Study from God’s Word… Isaiah, Chapters 57 – 59 … Passage for Reflection: Isaiah 57: 3 … NIV But you – come here, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
My Journal for Today: Today, Dr. Smith, as I did, saw a parallel between the prophetic proclamations of Isaiah as God called out the sons of evil who had become disobedient to God and how Jesus called out the Pharisees in John 8. And if you go to that latter passage, you also read one of Jesus’ clearest declarations of His deity (see John 8: 58). The threatened Pharisees where challenging Jesus’ right to speak for God, much as the sinners in Isaiah’s day must’ve challenged God’s Prophet as he called them out for their sinfulness.
But as you read today’s passage in Isaiah 57 or Jesus haranguing the Pharisees in John 8, do you see yourself … as I do me. When I read these words from God through Isaiah, directed at the disobedient children of God, I “hear” God speaking to me. And when I read Jesus’ words to the Pharisees, I’m mega-convicted because I know how hard I try to be righteous and still fall short. Dr. Smith’s closing personal indictment hits at the core of my being as he writes, ”If Isaiah and Jesus pulled no punches, what kind of explicit language might they use to describe me?”
And when I answer that question honestly and openly, I know what I have been in my life and I know how I still fall so short of the Holiness expected of me as a born-again child of God. As Dr. Smith indicated, words like “bastard” or “whore monger” or “panderer” [please pardon the harsh, but descriptive, language], could have accurately been used to describe the Bill Berry before I was born-again. I would pray that “weak” and “wanderer” and “sullied disciple” would be more accurate today. But I am still the sinner of Romans 3: 23 who falls way short of God’s glory and His standard of Holiness, … the Person of God’s Son, Jesus, the Christ.
I know that there is nothing I can do, even though I carry a pharisaical title like, “Reverend” Bill Berry, to be seen by God as righteous – in and of myself. It is only the fact that I have pled the blood of Jesus over my life, the One Who died on the cross so that I could be seen as righteous in the eyes of God, the Father. Only in that act of atonement can I come - clean - before God’s throne of grace. And I pray that we all realize that our unrighteousness is only cleansed and made right in God’s eyes by what JESUS has done for us … never because of anything we do, or try to do, to be righteous.
And do I sense a loud “HALLELUJAH” from any who read with me about the truth of the cross for salvation and our walk into righteousness.
My Prayer for Today: Yes, “Hallelujah,” Lord. I shout it now because of what You did to give me Your robes of righteousness to cover my rags of sin. Amen