Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What He Said He Will Do

I was thinking how impressive it might be if I could not only have told people a couple of years ago when our first granddaughter, Katie, was born that I knew that Robin and I would have three new grandchildren this year. I guess it really wouldn’t have been that impressive looking at our family structure. Ah, but if I could have said that the first two were going to be girls and the third one a boy, then that would have been more impressive. But, hey, let’s step it up a bit and say that I even gave you their names and the cities they were going to be born in. Now that would be impressive if I had not only said it, but I wrote it down and it actually came true. Of course, I did nothing of the sort. I didn’t even imagine when we followed God’s leading in May of last year to search out where He would have us next serve that in October of this year we would still be waiting and trusting.

But consider this, God declared throughout the Old Testament that He was going to provide a Savior for mankind. But His Savior did not come right away. In fact, He did not come for a very, very long time from our perspective, so long that some even scoffed. But God is not one to let His promises go by the wayside. He is not One who says one thing and then is unable to bring it to pass.

Today I was studying passages related to the gospel and the cross of Christ. In doing this I wound up in Isaiah 52 and 53. Now Isaiah was not one of those who recorded what happened when Christ came from a historic point of view as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were, because Isaiah lived about 700 years before Jesus’ birth. But Isaiah was one of the prophets through whom God spoke and revealed what He intended to do. Peter tells us, “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:21, NASB95)

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (ESV). “(13) Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. (14) As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— (15) so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand [Romans 15:21; Hebrews 9:13-14,19-22;10:19-22;12:22-24; 1 Peter 1:2].

“(1) Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? [John 12:37-41; Romans 10:16] (2) For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. (3) He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

“(4) Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. [Matthew 8:14-17; 1 Peter 2:24] (5) But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. [1 Peter 2:24] (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. [1 Peter 2:25]

“(7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. [John 1:29, 36] (8) By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? [Acts 3:14-18; 8:32-35] (9) And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. [Matthew 27:57-60; 1 Peter 2:22; Revelation 14:5]

“(10) Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. [Luke 24:26; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; 1 Corinthians 15:3] (11) Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. [Romans 5:15] (12) Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” [Luke 22:35-37; 1 Peter 2:24]

This is only one section of prophecy in the Old Testament, but even in this one section we see repeated references to things what are later recorded as being fulfilled in the New Testament. The simple truth is that God has declared from ages past His love for us and His plan to restore us to a relationship to Himself. And as we have seen Him faithful to His promises of old, we can trust Him to be faithful for our future.

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth….” (James 1:16–18, ESV)

The writer of Hebrews (8:8-12) quotes the prophet Jeremiah (31:31-34), and in that quote we read, “… for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34, NASB95)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NASB95)

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (10/8)

I love you with an everlasting Love. The human mind cannot comprehend My constancy. Your emotions flicker and falter in the face of varying circumstance, and you tend to project your fickle feelings onto Me. Thus, you do not benefit fully from My unfailing Love.

You need to look beyond the flux of circumstances and discover Me gazing lovingly back at you. This awareness of My Presence strengthens you, as you receive and respond to My Love. I am the same yesterday, today, and forever! Let My Love flow into you continually. Your need for Me is as constant as the outflow of My Love to you.

“the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3, ESV)

“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.” (Exodus 15:13, ESV)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, ESV)

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