Isaiah fifty eight. The Lord is saying to Isaiah…
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet (58:1),
Jerusalem Bible has it, “Shout with all of your might!” God is asking Isaiah to make this loud proclamation to the people!
shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins (58:1).
Now there is an endeavor today to sort of water down sin, and transgressions. But God is telling the prophet, “Shout it with all your might! Cry aloud! Don’t spare! Lift up your voice like a trumpet to show the people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.”
Now the people had a lot of what you might call religiosity. They were doing the right things, but their heart was not right before the Lord. God said…
They seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; and they take delight in approaching to God (58:2).
That was outward. They had the outward signs of religion. But often times religion can be the opiate of the people, because it is only outward observance. It’s not really something from your heart. As the Lord said to the church of Ephesus, “I know thy works, thy labour, thy patience, how that you have discernment, and those that say they are prophets and are not, you won’t receive them.” They had all of these things outwardly, but the Lord said unto them, “But I have this against you, you’ve left your first love.” So there are many times, people have the motions and the activities of religious fervor, but their heart is what God is looking at, and what God is interested in. So they were there daily at the temple, they had their little prayer books, they had all of the outward manifestations of a religious people. They were saying to God…
Why is it that we have fasted, and you don’t take note of it? [“Lord you know here we are, we’re fasting, and you seem not to see it!”] we have afflicted our souls, and you don’t acknowledge it (58:3)?
So the Lord tells them what the problem is. During the times of Christ the Pharisees had all of the outward trappings of very religious people. They, they had the appearance of being extremely religious. But the Pharisees came under greater condemnation by Jesus than any other group, because it was an outward form of religion, but there was nothing truly in their heart but bitterness, and criticism, and pride, spiritual pride. So Jesus so often used the Pharisees as a bad example. He said to His disciples, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven.” It was all outward, there was nothing within their heart. So the Lord is interested in the attitudes more than the actions of a person’s life. If you have the right actions and the wrong attitudes, the Lord will not receive it.
Now these people were going through the whole religious ceremony. They were even fasting, they were afflicting their souls, and yet, and they were saying, “Lord why don’t you notice? Why don’t you acknowledge what we’re doing?” But the Lord said…
Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and you exact all your labours. Behold, you fast for strife and debate (58:3-4),
“While you are fasting you get into arguments, big arguments, debating”, and they were even getting into fist fights!] you smite with the fist of wickedness: [So here they are, “You know, we’re fasting unto the Lord! Lord! Why don’t you see it?” Here they are out arguing, and bickering, and fist fighting and all, and wondering why God doesn’t acknowledge their, their religious activities.
so you shall not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high (58:4).
The purpose of their fast was, was to get things from God. Now that is a lot of motive behind people fasting today. They’re, they’re wanting to use it as a means of, of obligating God to somehow answer, or to fulfill their desires. So they, they fast in order to get from God, rather than just fasting to deny the flesh in order that they might just experience more time in the Spirit. So, “You fast to make your voice to be heard”, feeling that it would enhance their prayers. But the Lord said…
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? [“Have I chosen this?”] a day for a man to afflict his soul? to bow down his head as a bulrush, to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day unto the Lord (58:5)?
You remember Jesus talked about their, their attitude in fasting in the sermon on the mount. He said, “When you fast, don’t be like the Pharisees”, who you know, get this drawn look on their face, and they go around with head bowed, and say, “What’s the matter brother?”, “Oh I’m fasting unto the Lord you know”, and they’re doing it for the effect that it has on people. They were doing it to make people say, “My aren’t they spiritual!” So whenever they fasted they would, they would make sure the people knew they were fasting.
But Jesus said, “You know don’t make a show of it.” That, “When you do these things, not, you’re not to do them so as to draw attention.” But He said, “Wash your face, go around happy and smiling, and don’t let men really know that you’re fasting. But do it as unto the Lord. Your Father which sees in secret will reward you openly. But don’t seek the, the acknowledgment or the reward from man to, ‘Oh isn’t he a spiritual person! Look at the way he’s lying there in his, in sackcloth, and he’s lying in those ashes, and his head is bent over like a bulrush, my he is spiritual!’”
That’s actually what was happening, and the people, and the attitude people had to, “Oh my they’re holy men! They’re spiritual men, look at the way they’re dressed! Look at the way that they walk around with their hands folded, and their eyes closed!” That’s, that’s not what it’s about. So the Lord said…
The fast that I have chosen is to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed to go free, and that you break every yoke. [“That’s what I desire”, the Lord said, “is your kindness to other people, to help those that are in need”, and…] it is to deal your bread to the hungry, [“It’s not just that you go without bread.”] take your bread and feed the poor, that you may have eaten that day [“If you’re gonna fast, just reach out to others in the name of the Lord.”] that you bring the poor that are cast out into your house? when you see the naked, clothe him; and don’t hide not thyself from thine own flesh? And then shall your light break forth as the morning, your health will spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; and the glory of the Lord will be behind you (58:6-8).
So God’s desire is for our helping the less fortunate. That’s the kind of fast that God would have us to do, to free men from the heavy burdens, to feed the poor, to clothe the naked. God said that He would acknowledge and recognize that.
And then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and he will say, Here I am (58:9).
You will come into real fellowship and communion with God, because God is concerned with the poor, God is concerned with the needy, and when you are helping the poor and needy you are coming into harmony with the desires and the heart of God.
If you take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and the speaking of emptiness (58:9);
So that’s what God desired, that they would just get rid of this petty argument and all. The putting forth of the finger is when you’re arguing and shaking your finger at a person, these arguments which are so vain. So the Lord said…
If you draw out of thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness will be as the noon day: And the Lord will guide thee continually, and satisfy your soul in the time of drought, and he will make fat thy bones: and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: and you will [rise up, or] raise up the foundations of many generations; and you will be called, The repairer of the breach, and The restorer of the paths to dwell in (58:10-12).
So God is talking to His people, to Israel. He is talking to them about what He would have them to do, and not just outward religious activity, but from their hearts, loving and helping the less fortunate.
If you turn your foot away from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shall honour him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words (58:13):
So God has asked for one day in seven. “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy”, giving the Lord a day. But you shouldn’t look upon that day as a, a day of drudgery, think, “Oh it’s the sabbath day, man alive! You know, gotta go to church, and gotta be holy and do the righteous thing, cause it’s the sabbath day.” The Lord said that He wanted you to delight in it! Your attitude should be, “Oh we have the opportunity to just spend time with the Lord! Ahh, don’t have to work today, but I can just take a day and, and live in fellowship with the Lord!”, and you look upon that as a delight, something that you anticipate and look forward to! A day of just worshiping Him, and being with Him, and in, in looking at the time spent with Him as just a pleasure and a delight. But instead they were watching NBA Finals. “Bulls?”, sorry, sorry, sorry! Some of the wives applauded! That’s not quite what it said! But it did say, “doing your pleasure on my holy day”, and you should honour the Lord, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words.” It’s not really a day in which we’re to seek our own pleasures. It is a day in which we are to seek the Lord.
Now it should be noted that He is talking to the nation of Israel, and the sabbath is, as we mentioned last week, God’s sign of His covenant with the nation of Israel. When the Lord gave the law to Moses back in Exodus, He said, “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy”. But then in chapter thirty one of Exodus, beginning with verse sixteen, well, verse twelve to seventeen, “Now the Lord spoke unto Moses saying, Speak also unto the children of Israel saying, Verily my sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord that sanctifies you. You shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you, and every one that defiles it will surely be put to death, for whosoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days you may work, but the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord, and whosoever does any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel”, notice that, “shall keep the sabbath to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” Or, as the sign of the covenant that God has made with them. “For it is a sign between me, and the children of Israel for ever.” So this was a sign between God and the nation of Israel, the sign of His covenant that He would be their God, they would be His people.
God had several covenants that He established with man. With each covenant, God had the sign of the covenant. With Noah, He made a covenant that He would never again destroy the world with water. The sign of the covenant was the rainbow in the sky. With Abraham, God that “of his seed all of the nations would be blessed. The sign of the covenant was the circumcision of the male child on the eighth day. All of the males were to be circumcised. This was the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham.
With the nation of Israel, He made the covenant that He would be their God, they would be His people. The sign of the covenant was the keeping of the sabbath day. With the church, the Lord has made a covenant that by our faith in Jesus Christ, our sins will be forgiven. The sign of the covenant was the broken bread and the cup. Jesus said, “This cup is a new covenant in my blood which is shed for the remission of sins.” So the sign of the covenant is in communion. So the sabbath day, and the keeping of the sabbath day was something that God established with the nation of Israel, to be the sign perpetually, of the covenant that God had made with them. That they would be God’s covenant people, relating to God through the law.
Now in the book of Hebrews, it talks about the old covenant and why it failed, and how this new covenant that we have in Christ is so much better. So God speaks of the sabbath day. He said…
Then shall you delight yourself in the Lord; I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it (58:14).
So, “Cry aloud Isaiah, tell the people that their form of godliness isn’t sufficient”. You need to have a real relationship with God, which will be manifested in your love and your concern for your brother, and for those that are in need. “Pure religion, and undefiled”, James said, “is to feed the fatherless, is to visit those that are in need. To take care of those.” That, that’s true religion. So let’s be concerned with our brother who is in need. “He that loveth God, should love his brother also. If I say I love God, and hate my brother, then I’m a liar. How can I love God who I’ve not seen, and yet hate my brother made in the image of God?” So when the lawyer asked Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment?” He said, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, strength and mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. In these two, you’ll find capsulized all of the law and the prophets.”
So I think that there are times where we get so involved in, in just making a living, getting by, that we forget the obligation that we have to those that are less fortunate, those that are in need. To reach out and to strengthen those that are in need, rather than oppressing those that are in need. If you’re guilty of that, then you’re guilty of doing the very thing that God brought judgment upon the leaders of Israel for, the nation of Israel, they were oppressing the poor. They were laying heavier burdens upon them.
Now in chapter fifty nine it would seem that the thought sort of continues, because he goes on to say…
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that he cannot hear (59:1):
Now in the previous chapter they were saying, “How is it Lord that we have fasted, and you don’t, you don’t pay any attention, you don’t see it. We’ve afflicted our soul, but you don’t take knowledge of it. You’re, you’re not recognizing it.” So here, “The Lord’s hand is not short that it cannot save.” It isn’t that God can’t reach out to help you. It isn’t that God doesn’t hear your prayer. “His ear is not heavy that He cannot hear.” It is interesting how that when things go wrong, we are so ready to blame God. I don’t know why God did this. I don’t know why God allowed that”, and, and even the, the natural disasters, we are prone to classify as, “An act of God”. Hurricane just you know, wiped out part of South Carolina, this act of God. Tornado ripped through a village, the act of God. We’re ready to blame God for every calamity. Yet, not really looking at ourselves. God is saying, “It’s not my problem. It’s not that my hand is short and I cannot save, it’s not that I don’t hear. It isn’t that my ear is heavy and I cannot hear.”
But it is your iniquities that have separated you and God, your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (59:2).
It’s not that He cannot hear, He will not hear because of your sins and iniquities. Now David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord doesn’t hear me when I pray.” The Bible tells us that sin separates a man from God. Sin severs your connection with God. It isn’t that God cannot hear, He will not hear because of the sin and the iniquity that is in your heart. So when it seems that you’re having difficulty in communion, or communicating with God, don’t wonder about God, but look at yourself, and let a man examine himself, and find out if you’re regarding iniquity in your heart. Because that will break your connection with God. “What fellowship hath light with darkness? What communion hath Christ with Belial?” So the Lord said…
Your hands are defiled with blood, your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue has muttered perverseness (59:3).
So the Lord lays out the charges against them. First of all, lifting of the hands was a common form of prayer. When the people would pray in those days, it was customary, and they often would just lift up their hands to God in an imploring kind of a way, to pray. But God says, “You lift up your hands, but your hands are filled with blood.” Bloody hands lifted to the Lord! He goes ahead and makes the other charges, “their fingers with iniquity, their lips have spoken lies, their tongue has uttered perverseness.”
And no one was calling for justice, nor pleading for the truth: but they were trusting in emptiness, they were speaking lies; they conceived mischief, and they were bringing forth iniquity. [People weren’t concerned with justice, with truth.] And they hatch cockatrice’s eggs, and they weave the spider’s web: but he that eats their eggs died, and that which is crushed breaketh out into the viper (59:4-5).
So, “they are hatching cockatrice’s eggs”, that’s sort of a poisonous serpent. If you would eat the egg, it would kill you, if you crushed the egg, the poisonous viper comes out. The spider’s web…
Their web shall not become garments, [They’re weaving spider’s webs, and you can’t really weave them into garments, the spider’s web.] neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet [God is now making His indictment, “their feet”,] run to evil, they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they’ve made crooked paths: and whoever goes in them shall not know peace (59:6-8).
So Paul the apostle put this in Romans, these couple verses here. “Their feet are swift to evil, they make haste to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths, and the way of peace they do not know.”
Now whosoever goes in these crooked paths, you cannot know peace, as we saw last Sunday, the end of chapter fifty seven. “There is no peace saith the Lord for the wicked.”
So therefore is judgment far from us, neither does justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; we wait for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like a blind person, we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at the noon day as in the night; and we are in desolate places as dead men (59:9-10).
The nation of Israel was in very difficult circumstances. It was a nation that was supposed to be God’s people, but it was filled with unrighteousness and immorality. Things were getting worse. Here is God’s people, a nation that should be standing for God, but polluted. Because of the pollution, blinded, “and they were like a blind person groping”, trying to find their way, trying to find the wall. It says…
We roar all like bears, and we mourn like doves: and we look for judgment, but there is none; we look for salvation, but it is far off from us (59:11).
Now there is one place where judgment and justice should always prevail, and that’s in the judicial system. I have had attorneys say, “Well don’t go to court. Settle out of court if at all possible. Because if you go to court, the chances of getting justice are just problematical. You can’t be assured of justice in our judicial system.” More and more we are recognizing that, that where in the courts, where you should be able to find justice, so often it is lacking. So the crying out for judgment, for justice, but there is none, for salvation, but it’s far.
For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: and as for our iniquities, we know them (59:12);
So God said, “your sins, your iniquities have separated you from God”. The transgressions were multiplied before God. The sins bear witness against us, and our iniquities we know them.
In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. [Quite an indictment against these people from God!] Judgment is turned away backward, justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter (59:13-14).
There was no real fairness. They could not even find it within the judicial system!
Now God is a God of righteousness, and God wants righteousness to prevail. He is a God of justice, He wants justice to prevail. When judgment and justice becomes perverted, then the, the foundations of a nation are, are shattered! The nation cannot stand, it will soon fall. We are in that sad state of affairs today it would seem, that it, no one’s really finding true judgment and justice. “Judgment is turned away backward, justice stands far off, truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.”
Yes, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him and there was no judgment (59:15).
A person who would depart from evil would become a prey. He would be attacked. It’s interesting, you read every once in awhile of a person finding a bag of money on the street, and returning it to the bank or whatever. As a general rule, when a person does something like that, they get so harassed by people that they have to many times move from the community. They have to get an unlisted phone and all. Because if you do the right thing, there are just a lot of people out there that are gonna get on your case. They’re gonna call you up, and tell you what a fool you were, and what you should’ve done. You know, and, and many people who have done the right thing have been so harassed. You make yourself a prey when you turn from evil, and depart from evil, you make yourself a prey. The moment you decide to live a righteous life, to serve the Lord, Satan is going to attack you. You’ve made yourself now, a prey. The enemy’s gonna get after you. “The Lord saw it, it displeased Him.” But the thing that was really tragic in this case, “He saw it, it displeased Him that there was no judgment.”
And he saw [verse sixteen] and there was no man, and he wondered that there was no intercessor: and therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him (59:16).
In all of these things, God was looking for a man to be an intercessor. But there were none. Ezekiel the prophet, talks again of the days of calamity for the nation. They were ripening for the judgment of God. It was corrupt, it was bad. He came after Isaiah, and things had not gotten better, they’d only gotten worse. They had gotten so bad that God was going to have to judge them in order to remain righteous. He could not let these things go by any further. So Ezekiel tells us that, “God sought for a man among them who would stand in the way, who would stand in the gap”, actually, “and who would fill up the broken hedge. But He found none, and therefore His judgment proceeded forth.”
Now God wanted to forbear judgment. God delights in mercy, God delights in grace. God would much rather forgive you than punish you. Here the people really were deserving punishment, and God wanted to show His grace and mercy! He needed an excuse to do it. He needed for some man who would stand there as an intercessor, who would stand in the gap between God and man. The gap that was created by man’s sin. But there was none. Thus, the judgment came.
I think that today, God is looking for people to stand in the gap, to be intercessors. People who will stand before God for the nation, and intercede. But it seems that we are so busy with our own pursuits, with our own ambitions, that so often is the case, as it was historically, that God seeks for man, He finds none, and thus judgment must proceed.
Now in this particular case, “He saw that there was no man, He wondered that there was no intercessor, therefore His arm brought salvation unto them, and His righteousness, it sustained Him”. So God sovereignly just moved in and, and saved! God sovereignly worked!
For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and he was clad with zeal as a cloak. [So God intervened directly.] And according to their deeds, [He said] he will repay, fury to his adversaries, and recompense to his enemies; and the coast lands he will repay with recompense. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. [So God moved sovereignly, and He declares…] When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up the standard against him 59:17-19).
We face a powerful enemy, who many times seeks to overwhelm us like a flood. The Bible speaks about the wiles of the devil. He’s a very wily person. Deceitful. He makes sin to look very attractive and alluring. He’s a clever fisherman, he knows how to make alluring bait, but there’s always a hook.
Men are attracted to sin, and they don’t look always at the consequence, and the possible consequence of their actions. What is the net result, or the final result of doing these things? So often a person will engage in a practice that will bring to them temporary pleasure, but it can bring to them a lifetime of grief and remorse. The pleasure is gone so quickly! But the damage often takes years, and sometimes is never healed! A person, for that momentary time of pleasure, excitement, will enter into a lifetime of, of misery and sadness.
The wise person will look down the road, he will ask, “What will this do to me in the future? What will this do with my relationship with my family, my children?” He will not just be attracted by the allurement that Satan holds before him. He will consider the consequences of that kind of action. He’ll look at the end results of these things.
It’s so sad to see people sacrificing the eternal things for temporary excitement and fulfillment. I had a lady today come to me to ask me to talk to her husband, who’s a very famous person, if I would tell his name, you would all know him. He once walked with the Lord. He once went around and spoke, and testified of his faith in Christ. But, he’s been caught up now in worldly things, the enticements, the allurements of worldly things. He has left his wife, after more than twenty years of marriage. He is, he says he loves what he is doing. He’s never been happier, and yet he is living a life of sin.
There is pleasure in sin, there’s no denying that sin is not pleasurable. It is! But the end result of sin is separation from God, and absolute misery. Though it may be exciting and pleasurable for a time, when that hook takes hold, it becomes painful and tragic. People don’t always look at the results of their actions, and thus make very foolish mistakes. The enemy comes in like a flood, he overwhelms us with temptations. There are times when we, in ourselves, are too weak to withstand the onslaught. But how good it is to be a child of God, and when we are overwhelmed by the powers of darkness, to know that the Spirit of the Lord will raise up the standard against the enemy. He will do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. So God’s glorious promise is that when the enemy does come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up the standard against him.
The rest of the chapter is a prophecy quoted by Paul in Romans, the eleventh chapter…
The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord (59:20).
Jesus is coming, the Redeemer, He’s coming again to Zion, “and to those that turn from transgression from Jacob, saith the Lord.” Then the Lord said…
As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; my spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever (59:21).
“My covenant”, His Spirit which is upon us, the words that He has put in our mouth, will not depart out of our mouth, nor out of the mouth of our children, or our grandchildren. I love that! I love seeing my grandchildren grow up in the things of the Lord! My oldest grandson, seventeen years old, went to Yugoslavia to witness last summer. God really got hold of his heart and life, and he was talking to me the other day, and says, “Well grandpa, I feel the Lord calling me into the ministry”, nothing could make me happier than to see my grandson go into the ministry! To see my granddaughters walking with the Lord, witnessing, and loving the Lord. One granddaughter is going over to Yugoslavia to witness this summer, my second oldest grandchild. It’s thrilling, just thrilling! The word of the Lord in my children’s life, and now in my grandchildren’s life. Oh what a blessing! How good is God!
Now Paul the apostle, in Romans, talks about the blindness of Israel. That, “Blindness has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, but then, God will again work with Israel, and all Israel shall be saved, as saith the scripture, for there shall come the Redeemer unto Zion.”
He is quoting this prophecy of Isaiah to turn the hearts of the children unto the fathers, and the fathers to the children. To restore the work of God with those people. God is not through with the nation of Israel. It is wrong to try to identify the church as Israel, and to say that God is finished with them as a nation and all. Nothing is further from the truth! God said that His covenant with them will never be broken. If the sun doesn’t come up tomorrow, then you’ll know God’s covenant is broken. He said, “If the sun doesn’t shine”, and so forth, “then can His covenant be broken”. But as long as the sun rises, you’ll know that God is keeping His covenant with the nation of Israel.
Right now, God is working among the Gentiles. Here we are tonight! God is working in our midst, God is opening up our understanding to His word. God is giving us an understanding of His love, and His purposes for our lives. We are the children of God! We’ve been adopted into the family of God. The natural branch was cut off, because they rejected God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ. We, like a wild branch, were grafted in, that we might partake of the blessings and the glory that God promised to His people.
But, if God grafted in us as a wild branch to partake of the fullness, then God is able to graft the natural branch in again. When the fullness of the Gentiles is come, God will then restore Israel to its place of blessing. The Redeemer will come to Zion, and all Israel shall be saved, according to the promise of God. The nation will again turn to God, He will be their God, and they will be His people. So exciting days ahead for the world, for us, as the children of God, and for Israel, as that nation with whom God made His everlasting covenant.
Shall we pray?
Father we thank You tonight for your word, and these ethical instructions to Your people. Though directed primarily to the nation of Israel, yet Lord, there are so many things that apply to us. So help us Lord, that we would not be guilty of having an outward form of religion, and yet denying the power. Lord help us that we might live lives that are truly pleasing to You. That our fasts will be acceptable unto You Lord, and that we would be concerned with things in which You are concerned. That we would be your instruments through which You can bring Your love, and Your help, and Your strength to the needy. Lord, let our hearts be open always to the cries of the oppressed. Lord may we seek justice and righteousness, and may we Lord, be interceptors and stand in the gap. Lord draw us unto Yourself, and make of us Lord the instruments that You can use to accomplish Your purposes here on the earth. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7270