…that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? When you kiss your little baby, YOU KISS THE FACE OF GOD…
[Child of God, do you know that you too, “kiss the face of God?” Every time you feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, are kind to a stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the prisoner, you too KISS THE FACE OF GOD – Because when you do these things with the last, the least, the lost and the lonely, you are doing it unto the Man-child, Jesus – Mat 25:40]
Isaiah continues speaking to the righteous remnant of Judah. For they have trusted in God. As in Isa 32:1, their eyes shall see a righteous king in great splendor and a vast land that stretches far into the future. Not only will Jerusalem be delivered from all her enemies, but the righteous remnant shall be delivered.
Those who put their trust in the Righteous One, the Messiah, Jesus, shall also know the deliverance of the Lord. As in Isaiah’s day, a great victory over the evil of the day shall be ours in Christ Jesus. Lord, my eyes are firmly fixed on that far land where joy and hope shall never end (John 16:22).
At the center of the Jewish faith is the temple in Jerusalem and the worship of Jehovah God. At the center of the Christian faith is the temple of the Holy Spirit (my body – 1Co 6:19) and the collective worship of God by believers in union together with Christ (Jhn 4:23,24).
The call has always been to worship God in spirit and in truth. But we see here that rote ritual, rules and observances had supplanted sincere worship of, and devotion to, God. It was indifferent and deceitful. It happens today as well. This brings the holy ire of God on dead lifeless religion. Father, may this sentry worship & serve you with a whole heart, given in spirit and in truth.
Lord, would you bring America to a place of sincere worship and devotion to you. Would you intervene and give her a whole heart for you. Would you sweep our land in renewal, revival and spiritual awakening.
Here is the acknowledgment before God that in days past other lords have ruled our hearts (my heart). Now, in the present time, it is Jehovah God alone whom we (I) worship. There was and still is, a great spiritual battle going on for the souls of men. Invite the Lord into your fight.
Those in Christ can say, “The gods we served before are dead and gone, never to return!” The Lord himself fought those battles and destroyed the fiendish under-lords in spiritual realms. They once fought for control of our lives (my life). They are now long forgotten. Jesus has made of us a great nation (Spiritual Israel, the Church). Lord, my strength and hope is in you. You are my victory to the end.
The lives of men will not be changed by providing a good environment. Although, that may help enormously. But even the most gracious of divine kindnesses, which God may display, are ignored by many. They take no notice of God’s daily mercies. They are taken for granted.
Men seem far more likely to respond better to judgment then to blessing. Judgment brings me face-to-face with my own inadequacies; my need to surrender to God. To this aging sentry this becomes far more evident. So, for me Lord, it is in the morning watches, before the dawn breaks, that I will earnestly seek you. In you I will find peace and accomplishment.
“Thou, oh Lord, will keep him/her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed upon/supported by God.“ This reminds me of the Apostle Paul‘s words, “What can separate me from the love of God? Absolutely nothing“ (Rom 8:36–38). My peace, my trust in God, remains undisturbed, no matter what the challenges to my life.
I will not be agitated by any hurt, sickness, bereavement or failure. I will not be moved by the affairs or persecutions of men. My faith will not be shaken, nor will it be pridefully exalted by the results of an election. My mind is steadfast and laser focused on God who is my Eternal Rock. Lord, the sentry will say with the Psalmist, “I shall not be moved“ (Psm 62:6).
“Only a remnant is left.” In judgment, none survive, except a remnant. Child of God, there is hope. Like a few stray olives on the tree or a few grapes on the vine, after the fury of the harvest, there remains some life. Solitary as they may be, a little fruit remains.
The remnants of God’s vine salute the Righteous One, the Lord of Majesty, the Lord God of Israel. The shouts of praise and songs of joy thunder through the earth and exalt the King of Glory. All praise to him who sits on the throne of heaven. Lord, with hands lifted, the sentry’s voice joins the choruses of heaven in praise of your glory.
Sacrifice, to be meaningful to God, must be preceded by sincere repentance and consecration (Psm 51:17; Pro 21:3; 1Sa 15:22). King Hezekiah led the priests, Levites (temple servants) city leaders and people to turn from their sin (repentance). Then he led them to set themselves apart for God‘s purposes (consecration).
Finally, came the offering (sacrifice) to God, to present a token of thanksgiving to God for atonement of sin (today, reconciliation through Christ to God). For Hezekiah (for all of us today) this results in an abundance of sacrifice; much joy, praise and worship. There is no greater sacrifice than that of a humble broken heart toward God and subsequently toward others. Lord, the prayer of this sentry is that men would find themselves right with you and with each other.
Reading Paul’s final words in the Romans epistle causes me to pause and reflect on my many weeks of journaling through this letter. H.C.G. Moule* suggests that these final words were written by Paul’s own hand as he sat quietly before the manuscripts. Imagine Paul sitting in silence, as all of his associates, friends, have for the moment, left him alone.
Perhaps Paul retraces the themes of this letter once more. Inspired again, he takes pen in hand. Then, with dim eyes and intensity in his soul, he inscribes a most wonderful closing hymn of praise to God. We leave Paul here, in his personal cathedral of praise to the Lord. I too, sit quietly in worship before this same Lord.