We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
I can imagine how the Jewish religious leaders who were responsible for convincing the crowd that demanded Pilate the indignant crucifixion of the righteous, once having witnessed the bloody execution and confirmed that the humble carpenter would not be any longer a nuisance to them, returned to their homes to begin the Sabbath that Moses had instructed them to follow by orders of God himself. They should have arrived home minutes before sundown to start the day of rest. They must have felt very pleased to have achieved the goal that they had long had committed themselves to take the life of the humble but popular and dangerous (for them) Galilean leader. They should have eaten that night with great pleasure and joy because they believed that their problems had been solved once and for all. Little could they imagine that him who had died on the cross a few hours before was whom they had been waiting for so long and who was the fulfillment of the promise of freedom given to the people by God.
Just the night before they had held the annual ritual of the Passover, that is the commemoration of the protection with which God covered the people of Israel when the Angel of the Lord fulfilled the ultimate measure of pressure on Pharaoh to let free the people chosen by God. Little could they imagine that lamb that they were chewing on the night before was the sign of the true Lamb of God that few hours before had been sacrificed for all, Jews and non Jews. Like Satan, their guide, they were glad to see how things were going. By no means they came to suspect that the next day, the death that they had used to get rid of the teacher from Nazareth would be defeated forever. May the glory of the resurrection of the Lord always prevails over the sadness of the painful and bloody sacrifice which the Lord had to go through to rescue us from sin and death. Only to God be the glory!
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Only the love of God is able to carry out a task such as that of the incarnation. The perfect love of God was the source of power for the Son of God to strip himself of his majesty and to clothe himself in humility to save humanity. He who dwelt in heavenly glory and in perfect harmony with the Father and the Holy Spirit left his throne to descend to dwell among human misery and the evil that men housed in the depths of their hearts. The Creator and Author of life descended from heaven to bring light to a lost humanity, thereby ending darkness. Despite having taken the form of a servant his greatness and majesty was recognized by many and his grace and his love did not go unnoticed. His plans were completed successfully to the letter and the world was able to know salvation.
Need direction? The Lord Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor. Let his hand be your guide so that your foot will not stumble and you can live safe and secure. Are you discouraged and tired? Jesus Christ is Mighty God and he will help you because he has promised: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Do you think that nobody in the world loves you? The Lord Jesus Christ is the Everlasting Father and his love and compassion are unparalleled and have no end. Are you overwhelmed by worries and insecurity? Jesus is the Prince of Peace and only in him you will find calm and rest for your troubled heart. We sincerely hope that the true light that gives light to every man, life himself, will fill you all with his blessing and that love and glory become a reality in your lives. Merry Christmas! To God alone be the glory!
“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
God’s promises are unswerving. As Samuel said: “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.” So far has helped us, why, then, you think that he is going to abandon us? Doubt comes naturally to humans. As rational beings, we accept only what can be perceived through the senses. A few other things we cannot perceive directly but we can infer by using logic and reason. For everyone is very difficult to discern the things that cannot be seen and this is where faith plays an important role. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews says that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. With faith in God we know that He will grant us all that he has promised us. However, we must remember that there is a plan that has to take place rain or shine. This plan of God is perfect and contains some steps for us to complete. It is possible that some of the tasks that we must execute do not look nice and conducive to meeting the promises of God, but we can be sure that everything that happens or we get to do is what is best for us.
Let us rest, then, in the promises of God and let him take care of our welfare as we take care to obey his instructions. If God says he will care for us, sustain us and deliver us, we can be sure that he will. He has shown he is faithful since we were in our mother’s womb. Rest in him because for him nothing is impossible.To God alone be the glory!
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the LORD.
Man’s life is spent seeking to consolidate his security. From birth we seek the security that gives our mother’s breast and later we always look for the security that offers the coverage of our parents. We go to school to ensure that later we can find a good job. At work, we ensure that we can increase and maintain a steady revenue stream that allows us to meet our security of covering our basic needs and our daily living expenses. Also, if possible, we save money to make sure that we have enough resources in case we come across a contingency. We also seek financial security for our old age. And as we reach the end of our earthly journey we ensure that our death does not become a financial burden to our loved ones. Few realize that after physical death we have a long life, not in this world, for which we must be prepared and secured. We put our trust in the riches, few or many, that we may have. And so we spend a lifetime working hard to strengthen our security without realizing that true security can only come from God.
Where are the foundations of your strength? What makes you feel safe (or unsafe)? What situation do you think can occur that may cause you fear and shake your safety? What have you been doing about it? In any case you should first seek the support of God. Without it you will never have a real security. You need to do as the wise man who built his house on the rock. “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” We need to place all of our trust in God, seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness so all these things (including security) will be given to us as well. So let us not lose our sleep because of insecurity, but let us place all our troubles in the loving hands of our Lord Jesus Christ. Both now and in eternity there is no greater and firmer source of security than him. To God alone be the glory!
‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?’
Isaiah 20:6 b
Curiosity makes people pay attention to the appealing messages of those who are only interested in destruction. Instability and lack of discernment makes folks put their hope in anything that presumes to have but has no real power to build. Some boast of having much power and might at some point in time exercise dominion over others, but no one has all the power all the time as our God Almighty does. From our personal perspective, usually limited to the here and now, we can’t clearly see the evolution of time and the permanence and strength of God’s plan, which means that sometimes we make wrong decisions relying on alleged strengths that end up weakening and crumbling before the presence of a higher power.
In what or who have you put your trust? Your money, your job, your possessions, your education, your knowledge, your skills, your family, your friends, your connections, your status, the color of your skin, your attractiveness, your personality and all those beings or things which somehow make you feel safe and secure, will at some point cease protecting you and you’ll be naked and abandoned to the mercy of your enemies and your circumstances. If, on the other hand, we wisely put our hope in God, we will never be disappointed and we will always have his love and mercy, though the days are evil. Let us identify the things that give us a false sense of security and replace our reliance on those things for hope in God alone. Thus we will stop relying on the dubious and uncertain strengths and our accomplishments will only depend on the one who is truly reliable and true, our Lord Jesus Christ. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Isaiah
Tagged Christianity, deliverance, escape, faith, help, hope, Isaiah 20, Jesus, life, love, reliance, salvation, spirituality, trust, wisdom
My righteousness draws near speedily,
my salvation is on the way,
and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
and wait in hope for my arm.
Recent global events related to politics, security, environment and economy highlight as the times, slowly but surely, approach the moment in which creation as we know it will disappear in flames to make way for a new heaven and a new earth “where righteousness dwells.” Not surprisingly, the turbulence that has manifested itself in every corner of the earth is but a sign that the world is preparing to be transformed once and for all in the perfect and orderly creation that was announced by the prophets of God. However, the world will continue to live as if nothing were to happen as most of the people do not know God’s plans and some, who know them, simply ignore them. It will be as the prophet Isaiah said: «The Lord, the LORD Almighty, called you on that day to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth. But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! “Let us eat and drink,” you say, “for tomorrow we die!”»
When we see that these terrible things are happening all over the world we must redouble our efforts to make the gospel known to all, that is, the good news that we have a way to reach justice and salvation, and that this way is Christ Jesus. There is no point in being upset and distressed by what is happening. “This is just the beginning of sorrows.” Our responsibility is to keep watch, because we do not know what day our Lord will come. Thank God that His promises never fail. To God alone be the glory!