Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for July 22, Isaiah 31-34

Today's readings are Isaiah 31-34. Tomorrow's are Isaiah 35-36. 

Isaiah 31-34 makes it clear that Judah's kings have failed it and will continue to do so until God replaces them with a new King who will reign in righteousness (ch 32). This promise is made in spite of the prophecy that Judah will fall due to their dependence on Egypt for protection. 

Even as the fate of Judah is cast, it also becomes clear that God will preserve Jerusalem. Jerusalem will suffer, but will be saved from total destruction as some other cities have experienced. This is because Jerusalem is God's chosen dwelling among His people. 

Notice, in Isaiah 32:9-14, complacency will have its own chastisement. Those who wish to stay out of the fray and refuse to take a stand for the Lord will be disciplined. When God exalts Himself, those who actively pursue Him and His righteousness will be blessed (Isaiah 32:15-20).

Not only will Judah and Egypt fall, but God will judge the nations that oppress them (Isaiah 33-34). Those nations will look upon the beauty of the new King and be dismayed (Isaiah 33:17-19).

So far, all of these prophecies are warnings of what will happen to Judah if they refuse to repent. The promise of a righteous King is given regardless of whether or not they turn back to God. Their repentance or lack of it will determine the level of suffering they will endure while waiting for the new King to arrive.

All this is demonstrated in how Isaiah speaks of Israel, the Northern Kingdom. As we have heard, Israel will be taken captive, scattered and decimated. The ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom have, to this day, remained so. Yet, God promises that He will redeem them. They never stop being Israel. They are never exempt from His promises. 

Our walk can be very similar. We who are saved are never exempt from His promises. We never cease being His children. Our willingness to repent will determine our level of suffering while we wait to be in His presence forever. Our new King is coming. Indeed, He is already here, living in each of us who call upon Him as Lord and Savior. For now, we live in the faithfulness of that promise but in a shadow of its fullness. There will be a day when we walk in the fullness of His presence and glory. Until then, we are called to avoid complacency and actively pursue His truth and righteousness. 

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