August 13, 2015

A day is coming . . .

Isaiah 27:1–28:29, Luke 9:28–62, Job 6:14–30

The prophets discern and declare the mind of God. Sometimes that declaration includes future events, such as what I’m reading today. The section from Isaiah is titled “The Redemption of Israel.” Considering how the NT includes Christians in the term Israel, it could be titled, “The Redemption of God’s People.”

Five sections begin with “in that day” and point to a future day. As I read each of them, God blessed me with descriptions of what I can expect when my redemption that started with salvation will be made complete.

“In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.” (Isaiah 27:1) While the jury is out on what Leviathan refers to, this verse suggests it is that snake that first appeared in Eden to deceive Eve and who continually harasses God’s people. However, in that day, God will destroy him. Hallelujah!

“In that day, ‘A pleasant vineyard, sing of it! I, the Lord, am its keeper; every moment I water it. Lest anyone punish it, I keep it night and day . . . .’” (Isaiah 27:2–3) In that day, God’s people will be like a vineyard, well watered and protected; no more deprivation, no more battles, no more threats. Full redemption will bring full satisfaction and peace. Praise God!

“In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit.” (Isaiah 27:6) Even before that day, God’s people will be solidly rooted in Him. We are already productive and the whole world experiences God’s blessings as we share them. This began at Pentecost and will continue until Jesus returns. What an amazing privilege and demonstration of God’s love!

“In that day from the river Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt the Lord will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel.” (Isaiah 27:12) This speaks of the known realm of God’s people in that day, but a day is coming when all God’s people will be gathered and we will, one by one, enter His eternal kingdom. What joy to see and fellowship with each one and with our God forever and ever!

“And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 27:13) In that day, God will call His people to Himself. Some will have been held captive as their faith is tested. Some will be back in bondage in the world, but that full and final redemption of our bodies will remove all those problems. Together God’s people will sing praises to His name!

Job was in that testing place. His ‘friends’ seemed tools of the accuser, that old serpent. They told Job that he suffered because he had sinned, but Job knew otherwise. When the Holy Spirit rebukes and corrects, He is very specific. When Satan accuses, he is vague and foggy. Because Job had entered into God’s redemptive plan, he knew what to say to those who accused him:

“Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray. How forceful are upright words! But what does reproof from you reprove? Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind? You would even cast lots over the fatherless, and bargain over your friend. But now, be pleased to look at me, for I will not lie to your face. Please turn; let no injustice be done. Turn now; my vindication is at stake. Is there any injustice on my tongue? Cannot my palate discern the cause of calamity?” (Job 6:24–30) Job was aware of his standing before God. He was upset with the tests, and frustrated with his friends. But he knew that this was not God’s judgment because he was secured by redemption.

Jesus gave some of His disciples a glimpse of what they would see in that day. He took Peter and John and James up a mountain to pray. As He prayed, His appearance changed and His clothing shone dazzling white. Moses and Elijah appeared in glory also. They talked about Jesus’ exodus, the redemption accomplished that all people of faith experience. Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep but “when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.” (Luke 9:28–32) Redemption and the glory of God are not a dreamer’s vision. We see Him when we are fully aware!

A little later, Jesus rebuked an unclean spirit and healed a boy. “All were astonished at the majesty of God.” (Luke 9:42–43) This will be multiplied a million fold or more when our redemption draws nigh and we see Jesus in all of His glory. Hallelujah, I can hardly wait!

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