Isaiah 59-61: Centered upon God
September 23, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
It begins with a great promise:
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;” (Isaiah 59:1)
But then goes on to explain that their sin had led to a breach:
“The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths…Therefore justice is far from us.” (Isaiah 59:8-9)
What is the answer to this situation, this strange and difficult conundrum, that God is the Savior and able to save, and yet at the same time that God’s people are not acting in ways that concord with a saved people? The answer, Isaiah sees, is that God himself will intercede.
“He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head;” (Isaiah 59:16-17)
Because of this and through this, a new covenant will be established, whereby his Spirit will be upon them and his word rest with them:
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” (Isaiah 59:21)
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)
The promises begin to reach to the far future:
“The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” (Isaiah 60:19)
Which far future is inaugurated by the famous words quoted by Jesus at the start of his ministry:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)
In all this we are reminded, encouraged, and exhorted to be centered upon Christ and his salvation! To remember that his Word is powerful, and his promises reliable! And to rejoice in the salvation that God gives!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."