Monday, November 28, 2005

Clothed in Salvation: Is 61:10-11

“I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.” (Isaiah 61:10-11)
In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve sinned, they became aware that they were naked and sought to hide their nakedness by sowing together some fig leaves. Unimpressed, God made for them a more suitable covering; garments of skins. The animal that paid with its life that they might cover their nakedness was the first animal to die in God’s new creation. An animal that Adam and Eve were given responsibility to care for was killed to cover their sins. Today, many still remain naked, but our nakedness is not physical but spiritual. Jesus writing to the church at Laodicea said, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:17) God has provided a covering for our spiritual nakedness, not the flesh of a dead animal, but the salvation of His own son. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)

God has clothed us with salvation and wrapped us with His righteousness. He has hidden our nakedness with His provision. Though God is still at work on the inside, to the rest of the world, and even the demonic world, we are seen dressed in the garments of God. Outwardly we appear as the children of God, “among whom you appear as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:15) while inwardly God is working to bring about the salvation of our soul. God is working on the inside. One of the distractions of the enemy is to become overly introspective. Even though God has robed us in His righteousness, it is tempting to try and peek inside the garment to see who we are and to root around in our past. We can become so preoccupied with trying to understand why we are the way we are and to discover what in our past has lead us to be the people we are, that we loose site of who God has called us to be and the life He has called us to live. Unless God chooses to reveal these things to us, we should leave that which is on the inside to God.

Before Adam and Eve sinned, they were unaware of their nakedness. They lived with God in perfect innocence. God wants to restore this innocence to us. He wants us to learn to walk with Him without worrying about what He is doing on the inside. It is of no use trying to find the problems hidden on the inside when God has not chosen to reveal them. When God is ready (and we are ready) He will show us what we need to know and give us the opportunity to repent and be healed of our sins and our past. Isaiah compares our growth in God to plants growing in the ground. The ground provides nourishment for the plant, but the plant cannot grow if we keep digging it up to look at its roots. We must entrust the seed to the ground and believe for an increase. In the same way we must commit our lives to God and trust in Him for our increase. This is not to say that we should never evaluate our lives, but we judge our lives by the fruit we have produced. If, after such an examination, we find our fruit lacking, we must resist the temptation to figure it out on our own. We must go before the Lord and ask Him to show us why we are the way we are. With His revelation will come His conviction that will lead to our repentance. Doing our own digging around in our lives will lead to sorrow, but allowing God to reveal our lives will produce a sorrow leading to life. “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

David Robison

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The blessing of a double portion: Is 61:7-9

“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs… Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.” (Isaiah 61:7, 9 NKJV)
God wants to bless His people. He wants to demonstrate His love and kindness through His blessings bestowed upon His people. Jesus came that He might open up the blessing of God to those who believe. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJV) God wants us to have not life, but life abundantly. Jesus came that we might have a life that is superabundant and more than enough; a double portion of life. God is not stingy with His blessings, but He gives more than what is needed. Anyone who lives in want is not living in the abundant life of the Lord.

This does not mean that our every lustful desire will be met, but it does mean that God will give us double of what we need to live in “everlasting joy.” The secret to living in this superabundant life is to learn to see it and to rejoice in our portion. This scripture says that when we fail to embrace our portion with a thankful heart, we yield confusion, dishonor, and disgrace in our lives. Many Christians today are living substandard lives because they have rejected the provision of the Lord. God has given us life, yet we have wanted something else. We lust for money, power, relationships, and other worldly things, and have turned up our noses to the bountiful blessing of God. King David understood what it meant to receive with thanksgiving the provision of the Lord. “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.” (Psalms 16:6) When we are consumed with other desires, nothing satisfies, but when we delight ourselves in the Lord, then we find a life full of beauty and pleasant places. If we will turn our lives from our own desires then we will find in the Lord all we truly want and need.

This scripture goes on to say that the people of the Lord will be recognized by the nations because of the blessings God has poured out upon them. God wants to bless us not only for our own sake, but also to demonstrate to the world that He is God. “Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16) God wants to show His kindness and love to the world by poring it out upon us. We are like a canvas upon which God wants to paint a picture of His love and care for mankind. The life that Jesus came to give us is not solely for our own benefit, but it is also meant to provide evidence to the world of who Jesus was. “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” (1 John 5:9-11) This life we have is the evidence that Jesus was the Son of God. We need to live this life not unto ourselves, but that the world might see the superabundance of the blessings of God. We need to let our light shine that the world may know and that all may believe.

David Robison

Friday, November 25, 2005

Rebuilders of the ruins: Is 61:4

“Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.” (Isaiah 61:4)
When people come to the Lord, they often come as broken, damaged, people. They may look whole on the outside, but inside, there is brokenness, dysfunction, and open wounds. While the level of brokenness may vary, no one is perfect before they come to the Lord. Before coming to the Lord, our lives are shaped by many factors, and not all for the better. We can experience brokenness from participating in our own personal sins. We can also experience damage from the effects of the sins of those close to us. For example, many people have received deep hurts and wounds as a result of growing up with an alcoholic parent. Sometimes, the devastation in our lives is the direct result of generations of sin and their resulting curses. Many people today live with the results of generational curses passed down from their ancestors. We are all broken and we are all in need of repair.

Jesus tells a story of a man that “was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.” (Luke 10:30) Many passed by the dieing man without rendering aid. Some did not want to get involved while others were too busy to offer help, but one, a Samaritan saw the man and had pity on him. “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.” (Luke 10:33-34) Not only did the Samaritan provide for the wounded man’s immediate need, but he also gave provision for his long term care. “On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’” (Luke 10:35)

Individually, Jesus wants us to be like that good Samaritan. He wants us to bind up and heal the wounds of the hurting people around us. Corporately, we are to be like the inn. Jesus wants His church to be a place where He can bring the broken and the hurting that they may be cared for and healed. For some people, their healing is a process that may take many years. For some, their healing will only be complete when they finally stand before Jesus. A pastor friend of mine once said that, when we come to Jesus, our lives are like a mixed up jigsaw puzzle, and many of the key pieces are missing. As His church, we are the ones whom Jesus has called to help people to rebuild their lives, to help them make sense out of the jigsaw that is their life, to help them move from brokenness to wholeness. Such a church will not be “neat” but it will be full of joy. We are the re-builders of the ruins, the restorers of that that was devastated, the repairer of the cities and the desolations of many generations. This is both a privilege, an honor, and a duty.

David Robison

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Beauty for ashes: Is 61:2-3

“To comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:2-3)
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) Who are those who mourn in Zion? They are those who realize that, even though Israel was birthed with such potential, she fell way short of the glory that God had appointed to her. Israel was birthed by God and God blessed her with great promises. All that was required was that Israel abide by the covenant God established with her. Had they, Israel would have been the glory of the whole earth, yet they were unable to keep God’s commandments. Try as they might, they were unable, in their own strength, to keep the law of God and to fulfill their end of the covenant. In the end, Israel was sent into captivity and her land left to strangers. Instead of glory, she found humiliation. “Judah mourns and her gates languish; they sit on the ground in mourning, and the cry of Jerusalem has ascended.” (Jeremiah 14:2)

What about your own life? We each are born into this world full of potential and promise. We receive our life from God and we are formed in His image. As men and women, we have been created in His image; created to reflect His glory. Unfortunately, none of us ever live up to our full potential. Paul reminds us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We may try to encourage ourselves that at least we are better than some, but when compared to God, we fall far short. When faced with their own failures, some choose to simply ignore them, but for those who long to “be all they can be,” God has a plan. “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want… I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good… Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:18-19, 21, 24-25) For all those who mourn over their sinfulness and their failure to live up to the glory of God, God has provided comfort, the hope of righteousness, and the power to become the person that God has made us to be.

Jesus did not come to simply release us of our sins, but to also release our hearts from mourning. When we come to Jesus we are immediately forgiven for our past, present, and future sins. Our forgiveness is instantaneous and complete, but the restoration of our soul takes time. We may not immediately be who we were meant to be, but neither are we who we used to be. While the process of sanctification is a process, we have hope and comfort in Jesus. We may not be perfect, but we will always be loved. The secret is to learn to draw near to God that we may receive of His comfort. Beating ourselves up over our sins is of no benefit. It is only by drawing close to Him and receiving His comfort that we will grow to become oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.

David Robison

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The work of an evangelist: Is 61:1-2

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)
Paul tells his disciple Timothy to, “be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5) Timothy was not an evangelist, but he was to do the work of an evangelist. We may not have a title in God’s kingdom, such as Pastor, Teacher, Prophet, Evangelist, and Apostle, but we are all called to care for people, share God’s good news with others, speak the prophetic word of God, preach the Gospel to the poor, and go to the world with the ministry of reconciliation. We do not have to be called something to do the work. So what is the work of an evangelist? I believe that this scripture clearly shows. The work of the evangelist includes:

Preaching the Gospel. The Gospel latterly translates in the original Greek as “good news” or “glad tidings”. God has good news for the poor, afflicted, and the needy. God’s good news was not just for the religious elite, but it reached down to even the lowest of men and women. Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) Those who think they are righteous do not find any good news in the Gospel, but those who know they are sinners find life, joy, and peace with God. We are to take the Gospel to all mankind. It is not ours to decide who is worthy or who is “ready”. We are to preach the Gospel and leave the results up to the Lord.

Healing the body, soul, and spirit. When Jesus quoted this verse, He added that He was to bring “recovery of sight to the blind.” (Luke 4:18) Healing is part and parcel with the Gospel. Jesus, during His time on this earth, healed may people (even some who did not deserve to be healed). When the apostles were sent out, they too went about healing those who were sick. When Jesus healed, He healed more than just the body; He also healed the soul and spirit. Consider the Gerasene demoniac, after Jesus delivered him and healed him it says that, “The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened.” (Luke 8:35) Jesus not only delivered him, He also healed his mind. Jesus heals the whole man and, as part of the work of the evangelist, He has called us to do the same.

Delivering from bondages. Bondages come in many forms. We can become addicted to drugs, alcohol, and other substances. We can develop patterns of sin, such as a habit of lying. We can also give place to demonic strongholds in our lives. Even if we are not demonically “possessed” we can still be “demonized” or oppressed by demonic spirits. When we give ourselves to addictive substances, sinful patterns, or yield to demonic influences, we become prisoners of those things. Jesus came to set us free from all our bondages. Part of the work of an evangelist is not only to preach freedom, but also to minister freedom to the captives and to the prisoners. When Jesus sent out the seventy, he told them, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” (Luke 10:19) We should not be fearful of the enemy for we have been given power over him. Jesus wants us to use that power and authority to set others free.

Calling men and women to salvation. Paul, quoting from Isaiah said, “for He says, ‘At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.’ Behold, now is ‘The acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘The day of salvation’” (2 Corinthians 6:2) Now is the time to be saved! We are to call people to respond to the Gospel. The Gospel is good news, but we must respond to it. Jesus has paid for the forgiveness of all mankind, but unless we repent and place our trust in Him, we will not benefit from His forgiveness. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) It is not enough to simple tell others of the good news; we must also call them to respond to the good news. We must make clear, in our words and deeds, the path God is calling us to walk. People should be able to see in us and example of repentance and faith. They should see in us the response they themselves need to make.

David Robison

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dripping with the anointing: Is 61:1

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me…” (Isaiah 61:1)
What does it mean to be anointed? The Hebrew word means to be “rub, smear, or paint.” This scripture, which Jesus applied directly to himself, says that Jesus was smeared and painted with the Holy Spirit. In most churches, including mine, anointing has been refined to be something very neat. When we anoint someone today it is a dab of oil on the finger that is rubbed on the forehead. In the days of the priests of Israel, anointing was a horn of oil poured onto the head of a priest or other minister. It was messy, but it was powerful, for only those who were anointed could approach the presence of God to minister to Him. David describes the anointing of the priest of Israel, “It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes.” (Psalms 133:2)

Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit. He was dripping with the presence of God. Everywhere He went the Holy Spirit went. When people drew near to Him they could detect the presence of God. When the religious elite doubted the means by which Jesus did His miracles, Jesus reminded them, “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Luke 11:20) Jesus was the interface of the kingdom of heaven with the world we live in.

As Christians, we are the anointed ones of God. “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) We are the ones who are to carry the presence of God to the world. We are to be dripping with the presence of God. When people draw near us, they should be able to sense the presence of God and His kingdom. Paul refers to the detectable presence of God as a fragrance. “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16) Because of the anointing we have received, we are to be a fragrance of life to everyone around us. The world is full of the fragrance of death and there is sin and decay everywhere, but God has sent us to be a fragrance of life in the midst of so much death.

What is the secret to being drenched with the sweet perfume of His presence? The Song of Solomon gives us a clue, “Hurry, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.” (Song of Solomon 8:14) If we want to smell like the mountains of spices then we must first visit the mountains of spices. If we are to give off the fragrance of the presence of God then we must first be in His presence. We cannot fake the presence of God with some fancy perfume. There is no substitute for being in His presence. We must be like the beloved in the Song of Solomon, “Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.” (Song of Solomon 4:6) We have been anointed with the Holy Spirit, but we must never let that anointing grow stale. We must regularly come into His presence and let the Holy Spirit pour over us and drip anew with the presence of God.

David Robison

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A reversal of fortunes: Is 60:10-22

Foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, and in My favor I have had compassion on you… Whereas you have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from generation to generation… The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.” (Isaiah 60:10, 15, 22)
Life for the people of God had not always been milk and honey. While there were times of great blessing for the nation of Israel, there were also times of great sorrow and suffering. Not long after Isaiah’s prophesies, the people of Israel were to go into exile into a foreign land, among a people who spoke a foreign tongue, and who served foreign gods. God was about to punish the nation of Israel out of His wrath, but He would again turn to them with compassion and restore them to glory.

Because we are mortal it is hard for us to look beyond this mortal life. It is easy for us to become consumed with our current state in this life. We judge ourselves, and others, by the quality of life we live now and often forget about the life that is to come. When Jesus taught His disciples on the Mount of Olives, He taught them that life was more than what we have in the here and now, but life also has eternal rewards. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-10) What Jesus is trying to show us is that our blessedness is not based on what we currently have but rather on what we will have later on. The blessing on those who morn is not because they morn but because they shall be comforted. In each case, Jesus shows us that a person’s blessings are determined by what they shall receive in the life to come. This is the same lesson Jesus teaches us in the story of Lazarus and the rich man. “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.’” (Luke 16:25) Consider some of the future blessings outlined in this scripture.

“Foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you.” (Isaiah 60:10) God will appoint and send us those who will build up the Body of Christ and not destroy it. God will give to His Body everything it needs to grow up into the full stature of Christ.

“Your gates will be open continually; they will not be closed day or night.” (Isaiah 60:11) There will be no fear of the destroyer or for loss. We will not need to hide out and “wait for the Lord to return.” God will protect us as we go about and do His business.

“The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; and they will call you the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 60:14) As Christians, we often live incognito. Who we are in the spirit is hidden from those in the world, but there will come a day when God will reveal us for who we really are, the children of God. “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)

“Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver, and instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron.” (Isaiah 60:17) In every area of our lives there will be increase. We may beset with weaknesses but we shall inherit strength. We are mortal but we shall put on immortality. “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)

“Your sun will no longer set, nor will your moon wane; for you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be over.” (Isaiah 60:20) While God never changes there are times when He seems very far away. There are times when it is hard to find God, to know His will, and to hear His voice. Often our flesh acts as an attenuator for the presence of God, but there will come a day when we will always see His face. In that time we will remain in His presence and bask in His glory.

“Then all your people will be righteous.” (Isaiah 60:21) In this life, sin is the order of the day. As we grow closer to the day of His return, Jesus warned us that sin would only increase, but there is coming a day when sin will be expunged and righteousness will reign. “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)

David Robison

Friday, November 04, 2005

A reason to sparkle: Is 60:4-9

“Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you.” (Isaiah 60:4-5)
The Hebrew word used here for “radiant” can also be translated to “sparkle” or “shimmer.” The word picture is of the sun shinning off of a flowing stream. Most of us have seen the sun sparkling and shimmering off of a river or lake and, if the sun is just right, the shine can be so bright that you’re not able to look at it directly. The river reflects the sun’s light with such brilliance that it can almost be blinding. God speaks of a future time of restoration when the hearts of His people would rejoice with such glory that their lives will sparkle and shimmer with the light of the glory of God. God’s people were to pass through a time of great suffering, but on the other side there would be glory.

What is it that God promises that would cause His people to shine like the sun? It is the promise that “the abundance of the sea will be turned to you and the wealth of the nations will come to you.” God promises to enrich the people of God with a great ingathering of wealth from the nations. What is this great wealth? “Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in their arms.” While this has a direct application to the gathering of Jews to Israel, it also has application for the church that Jesus came to establish. The wealth of the nations is not the money and riches, but it is the precious souls of their men and women. This great ingathering is not going to be of money but rather of those whom the Lord has saved. “I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory.” (Haggai 2:7)

God make it very clear who will be those whom He will draw into relationship with Himself and His kingdom. Midian, Ephah, and Sheba were descendents from Abraham’s second wife Keturah. Kedar and Nebaioth were descendents of Ishmael. Tarshish was a descendent of Noah, but not in the lineage of the sons of Israel. In other words, God is going to draw and add to the people of God from those who are currently outside the covenants of God. God’s call is not limited to those of the nation of Israel, but God is going to draw all men. “And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.” (Romans 9:23-24)

Why is God going to draw all mankind into His kingdom? “All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; they will go up with acceptance on My altar, and I shall glorify My glorious house.” (Isaiah 60:7) This verse can also be translated to “beautify My ornate house.” God wants to beautify His beautiful house by decorating it with the ornate jewels of the nations, and these jewels are the souls that His own blood has saved. The beauty of God’s house will be seen in the lives of those whom He has saved. God is going to beautify His house and, as part of that house, He is going to beautify us as well. “Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, for the name of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.” (Isaiah 60:9) Now this is reason to rejoice!

David Robison

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A reflected glory: Is 60:1-3

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)
When I was a child, my family used to camp a lot. I can remember some nights when the only light was the light of a full moon. Though there were no other lights, the moon shown bright enough that you could walk around without stumbling. It was bright enough that you didn’t even need a flashlight to get around. What is amazing about the moon is that it has no light of its own; rather it shines brightly because of the reflected light of the sun. The light of the sun reflects off the moon to light our night.

The same is true for us when it comes to the light of the glory of God. In the midst of the darkness all around us God wants us to shine forth His glory for all the world to see. The world does not need to see our own glory, after all, its really not all that bright anyway, but the world need to see the glory of the Lord. Our glory is too dim but God’s glory is bright enough to give light to those walking in darkness. Our lives are to be as a mirror, reflecting the glory of God. It is like Moses when He came down from his meeting with God on Mount Sinai, the scripture says, “It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.” (Exodus 34:29-30) Even Jesus when He came to the Earth did not seek to express His own glory but the glory of His father in heaven. “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” (Hebrews 1:3) Jesus was the reflection of the Father in bodily form.

God wants us to reflect His glory. Paul says, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) God wanted to shine His light into the darkness, so He poured that light into our hearts that we might then let it shine forth to those around us. We need to remove from our lives all hindrances to that light shinning forth. We need to become less concerned about people seeing us and more concerned about them seeing Christ in us. God is glorious and He has done glorious things in us. Let us not hide that from the world. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15)

David Robison