I started reading in the book of Isaiah this week. This weighty book is overflowing with prophecy, including well-known passages about the coming of Messiah. But it is also a book of warning, for Isaiah was tasked with the difficult job of advising the kings of Judah to turn back to, and walk with, the One True God. He spoke out against the idolatry and sin of his time. I am afraid that it sounds all too familiar.
“For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their actions are against the LORD, to rebel against His glorious presence. The expression of their faces bears witness against them. And they display their sin like Sodom; they do not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves. Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, for what he deserves will be done to him.” ~ Isaiah 3:8-11
Woe to us! Our speech and our actions are against the LORD. All the world seems to be rebelling against His glorious presence. People gloat and are not ashamed of flagrant sin.
“And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.” ~ Ephesians 5:11-12
Look around. It seems to me that evil has been brought upon us in new and terrible ways. Am I the only one to notice the roaring of our adversary has become louder and more bold?
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9
“Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, for what he deserves will be done to him.” Oh, what horrible words. To get what you deserve. I cried mercy! that I might not get what’s coming to me, what I deserved. I thank God for His grace ~ unearned, undeserved forgiveness, mercy, and love. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, through His shed blood, through His resurrection and ascension to heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father ~ I am free! Free from the guilt, free from the shame, free from the penalty of sin, free from getting what I deserve. I am free to live in God’s grace, free to share this grace with others, free to walk in His ways, free to love as He loves, free to eat the fruit of the righteous, free to live with Him forever in paradise.
Are you free? Cry mercy! Believe on Jesus, and be set free!