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Isaiah 44-48

7/22/2019

A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
 
        Isaiah 44 and 45 contain a word of hope for God's people in exile.  First they are reminded they are chosen (44:1-5).  Next they are encouraged with a reminder that the idols on which foreign powers rely are human products, while the LORD whom they follow is the first and the last, and that beside Him there is no God (44:6-23, especially 44:6).  Finally, the promise is made that God will say of Jerusalem, >Let it be rebuilt.'
        Isaiah 45:1-25 explains that even a king as great as Cyrus the Persian is in God's power.  The central theme is captured in verses14,16 and 17:  Surely God is with you, and there is no other; there is no other god . . . . All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced . . .. but Israel will be saved by the LORD. 
        Isaiah 46 and 47 describe the fall of Babylon.  As God puts it:  I am God, and there is no other...no one like me. . . My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please (46:9-10).  The punishment of Babylon for cannot be avoided because they have taken God's place for themselves:  You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, >No one sees me.'  Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you...
        Chapter 48 is an indictment of Israel and a reaffirmation of His grace.  ...you take oaths in the name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel B but not in truth or righteousness.  Because the people are insincere in their devotion to God and have sought to use Him rather than serve Him, His judgment is coming.  Nevertheless, out of His own grace, He remains their Redeemer and reminds them:  I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you and directs you in the way you should go.
 
        Why does God not simply give up on us?  Because it is not in His nature to do so!  We do not deserve His love any more than the people of Israel:  we ignore God, disregard opportunities to spend time with God, refuse to yield control of our lives to God and sometimes even blatantly defy God; yet His love is everlasting as the Psalmist puts it.  We cannot therefore assume that God will never discipline our lives, punish our evil or bring His judgment into our lives; however, as we turn to God He always promises to turn to us.
        Is there any area of relationship with God that needs mending?  Have you gotten so distracted by current events that you have forgotten eternal realities?  God loves you, but will not allow you (or me or anyone else) to use His love as a means of avoiding His will. 
        Today, ask God to reveal something about your life that needs to change.  Then begin to work on it, believing that He is the first and the last the One who can accomplish the impossible and the One whose purpose is your fulfillment and eternal participation in His Kingdom.  Thank Him for His grace; then respond by following His leading in your life.
 
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010