So as I shared some of my overflow from my Sunday morning class I thought I would also share some of the overflow from my Sunday night class... Oh yes let me proclaim His excellencies!
On Sunday nights I currently am leading a Precept Upon Precept class from the book of Isaiah. This past Sunday we looked at Isaiah 40-41, the Lord has had me in Isaiah 40 for months. He just keeps pulling me back there to soak in His truth. And that is perfectly fine with me, Isaiah 40 is a wonderful place to be.
Isaiah 40 begins with "Comfort, O comfort My people". You really cannot grasp the mercy in these words if you have not looked through and read the previous 39 chapters in Isaiah. In the first 39 chapters comfort is the last thing that the Lord is calling out for His people. You see they had already found themselves too comfortable as it was. So comfortable, that they had forgotten their God. They had forgotten His holiness. They somehow thought they were now above His law and no longer had to do more than go through the motions of religion and appease Him.
God, the Holy One of Israel, the Lord of hosts, then decides it is time to deal with his wayward children. The first 39 chapters sound very familiar as you read through them. You see it sounds just like our nation today. It sounds just like much of Christendom today. Read it sometime and see for yourself...
So the previous 39 chapters are filled with God revealing the wrath that He is going to bring on His rebellious children. Those who have forgotten that He is holy. Those who have forgotten that He is the Creator God, the One enthroned above the cherubim, the One who holds all the waters of the universe in the hollow of His hand, the One who breathes their very breath of life in their nostrils.
Oh friend, have you been there?
His child... yet somehow managing to forget how very big He is and forgetting that He is holy.
Then we turn to Isaiah 40 and we see how our loving Father will hand out His discipline, He will indeed remind us who He is, but then when the discipline is past, He gathers His children in His arms and tenderly holds them close to Him and says "Comfort, O comfort..."
God then says, "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins." (Isaiah 40:2)
Not only does He forgive us, and cleanse us, and gather us into His arms, but he looks at the other children, those who did not stray in the way that we did, He looks at them and He says, now comfort, O comfort my child, speak kindly to this child of mine. Yes, she has received my discipline. She has paid double for her sins. She received it at My hand. She needs no more from you. You comfort. You speak kindly. She is My redeemed. She has repented. Her iniquity has been removed. I do not condemn her, neither are you to condemn her.
How merciful is our God.
I cannot even type this post that speaks of His mercy without tears brimming my eyes, because I know the great mercies He has shown me. I know the times I have fallen. I know the consequences I have endured from my sin. I know what He has forgiven... and not just forgiven, but chosen to take this broken vessel of clay and restore it, instead of trashing it. And then to take it, me, and use me to hold His righteousness, His holiness. To call me His treasure, to call me precious in His sight. Oh what do I know of this love?
I love this song I have added to this post, What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road. It reminds me of myself, how just when I think I have a grasp on this Christian walk, just when I think I understand my God and I have Him "all figured out" He never fails to blow my mind and put me in my place and remind me that even after all eternity has passed I still will not have a full grasp of this God of everlasting endless love...
I know nothing of His holiness.
I just know I want to know.
Is He fire? Is He fury? Is He Sacred? Is He Beautiful?
Yes, yes He is...