God's Word for Today

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Disciple Moment: “Here am I, here am I.”

We were reading in Daniel and Isaiah this week as well as a few verses from Zachariah, Malachi and Micah.
Our theme word for the week was HOPE.

Some people have a difficult time with the Apocalyptic literature and the visions of the end times. Grant it it makes for some very interesting discussion. Over the years of my journey with Disciple and the other bible studies I have taken I have learned that sometime I just have to set aside my need for clarity and understanding in favor of letting the greatness of God’s mysterious and wonderful ways take over.

My approach to this go around with Disciple I is to look for the broader picture. My need to fully understand verses like “It will be for a time, times and half a time.” is still there. After many different studies I have done on the book of Daniel I have a clearer understand of end time symbolism, but that is not what spoke to me the most over this past week as we read our assigned scriptures.

What I saw very clearly was the picture we get of just how sovereign God is. How He rules the heavens and the earth with His ultimate power. Last week we read about the account of Job and how God may allow suffering and evil to exist but it is still under His ultimate authority. God spoke the command “You may not take his life!” and The Accuser, Ha-Satan was obedient to that command. In a very strange kind of way that brings me great comfort. Not that evil exist but the it is under the supreme authority of God.

But that was last week and I digress.

This week what spoke to me the clearest was God’s desire to have relationship with his created. In all the end time visions and all the apocalyptic predictions and confusing images what jumped off the page were two very clear concepts. The first was from Isaiah 65, it tells me in verse 1”

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
   I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name,
   I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.”

God was calling out back then and I believe that he is calling out to us now. He is shouting “Here I am! Here I am! Here I am!” He is seeking relationship with me, with you and with the entire world.

This bring me great comfort when I think about those in my life who fail to acknowledge God presence and for those who have het to come to now who God is. The fact that He reveals himself to those who do not ask ask and can be found by those why do not seek is just another reason to put God in the category of sovereign and supreme.

It brings me great comfort.

And believe me, we all need comfort from time to time.

On those day when I am lifting up my hands in frustration and calling upon the Lord to bring it on, days when I am craving the new heavens and a new earth I think about that ultimate peace I will experience when I am in God’s presence. We all have those moment when we just get weary of the chaos and the unfathomable things that happen in the world around us.

Even in my impatience for good things to happen God word is very clear about His stance on waiting. He tells us to “Be Still and Know” my life verse that gives me great comfort, but he also instructs up to wait. To wait with expectation and to wait for His Greatness to appear on the earth.

When that eventually happens can you imaging how wonderful it will be to to know that God’s word tells us that “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”

The presence of God will be so enveloping and so ever-present that before a thought even has a chance to form on my lips God will already be there and giving me an answer. Before I have even completed a thought He will know what is in my heart.

We are nearing the half way point in Disciple I. In a week we will break from the Old Testament and wade into the familiar pages of the New. I am amazed at the insights and the revelations that God has brought to us as a class and been privileged to witness the growth and bonding we have developed as a class. God is good in all He does and His word does not come back to us empty.

For that I am so very thankful.

As we anticipate the celebration of the Birth of Jesus let us all bask in His great love and his bountiful abundant outstretched hands.

God is calling out to us.

I am Here!





Isaiah 65
Judgment and Salvation
1 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
   I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name,
   I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
2 All day long I have held out my hands
   to an obstinate people,
who walk in ways not good,
   pursuing their own imaginations—
3 a people who continually provoke me
   to my very face,
offering sacrifices in gardens
   and burning incense on altars of brick;
4 who sit among the graves
   and spend their nights keeping secret vigil;
who eat the flesh of pigs,
   and whose pots hold broth of impure meat;
5 who say, ‘Keep away; don’t come near me,
   for I am too sacred for you!’
Such people are smoke in my nostrils,
   a fire that keeps burning all day.

6 “See, it stands written before me:
   I will not keep silent but will pay back in full;
   I will pay it back into their laps—
7 both your sins and the sins of your ancestors,”
   says the LORD.
“Because they burned sacrifices on the mountains
   and defied me on the hills,
I will measure into their laps
   the full payment for their former deeds.”

8 This is what the LORD says:

   “As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes
   and people say, ‘Don’t destroy it,
   there is still a blessing in it,’
so will I do in behalf of my servants;
   I will not destroy them all.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
   and from Judah those who will possess my mountains;
my chosen people will inherit them,
   and there will my servants live.
10 Sharon will become a pasture for flocks,
   and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds,
   for my people who seek me.

11 “But as for you who forsake the LORD
   and forget my holy mountain,
who spread a table for Fortune
   and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,
12 I will destine you for the sword,
   and all of you will fall in the slaughter;
for I called but you did not answer,
   I spoke but you did not listen.
You did evil in my sight
   and chose what displeases me.”

13 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says:

   “My servants will eat,
   but you will go hungry;
my servants will drink,
   but you will go thirsty;
my servants will rejoice,
   but you will be put to shame.
14 My servants will sing
   out of the joy of their hearts,
but you will cry out
   from anguish of heart
   and wail in brokenness of spirit.
15 You will leave your name
   for my chosen ones to use in their curses;
the Sovereign LORD will put you to death,
   but to his servants he will give another name.
16 Whoever invokes a blessing in the land
   will do so by the one true God;
whoever takes an oath in the land
   will swear by the one true God.
For the past troubles will be forgotten
   and hidden from my eyes.

New Heavens and a New Earth
17 “See, I will create
   new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
   nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
   in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
   and its people a joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
   and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
   will be heard in it no more.

20 “Never again will there be in it
   an infant who lives but a few days,
   or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
   will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred
   will be considered accursed.
21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
   they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
   or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
   so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
   the work of their hands.
23 They will not labor in vain,
   nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the LORD,
   they and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call I will answer;
   while they are still speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
   and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
   and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
   on all my holy mountain,”
            says the LORD.

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