Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010 – July 14 – The Present Presence of God

Study from God’s Word Isaiah 43 – 45: 13 … Passage for Reflection: Isaiah 43: 18 – 19 … NIV 18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

My Journal for Today: At the leading of Dr. LaGard Smith, my devotional “shepherd” this year in The Daily Bible in Chronological Order and in his devotional book, The Daily Bible Devotional I was led today to read and study through one of the most remarkable historical prophesies in all of the Old Testament as God, through Isaiah, some seven centuries before Christ, prophesies, by name, that the Gentile king, “Cyrus,” would [as it turns out about 150 years later] facilitate the rebuilding of God’s Temple in Jerusalem [see Isaiah 44: 28 and 45: 1, 13].

And looking back in awe at this historical truth, and many other historical facts from Scripture, it would be easy to focus on the history alone and ignore the message of God’s word in our lives today. Yes, it’s important to interpret Scripture in the context of history. In fact one should never draw a personal application from God’s word that is out of line with God’s historical context. However, God always wants us to remember and apply the truth that God is the same yesterday, TODAY, and you know it – tomorrow as well. And you probably remember that that’s a New Testament promise about Jesus from Hebrews 13: 8.

It’s fine to draw inference from God’s historical context; and it’s even right – as with the passage I mentioned today (e.g., Isaiah 45: 13) – to be in awe of God’s promises and prophesies from what He has said or done in the past; but God wants us to glean, from our past, what we can to allow Him to be our God in the present … and into the future. We always need to be guided by the past to interpret what is going on in the present or to plan for the future. However, as today’s passage indicates we should not “dwell in the past” to the point that we become paralyzed by the present or blinded to the future.

Looking at what is going on right now – in our present day – it would be easy to get very down-and-out by the rampant sin that see in our world. But knowing God’s word and seeing the patience God had for Israel and Judah in the past, we certainly can have hope that God will protect the remnant of believers who may be swept up as our world is turned over to Satan for a season [which I believe we may be seeing right now]. For example, knowing how God gently gave Habakkuk a lesson in faith when this Prophet saw all the degradation of his day, lifts me up and helps me to see – from the truth of Hab. 3: 17-18 [linked] - that I can choose to hold onto my joy no matter what the circumstances are in my present. And knowing that God has already sent His Redeemer to save me gives me the same strength that Isaiah felt when God declared through this man (in Is. 41: 10), ”So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

So, my friend, as you look around you, seeing many things that could cause us to despair, remember these words I have just quoted from THE BOOK OF TRUTH, … from the God Who spoke through Isaiah to His people, … and the God Who speaks through His word to me and you today.

My Prayer for Today: Yahweh, my LORD, You never change and You are always there for me! Amen

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