It’s early in December, so if you will forgive me- there is some bad news in the Book of Isaiah. But do not rob the Bible by hiding the bad news…. The worse it is, the more glorious is the gospel message. It is the dark night that makes the day so good.
God tells Isaiah bad news and he tells it to a bad man. Isaiah cried out “Woe is me, I have unclean lips and I live among people of unclean lips.” (Ch 6)
This was in comparison to the HOLY HOLY HOLY LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.
The bad news is that we are in trouble. Israel’s history is our history. We have forsaken the true and living God, the eternal loving God, the covenant keeping Lord to follow after other gods.
And because of that Isaiah speaks of a ruthless DAY OF THE LORD. There are stark images in Isaiah of disciplined enemies who kill for killing sake. God prescribes a horrible judgment to those who repeatedly ignore Him and hurt others and ourselves by spreading the cancer of sin.
The judgment passages are disturbing. Is. 63 has the image of the Son treading on the grapes of wrath.
There are some interesting points in Isaiah. To me, the most compelling one is the callousness and stubbornness of our hearts. Isaiah’s ministry actually ‘hardened’ the hearts of the people.
One outstanding commentator put it this way:
“Every time you hear the Word of God preached, you come away from that exposure to the truth either a little closer to God or a little further away from Him, either more softened toward God or more hardened toward God…. What you need is more grace. Nothing else can save you from your deadness. Therefore, fear your own hardness of heart more than anything else. Beware of rigidity, ingratitude, a demanding spirit. Beware of an unmelted heart that is never satisfied.”
Christmas can be a clue to our heart. Are we scrooge or are we childlike?
May we allow grace to melt away our cynical hearts. Laugh and sing, love and give, hope and help this Christmas season. Speak positive words of life!
Please be aware that Christmas day and Judgment Day represent two epochs of time. Christmas is mercy, The Day of the Lord begins with the closing of the door of grace.
Sing that carol with a little more cheer----- Christmas time is here.
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