July 14 – 21
THE JOY OF THE REDEEMED
Back from a restful vacation with friends, I feel ready to take on a new day, fortified from spending time a little closer to Him. I’ve heard there will be mountains in the new heaven and earth, but it doesn’t mention beaches. Hmmm. Oh, I am just playing with you. I love a good beach trip as much as I do being in the higher altitudes, but my new lease on life is extended the moment we have a briskness in the air that energizes and restores my lackluster attitude that sets in somewhere in the Texas heat between July and early September. So I return to you refreshed and certain I have spent time closer to Christ in the great southwestern Sandias. There were so many things to consider this week, so I will just touch on a few.
Earlier this week, verses from Isaiah 35 fell on me so powerfully; I quoted the Scriptures and posted a song which seemed to come closest to the fullness of heart I felt as those words lifted my head to the heavens in praise. I often think words fall so short, but can’t imagine more beautifully written language than Isaiah 35 describing that glorious Day when the Lord shall heal every disease, dry every tear and the redeemed will sing with joy. “…and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35:10
In Isaiah 38:1-3, Hezekiah gets word he is about to die. I “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” Two things struck me about these verses, and neither is particularly spiritual. I guess that’s another thing I love about God’s Word. It can be a reminder for something that has practical application or is just heartfelt. The first point is since Hezekiah had a heads up about his so-thought impending death, he was told to put his house in order. Those words stir alarm in my head, knowing I have lots of messes to clean up. I have physical, emotional, and spiritual disarray that I need to put in order. I am reminded we might not have a tomorrow to take care of these tasks so better to do the task while it is still today. The second item that struck me is when Hezekiah turned his face to the wall to weep so bitterly, in his aloneness as king. It reminds me of when Joseph, as a ruler over Egypt, saw his lost brothers and had to turn away, overcome with his tears, alone in his pain. Such a sweet part of the Bible is feeling their stories which are really our own.
Isaiah 49:60 – ‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Our Lord literally engraved us on His Hands in His work of Grace on the cross. He has the scars to prove we are His own. If I forget what You have done, show me Your Hands again, because by Your wounds, I am healed.(Isaiah 53:5)
Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. If I ever grasped God’s holy, higher ways, I would understand how foolish I have been not to trust Him fully. But then, that wouldn’t require much faith, and it is faith that pleases the Lord. I just need a Post-It with this written on my ever-forgetful heart to trust fully because His ways are so much better, His thoughts so much higher, His heart so much holier.
There are countless riches in these readings this week. These are only a few which touched my heart. I know you are finding this journey as mind-blowing as I am. It is possibly the best, most consistent Bible revelation I have experienced. Join us at Bev’s Cover to Cover, as we study His marvelous works in His Word each week. May your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. (Is. 58:8)