own selfish interests.] every one is after his own gain, from his quarter (56:11).
That’s the problem with human government. It soon becomes self-serving. It’s supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. But ultimately it turns into the government for the government, as it becomes self-serving. Everyone looking for his own gain.
So come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as today, and much more abundant (56:12).
So, “Let’s just drink and all, because things will just go on”. It’s interesting that the alcoholic consumption in Washington D.C. is the highest of any area in the United States, per capita. I think that that’s a sad indictment against government. Here it was in Isaiah’s day, so what’s new? As he rebukes those who were supposed to be watching out for the people, watching out for the people’s welfare, seeking to promote that which is good. The real purpose of government is the preservation of that which is good.
Now when the government becomes involved in promoting that which is evil, then something is radically wrong with the government. When they take your tax dollars to support pornography under the guise of art, there’s something radically wrong! Like my little two year old granddaughter said, “That’s radical dude!” Man it is bad!
Now in these conditions things are bad. God gives the promises of blessings to those that will serve Him, but He rebukes those who are leading the people astray. Judgment is going to come, and Babylon is going to be God’s instrument of judgment against the people. The scripture, the Lord said…
The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart: the good people are dying, and no one considers that the merciful men are being taken away, they do not consider that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come (57:1).
Now this is of course something that is going to be repeated in these last days when the Lord takes out His church. The righteous will be removed before the evil to come. People won’t realize what’s going on. They won’t take it to heart. “Merciful men are taken away, but none consider that the righteous is taken away from the evil that is going to come.”
He shall enter into peace: [That is, the righteous] they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in uprightness (57:2).
So to the righteous, that, that mercy of God. They will rest, they will be in peace.
But [In contrast the Lord said] draw near, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore (57:3).
Now God looked upon Israel as His wife. He had committed Himself to them, as in a marriage. There was this commitment unto them. Their turning to other gods, God looked upon as adultery. As though you were married to a wife whom you loved, and she went out and, and began to have relations with different men around town. It would, it would be an affront to you, and she would be guilty of, of this adulterous relationship.
So when God speaks of, of whoredom and adultery, and uses these kinds of terms, He is referring to the fact that they love these other gods. They began to worship these other gods, and serve these other gods, turning away and turning their backs on Him, rejecting Him, and His love, and, and bowing down, offering sacrifices, and worshiping the other gods. Which, God looked upon as adultery, and as whoredom.
And against whom do you sport yourselves? [That’s in a sexual way.] against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are you not children of transgression, and you are a seed of falsehood, [You have turned away from the true God, and thus the transgression and the product of falsehood.] For you enflame yourselves with idols under every green tree (57:4-5),
As we made mention this morning, idols of Ashtoreth, and of Molech, and of many of the gods, and goddesses were actually their form of pornography. For these idols were all very pornographic. They had exaggerated kind of sexual features. They were used to arouse, and to enflame a person’s passions. Then the worship of Ashtoreth was the, the, was consummated in a sexual act. So the Lord talks about them enflaming themselves with their idols under every green tree. Then…
slaying the children [Because of the aroused sexual heightened arousal in a sexual way, the promiscuity, and thus the unwanted pregnancies, but then the destroying of the children.] in the valleys, under the clifts of the rocks? [The bonfires that were built in the valley of Hinnom, and the children offered to the god Molech, as they were tossed into the burning fires.] among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; and they are your lot: even to them have you poured out a drink offering, and you’ve offered a meal offering. And should I receive comfort in these things (57:5-6)?
So they were going down into the valleys, into the stream beds, offering their sacrifices unto these pagan gods, offering their children as sacrifices to them, and God said, “Should I be comforted in these things? Should I just find some kind of comfort in this?” When a person, and a society becomes so degraded that they are given over to complete sexual promiscuity, immorality, and then that society begins to destroy the offspring, how corrupt can go get? How low can you go before God intervenes?
Now a God who is holy, a God who is righteous, a God who demands purity, can He take comfort when a nation is given over to these kinds of practices? No He cannot. God will surely judge the nation that does these things, even as He judged His own people Israel, we will not escape the judgment of God.
Upon a lofty and high mountain have you set your bed: even there you went up to offer sacrifices. [So the high places were used for their pagan worship and sacrifices, on the tops of the mountains.] Behind the doors also and the posts have you set up your remembrance: for you have discovered yourself to another other than me, [That is, you’ve taken off your skirt or whatever to someone else, the Lord said, other than me, you’re worshiping these false gods, you’re giving yourself over to them.] and you have gone up; and you have enlarged your bed, and you’ve made a covenant with them; and you loved their bed where you saw it (57:7-8).
So they had turned away from God, and they were living after their sexual appetites, following after these things. Even as we have that tragic condition in the United States today with the heightened sexual arousal through the X-rated videos, the X-rated movies, the pornographic magazines. We, we live in a state of heightened sexual arousal. We, we have laws now that allow this pornography continue. We even have it supported by the government with large government grants! We have laws that protect the privacy of individuals, so that anything goes among consenting adults as far as kinky sex. You have of course, the, the tragic consequence in the increased prevalence of venereal diseases, sexually transmitted diseases. Now even AIDS, the consequence of this immoral kind of living.
God who is pure, and God who demands righteousness and purity of His people who called you to a pure life, cannot be pleased, nor can He accept this kind of activity, and will surely judge it, as He did with the nation of Israel. He goes on to say…
You went to the king with ointment, you did increase your perfumes, [You oiled your body and perfumed your body] and you did send your messengers far of, and you debased yourself even unto hell. [These were God’s people debasing themselves in these immoral practices.] Thou art wearied in the greatness of your way; yet you did not say, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; and therefore you were not grieved (57:9-10).
They, they thought they could continue in this. They weren’t convicted by this.
And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that you have lied, and have not remembered me, nor laid it to your heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and you don’t fear me (57:11)?
Now they made the tragic mistake of, of thinking that because God did not intervene quickly, that God was powerless to intervene. They interpreted it as though God could not intervene, or God did not care, God was not concerned, or even worse, that God approved of their actions. One of the most deceived persons in the world is that person who is living in an adulterous relationship and thinks that God approves of it! Because God holds His peace, because God does not immediately smite. Because God lets people get by with it. They begin to think that they are really getting by with it, but they are only deceiving themselves. So God declares…
I will declare your righteousness, [But in this case, unrighteousness] and your works; for they will not profit you. [For the Lord said] When the day of calamity comes, and when you cry, let your idols deliver you; but the wind will carry them all away; vanity will take them: but he that puts his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain (57:12-13).
The wicked are estranged from God, but God will take care of His people, and they shall possess the land, and inherit the holy mountain. But God said, “Look when the day of trouble, the day of calamity falls upon you, then you call out to your idols that you’ve been worshiping, the gods that you’ve been serving. Let them deliver you, but they can’t, because they’re gonna be blown away with the wind. They’re empty.”
You will say, Build you up, build you up, prepare a way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people (57:14).
They shall say actually, “Cast ye up, cast ye up”, which is “build up, build up”. They in those days, whenever an important dignitary was to come to your area, there would always be a project of fixing up the roads, removing the stones, smoothing out the rough places so that when the king came riding on his chariot, he would have a relatively smooth ride. Filling in the valleys and, and cutting down the mountains and always preparing the way for the king, preparing the roads and all. That’s the idea here of, of “Build ye up, build ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people. Remove the stumblingblocks or the stones out of the road.”
That’s exactly what John the Baptist was crying. “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, get your paths straight!”, and all. “The Lord is coming! The King is coming! So prepare for the coming of the King!” Really that’s sort of the cry that we are giving today is, “Get things straight, prepare the way! The King is coming! Prepare the way for the Lord!”
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, [Whoo, God who habits in eternity! The high, the lofty, God the Creator!”, what does He say?] I dwell in the high and the holy place, [But also He] dwells in the hearts of the humble, and the contrite (57:15),
Isn’t that glorious? A God who inhabits eternity, who dwells in the high and the holy places, dwells within my heart. I mean that’s something that just absolutely amazes me! Jesus said, “In that day, ye shall know that I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, will be loved of my Father, and we will come, and make our abode with Him.” So here is the God of the universe, who dwells and inhabits eternity! Who dwells in the high and the lofty places of the universe. But also dwells in the heart of the humble, and the contrite in spirit.
to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive [Or to make alive] the spirit of the humble and contrite. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I always be angry: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry, and I smote him: and I hid myself, and was angry, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart (57:15-17).
God said to, in the days of Noah, “My Spirit will not always strive with man.” But here, God is saying that though He brings judgment, it’s not gonna last forever. “He will not contend for ever, neither will He always be angry.” He for, He forbore their iniquity, but they went on in their ways. God said…
I have seen his ways, and I will heal him (57:18):
Now their ways are corrupt. God said, “I’ve seen them, but yet”, God said, “I will heal him”. Here’s the grace of God. You may have turned your back upon God, you may have gone your own way, you may have gone a corrupt path, and yet the Lord says, “I will heal them.” That to me, is just grace, glorious grace! God, promising the healing!
I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners (57:18).
The message of the Bible to sinning man is that there is forgiveness with God. You have not gone too far. God will heal you. God will change your life. God will bring you into fellowship with Himself. God said…
I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; I will heal him (57:19).
So you may be far from God, you may have chosen a path in life that has taken you just so far away from the things of God, but God is calling to you saying, “Peace, peace, I will heal you.” You may be at war with God, you might find yourself fighting with God, fighting with, with the laws of God, there’s evil in your heart, and you’re, you’ve given vent to that evil. But now you’re beginning to see the folly of the path of evil. But you feel that there’s no way back, you’ve gone too far! Your life is too big of a mess! There’s too much junk, and you just feel rather helpless. But, God said, “No, peace!”, and He’s offering peace through Jesus Christ! He is our peace who has broken down these walls! God is extending and offering to man His peace, and His healing, the forgiveness, and the healing, the restoring. But then, the final warning of the chapter is…
To the wicked [it describes them like] a stormy sea that cannot rest, a storm tossed sea, it cannot rest, whose waters cast up the dirt and the mire. For there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked (57:20-21).
“Peace, peace” to those that are far off, to those that are near, to those who will come to God the offer is that of peace. To those who continue on in their rebellion against God in their evil ways, God said, “You’re like a troubled sea. You cannot rest. There is no place of rest. There will be strife, there will be turmoil. There will be the constant churning. There is no rest”, saith God, “for the wicked.” But oh I can tell you tonight, that when you turn your life over to Jesus Christ, and you receive the forgiveness of sins, and His healing, there is glorious peace, wonderful peace, beautiful peace! The war is over. I’m no longer running from God, I’m no longer fighting against God, I’ve surrendered my life to be controlled by God. The effect, and the result of it is beautiful peace. Deep peace within!
Father we thank You for that peace that we have in Christ Jesus, that passes all understanding! That peace that keeps our minds, and our souls. Lord we pray for those who have been at war with You. Those that have been fighting against Your Spirit. Those Lord who have been going their own path away from You. May they hear the call of Your Spirit tonight, and may they respond to the call of Your Spirit, and may they come that they might be healed, and that they might receive Lord, Your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Shall we stand?
Now may the love of Jesus Christ, and the peace and communion of the Holy Spirit rest, and abide with you this week. May you walk in fellowship with Him. May you be conscious of His presence. May this be a week of spiritual growth and development, as your heart is open to God and the things of the Spirit. May the Lord take you by the hand and lead you in His way. May you have that beautiful comfort and assurance that comes from knowing that God is by your side, and will never leave you or forsake you. Walk with Him in fellowship, experience His love. Return your heart, and your life to Him, that you might have peace.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7269