No Condemnation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Understand God’s Word as Good News not bad news (Isa 64:5-7). #GreatestLoveStoryEverTold #GodLovesYou

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah 64:1-5a extols God‘s goodness and awesome deeds. Then in verses 5b–7 we hear that God is angry with us – what horrible sinners we all are. Yet, surprisingly, “No one calls upon God for help or mercy. So God simply allows our sin to run its course in our lives.“

Why is it that we only hear the bad news, “God is angry,“ and fail to hear the Good News, “God is full of mercy?“ The country song troubadour sings, “I just want to read Bible verses and not the Bible versus me.“

The mournful troubadour only hears the Law and knows he can’t measure up. But he keeps trying. He does not hear and know how God loves him and died for his sin. It is not the Bible vs. Me. It is Sin vs. Me (Titus 3:11). “God did not come to condemn the world but to save it (Jhn 3:16,17).

Yes, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). “But,” Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Father, I want the world to see your love, mercy and grace through me. There is hope for the country troubadour.

See also on this blog “Don’t Give Me No Country Song Jesus.

Remembering The God Who Remembers

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Let your anguished heart cry out to God for his love and mercy (Isa 63:10–14). #CallToRemrmbrance #RepentanceTowardGod

Rembrandt’s Prodigal

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When we have so grieved the Holy Spirit of God, he will at once abandon us to the consequences of that sin and rebellion. But God is never far away from us (though we may drift a long ways away from him – note Psalm 139:7–12). God will always remember his promises to his people (Isa 63:11 above).

But we too will be brought to our senses as we remember his goodness to us (note the prodigal of Luke 15). This remembrance reveals the heart that is moving to repentance. The wanderer humbly cries out to God in anguish of soul for the Redeemer-Shepherd to once again lead by and fill with his Holy Spirit. Lord, this is the new man in me crying out to you for your love and mercy. God WILL respond.

A Hearty Thanksgiving

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Make room in your heart for thanksgiving unto God for his redemption (Isa 62:8–12). #Thanksgiving https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.62.8-12.NLT

Lift Heart And Hand In Thanks To God

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah says that when God‘s people leave the gates of exile in Babylon they will know a new security and God‘s protection. Such security promotes peace, prosperity, praise and thanksgiving. So raise the banner of God high over the land – look, the Savior is coming! He brings his reward of Redemption.

To the church age and beyond, into the millennial reign of Christ, the people of God will be known as his people – a people redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (1Pe 2:9; Rev 22:12). Lord, on this Thanksgiving Day, I lift my heart and hands to you in praise for your great love and redemption.

What’s Yo Name?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be for sure certain your name’s written in the Lamb’s book of forever life (Isa 62:2-4; Rev 2:17; 21:2). #EternalLife #NewNameWrittenDownInGlory #TheLambsBookOfLife

Revelation 2:17

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In Isaiah‘s prayer, it is revealed to Israel (and to every other nation) that once she has entered into the light of God‘s righteousness, she will get a “new name.” No longer will she be known as “Forsaken“ and “Desolate.” Her new name will be “God’s Delight, God’s Bride (intimate companion“ (see also Isa 56:5).

As it was and is for Israel, so shall it be for the Church Age. The Apostle John tells us that all who come into the righteousness of Christ will receive a “New Name” (Rev 2:17). That name is written in the Lamb’s book of forever life (Rev 21:27). Lord, how awesome it is for the faithful sentry to know that his/her name, “New Name,” is written down into the records of glory.

This great old gospel hymn says it all.

His Riches For My Rags

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Rely fully on Christ to replace your sin & shame with his righteousness (Isa 61:7) #GarmentsOfPraise #GreatExchange #RagsToRiches https://bible.com/bible/1588/isa.61.7.AMP

The Great Exchange: A Garment of Righteousness For My Shame

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah 61:7 summarizes verses 3–6. It expresses a marvelous exchange of joy for shame and dishonor, a double portion of joy at that. In context the nation of Israel will be delivered from Babylonian captivity and find herself immeasurably blessed among the nations.

But the prophetic future here describes a spiritual Israel, life in the kingdom of God. The Messiah, Jesus Christ (described in vv 1,2; see Luk 4:18-22) will deliver beauty for ashes, blessing for mourning and praise for despair. Lives will be rebuilt, remade, in the righteousness of Christ (note 2Co 5:21).

Lord, thank you for the precious treasure of Christ’s righteousness given the duty sentries, in exchange for our sin and shame.

Faith Affirmed

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you believe and follow Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy (Isa 61:1,2). #JesusFulfuillsProphecy # https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.61.1-2.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Somewhere around 650 BC Isaiah penned this prophecy. 700 years later a Jewish carpenter from Nazareth, named Jesus, stood and read these words in temple worship…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him(Luk 4:18f).

In the middle of verse two he stopped and said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing“ (Luk 4:21). Everything about that day in worship was normal until Jesus stopped here and laid claim to these verses for himself as the Anointed One, the Messiah of Israel.

Nothing would ever be the same again. Not the for Jesus, not for the nation of Israel nor the rest of mankind. History was at a pivot point. Three years later Jesus would die on a Roman cross to forgive the sins of mankind and open the door to eternal life. Lord, my faith and belief in you is affirmed. I will follow you to the end as the faithful fulfillment of this prophecy.

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be renewed in joyful expectation of the glorious reign of Jesus (Isa 60:19-22; Rev 21:22-25). #MineEyesHaveSeenTheGloryOfTheComingOfTheLord https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.60.19-22.NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/rev.22.6-20.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah continues to prophesy of the marvelous reign of our Redeemer King – God’s Messiah, Jesus Christ. This is his promise to his people. He will stand at the head of the New Jerusalem, exalted (v9). His people, though they have faltered and have known God‘s discipline (v10), will be called the City of the Lord (v14).

God’s people will know him as Savior and Lord (v16). The sun will never set on his people, his Temple, his City (v19,20; Rev 21:22-25). God will be their everlasting and eternal light (v20). God concludes with these words: “At the right time I, the Lord, will make it happen.“

Today, this aged sentry is renewed with the words of that old battle hymn, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of coming of the Lord. Glory, Gory, Hallelujah.”

Rise n’ Shine!

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Look for the light of Christ to shine into your darkness (Isa 60:1–6). #RiseNShine #Reveille #TheGloryOfTheLord https://bible.com/bible/1588/isa.60.1-3.AMP

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Comes a righteous king (Isa 59:16b – 20) to set men right with God. “Rise n’ Shine,“ Oh Jerusalem, the glory of the Lord appears over you. In the midst of heavy darkness the light of the world will shine upon you. Nations will come to your light. The people of Zion will return to you. Your wealth will be renowned.

Isaiah looks over the horizon of time to an age when men will come to the light. Jesus our redeemer, our Messiah, came into a world of darkness. He is the light of men (Jhn 8:12; 2Co 4:6). He will come again as conquering king. “Thus saith the Lord,” through Isaiah. Lord, you have shined your light into my darkness; may your light be reflected through me to others in darkness.

On this Veterans Day I can say that quiet literally the Lord Jesus shined into my darkness. It was December 28, 1968, between 2:00 & 3:00 AM. I was on watch in a guard tower in Vietnam. Jesus broke into my darkness and nothing has been the same since.

Wonderful Savior

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have open eyes and hearts to the Savior, Jesus (Isaiah 59:17–21). #Salvation #Redeemer #Repentance

Yeshuah, Jesus, Weeps & Prays Over Jerusalem

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God’s answer to the sin of men and there inability to save themselves is to send a righteous, sinless redeemer. He will be dressed in righteousness and robbed in Divine passion. He will judge God’s enemies, all of sin and deliver Salvation.

This redeemer Prince from Jerusalem (Yeshuah [Jesus] Rom 11:26), will keep covenant with Israel, save her from her sin. Indeed all of mankind will benefit, from east to west, from the Lord’s salvation. All those who turn from sin will know the salvation of the Lord. Lord, what a wonderful, merciful and thoughtful Savior you are.

Perilous Predicament

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Accept ownership of your sin, it’s consequence and repent (Isa 59:1,12–15) https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.59.1-15.NLT #GodToTheRescue #Repentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah reminds Judah that God had not left them. They had left God. Their sin (subsequently, my sin) has piled up on them (vv2–8) and testifies against them. Their destruction is eminent (Babylonian captivity). So, before there can be confession, cleansing, forgiveness and redemption there must be a recognition of sin and acceptance of responsibility for it.

Like Judah, I must own my sin before God, accept my lostness (recognize my perilous predicament) before I can reach out to the one (Jesus) who has come to rescue me, to pull me to safety. This is repentance: recognizing that I am a sinner bound for eternal destruction and accept salvation from God.

Lord, your word exposes my sinful and rebellious heart. I have seen my sin for what it is before you. I repent and receive your cleansing, forgiveness and redemption (Jhn 3:16; 1Jn 1:9).

A Priori

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come to God’s Word with an open heart and mind (Isa 55:8–13). #APriori #PromiseOfRedemption https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.55.8-12.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Man need look no further than nature and the universe to see the hand of God (Rom 1:20). No mere botanist could command the heavens on a world wide timetable to fertilize the earth for eons. No mere theologian could have divined such a marvelous plan of redemption for all the earth and all the men in it, time immemorial. In fact, they follow after the “a priori“ acts of God.

Men simply study to try and understand what God has already done and/or has spoken through his word. God has ordained all of nature, the universe and his word to honor his name and be an everlasting sign of his power and love. Everything works together to achieve God’s grand purposes. Lord, give me an open heart; this simple sentry cannot wrap his mind around so great a plan of redemption.

Inexplicable Pardon

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Find humility to repent toward God who is steadfast to forgive (Isa 55:8,9). #GodsWaysNotMansWays #Inexplicable https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.55.9.NLT

Inexplicable

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Who could grasp the inexplicable ways in which God thinks and acts. We may never understand the “why” or the “ways” in which God acts, on this side of eternity. But we are able to see “how” he acts and “what” he does. He has fully explained himself (all we need to know) in Christ Jesus.

Men find it hard, if not impossible, to forgive…to pardon the offenses of others. The multiplied number of offenses and the degree of offenses converge to make forgiveness impossible for all, all the time. But in God, men can find unlimited pardon. There is still time to humble ourselves and repent. Lord, give this crusty old sentry a humble repentance towards you, your will and your purposes.

Sing Joyful Songs

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Exult in triumphant joyful song for your redemption (Isa 54:1-5). #SingOSingOfMyRedeemer https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.54.5.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Coming down out of the clouds of the “Suffering Servant” prophecy, Isaiah jubilantly exhorts Israel to break into triumphant songs of joy. She had been cut off for her unfaithfulness. Like a woman unable to have children she had been shamed. But now God would show her favor as a woman blessed with many children.

Israel’s mourning over captivity and shame would be changed to joyful singing. She would be set free. Her shame and unfaithfulness, she would remember no more. And so it has been for this old sentry. Lord, you have blessed me since my days of repentance – the sins of my youth have been forgotten and I exult in my Redeemer.

I Will Sing Of My Redeemer: https://youtu.be/3p8THfJihuc

A Rebel Like Me

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Comprehend, acknowledge, God‘s great love and burden for us as rebels (Isa 53:10–12). #GodLovesYou #JesusDiedForYou #JesusInterceedsForYou https://bible.com/bible/1588/isa.53.10-12.AMP

Jesus is in this picture in every face

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In these verses God explains clearly that his Servant, our Redeemer, will lay down his life as the final sacrifice for man’s sin (v10). As a result, many rebels will be made righteous because of his sacrifice (v11; Rom 10:9,10; 2Co 5:21; Eph 4:22–24).

Jesus is in this pic in every face

Most remarkable of all, he gave up his glory to become a man like me (Phi 2:7). He was subject to every sin and temptation, yet he himself was without sin (Heb 4:15,16). “He was counted among [identified with] the rebels (v12).“ He was like me but not me. He bore my sin and now as my Redeemer he is at the right hand of the Father advocating and interceding for me (Rom 8:34). He is my compassionate Prayer Sentry.

Victorious Redeemer-Warrior

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Esteem, honor, the Lord’s Christ as victorious over sin (Isa 53:10–12). #VictoryOverSin #SufferingServant #VictoriousRedeemer https://bible.com/bible/1588/isa.53.10-12.AMP

Coming King Sculpture – Kerrville,Texas

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah 53:10–12 stands in sharp contrast and great relief to verses 1–9. Here it is revealed, as difficult as it is to absorb, that the plan of God all along had been to crush the Redeemer-Prince and cause him great anguish. However, it is important to note that the point of that anguish was not for the sake of anguish. It was for the sake of absolving man’s sin.

Does a parent take joy in punishing a child? No. It is for the sake of a future outcome. Just so, the Redeemer will see God‘s plan prosper and the redemption accomplished by his suffering. He will be satisfied at the future outcome. Many will come to wholeness out of sin. The Redeemer himself will be honored as a victorious soldier.

(Note Hebrews 12:2 “[Keep your] eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated [victorious] in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (NLT) )

The only adequate response of the duty sentry is to fall on the floor of the watchtower, weep tears of repentance, tears of joy and worship the victorious Redeemer.

The Matchless Grace of Jesus

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we grow in our knowledge of, praise and affection for, the Redeemer and his enormous sacrifice for sin (Isa 53:7-9). #SinsDebtCanceled https://bible.com/bible/1588/isa.53.7-9.AMP

MORNING WATCH NOTES (Extended):

The prophecy of Isaiah 53 continues here to describe the oppressive and unrighteous nature of the Redeemer’s shameful treatment and trial. Yet, this Redeemer, under great duress, said not a word of complaint. He surrendered as a lamb led to the slaughter, as a sheep before his shearers. He saw it through to the end.

The debt of sin, death, was called in. The Redeemer patiently, meekly and quietly suffered oppressive treatment and the unrighteous proceedings of incited leaders and an angry mob. He was charged for acts he never committed. He was cut down, sharply canceled out, before ever he might have a single heir in this earth (v10 informs us that he would ultimately have many spiritual heirs). For the sins of the people this righteous man, we now know as Jesus, The Christ, was struck down violently and suffered in our place.

The Redeemer, falsely accused, died a criminal’s death. The Jews would have buried him dishonorably along with the two thieves or the malevolent but sparred Barabbas. However, the Romans handed his body over to Joseph, the Aramathaean – a “rich man.” Why? Because according to the Scriptures, “His actions were [truly] prompted by pure love and his speech consisted of unclouded sincerity and truth.“* This honorable burial would inaugurate his glorification to come, noted in v10,12.

Barnes assesses this passage beautifully: “How strikingly and literally was this [prophecy] fulfilled in the life of [Christ]. It would seem almost as if it had been written after he had lived, and was history rather than prophecy. No other person ever so entirely accorded with the description of [Christ] by the prophet.“**

O how great is the enormity of this old sentry’s sin. How sufficient is the wonderful matchless grace of my Redeemer-Prince (Jesus the Messiah). He forgave all my sin and gave me life eternal. All he asks in return is that men would “believe the message” and trust in him (v1). The way I thank him and honor him is by believing and following him.

O how Wonderful The Matchless Grace of Jesus https://youtu.be/vsPc-Ix3_ow

* Kiel-Delitzsch, Commentary on Isaiah, Eerdmans Publishing (1975), Grand Rapids, Mich (pg 829).

** Barnes’ Notes on Isaiah, Baker Publishing (1980), Ann Arbor, Mich (pg 272).

Only One Response

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

O, that we might “BELIEVE” the message, receive and follow the Redeemer (Isa 53:1,4,5). #Believe https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Isaiah%2053:1,4-5&version=AMP

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“By his stripes we are healed.“ Grasp the context here. Our Redeemer didn’t just represent man in redemption from sin. He literally took our sin AND all their consequences into his own being. All our weaknesses (the result of sin), all our sorrows, our troubles, our rebellion, our sickness and disease (all the results of sin, increasing his pain exponentially), he absorbed in his own body.

O, the anguish of our Redeemer’s soul. It was unspeakable, bearing ALL our sin and their consequences. His “stripes“ were literal. They painfully represent his horrible, unspeakable death. ALL that sin is and represents – the disease of certain and eternal death (were there NO redemption) – our Redeemer died for and provided for us complete wholeness and healing. We are healed, saved, from the curse of sin and ALL its consequences.

I am staggered and left without words, how to respond. The Lord tells me in verse one my only necessary response. Simply “BELIEVE the message,” receive and follow Jesus.

The Substitute

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

O that we may deepen in our love for and surrender to Jesus (Isa 53:3-6). #SufferingServant #ForgivenessForSin https://bible.com/bible/97/isa.53.2-6.MSG

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The painful reality is that our Redeemer-prince, who is here spoken of, suffered excruciatingly for our sin. He was treated as lower than the lowest in society. He took upon himself the grief and agonies of men. He was our substitute. Men interpreted his calamities as punishment for his own sin. But, NO! It was for our sin, my sin, that he took such punishment.

Jesus was my substitute. He was crushed for my sins, whipped so I could be healed (made whole). It was I for whom my Savior bled and died. He was my substitute. The Lord – God laid upon him all the sins of every man, past and present. He was my substitute; the sinless servant suffered punishment for my sin. No other could have stood in for me and borne the penalty for my sin? No one! Lord, may the love and devotion of this old sentry for you, deepen with every passing day.

Trust The Truth

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have an unassailable trust in the veracity of God’s Word (Isa 53:1-12; 2Ti 3:16). #TrustGodsWord https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.53.5-10.NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/2ti.3.16.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Reading Isaiah 53 reminds me of one of the great irrefutable evidences of the veracity of God’s word: the fulfillment of prophecy. We see in the life of Christ and his suffering on the cross for the sins of mankind the fulfillment of Isaiah 53.

Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies. There are still some yet to be fulfilled… That is, those related to Christ’s return. Fulfilled prophecy is just one evidence of the inspiration and trustworthiness of Scripture. Lord, This aged sentry has fully trusted in your word for many years. Your Word has never failed me.

No Words

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May hearts dissolve in thankfulness and eyes melt in tears for the Savior’s love and sacrifice (Isa 52:13-15). #NoGreaterLove #SufferingServant https://bible.com/bible/1588/isa.52.13-15.AMP

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Following Jehovah‘s announcement of his deliverance of Israel from the hands of Babylon the subject is left. What follows is the most magnificent description of the coming Redeemer and Messiah in all the Bible (Isa 52:13-53:12). There is no superlative in the English language to describe or enhance this portion of scripture regarding the Lord’s Messiah – Jesus.

Isaiah now describes the coming Savior of the world. He sees his disfigurement and rejection as a necessary part of salvation-redemption. Described here as the humble suffering servant, this Savior would cleanse the nations. Though not immediately recognized he would amaze many and he would be highly exalted. Paul refers to this passage as the gospel to the world (Rom 15:20,21).

Lord, words fail me to express my gratitude for such a gracious savior. “Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears.” *

* At The Cross, Isaac Watts, 1707

Good News!

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Find your hope in the “Good News,” the gospel of salvation (Isa 52:3–7). #GoodNews #Deliverance #Salvation https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.52.3-7.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Filled with anticipation for the announcement of the coming Messiah-Deliverer (Isa 52:13-53:12), God announces “Good News“ (v7) to those in captivity. Deliverance is here. Judah wantonly sold herself into slavery for nothing. She will be released at no cost.

God will raise up a conquering prince, Cyrus of Persia. He will plunder Judah’s captors and in an act of mercy and justice, release God’s people back to their homeland. “How beautiful are the feet of the messenger who brings good news of peace and salvation. The God of Israel reigns.“ He has done the same for me. Lord, ain’t that Good News!

AIN’T THAT GOOD NEWS

I got a robe up in that Kingdom; Ain’t that good news, Ain’t that good news

I got a robe up in that Kingdom; Ain’t that good news, Ain’t that good news

(CHORUS) I’m gonna lay down this world, Gonna shoulder up my cross; Gonna take it home to my Jesus, Ain’t that good news, ain’t that good news

I got a crown up in that Kingdom; Ain’t that good news, Ain’t that good news

I got a crown up in that Kingdom; Ain’t that good news, Ain’t that good news

(CHORUS)

I got a Savior in-a that Kingdom; Ain’t that good news, Ain’t that good news

I got a Savior in-a that Kingdom; Ain’t that good news, Ain’t that good news

(CHORUS)

Wait For It…

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Endow us with renewed enthusiasm for the things of God: the will, the work and the wonder (Isa 52:1,2). #Renewal #Revival #TheJoyOfHeaven https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.52.1-2.NLT

Anticipating The Reveal Of Heaven’s
Messiah-Redeemer

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Get your party clothes on. Arise from the dust and the ashes. Take the place of honor, O Jerusalem (vv1,2). I, the Lord, I’m about to demonstrate my power…do an unheard of thing (v10).” Jehovah God is ready to “throw down” one of the greatest prophecies of the coming Messiah-Redeemer in recorded Scripture.

Isaiah‘s pen is ready. He has no idea what God is about to reveal to him [in Isaiah 53]. But God knows. I see God as beside himself with joy as he anticipates what he is about to say. On this side of redemption I too know what is coming. In my morning watch I am just trying to let that anticipation of Heaven sink into my small finite place in the universe. Lord, endow this lone sentry with renewed joy for the things of God: the will, the work and the wonder.

No Greater Call

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION:

Bend our hearts Lord, to sharing the Gospel message with all we meet (Isa49:6,7). #GospelWitness #ShareTheGoodNews #ShareJesusNow https://bible.com/bible/59/isa.49.6-7.ESV

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Verses 6 & 7 bears the mention of one further thought. Jehovah here reveals the importance of the Redeemer’s task. The restoration of the people of God back into relationship with him as paramount. But it was a small thing compared to being the light to all men.

It was far more important that the message of Redemption be spread to the ends of the earth. (Note Mat 28:19,20; Acts 1:8). It is to this end that believers in Christ are commissioned, called, to “Go and make disciples.” Lord, there could be no higher calling than to be a witness to others of the redemption story of Christ.*

*See Barnes’ Notes, Isaiah 49:6, Pg. 204 (last paragraph before 49:7).

Why Israel Is The Chosen Seed Of God

PRAYER: Look to the omniscient plan of God for redemption (Isa 48:1,4,8-11) https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.48.1-11.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES (EXTENDED):

Every now and then one has to stop and take stock of all God is doing; take into account the bigger picture. It enables the prayer sentry to pray with understanding. I had one of those days yesterday. Here is what God showed me.

The story of Israel, the Jewish race, is the story God’s redemption. God chose to reveal himself to mankind through the Jewish race. They would be the chosen seed, the chosen light pointing men to God. However, they failed to do that as a people. They were persistently disobedient and rebellious toward God. Yet, God seems somehow to always be the protective father, letting his favored child continue in disobedience. Why does God continually protect them? I find myself wondering, “Why does God seem to always put up with Israel’s waywardness and incorrigibility?” “Why did he choose them?”

The Old Testament reveals that God does discipline his chosen people throughout the course of their national life. But Israel, as a whole, never seems to get it. They just seem to be a constant disappointment to God. At one point God does seems willing to start over. But then Moses steps in to protect them. He asks God not to destroy Israel completely and God relents (Exodus 32:1-14).

The questions to me seem to be: why did God choose Israel? Would there not have been another people group who would have shown themselves to be more faithful? The answer to that questions is, “Probably not.” Why did God find it necessary to choose some outlying race of people anyway?

Certainly, greater minds than mine have pondered these questions for, no doubt, ages. But here is my simple and feeble assessment. I think the answer to why God chose Israel, the Jewish race, as his chosen people, lies in the omniscient plan, character and love of God. In the beginning God set out to redeem mankind from their fall into sin. God’s omniscient plan called for a Redeemer and a sacrifice for sin. This is seen in the first blood sacrifice of an animal out of the Garden of Eden. God performed the first sacrifice. Instead of killing Adam for his sin (for the wages of sin is death-Rom 6:23), God took the life of an animal (shed its blood as a substitute, propitiation for sin) and used the skin as a “covering” for Adam and Eve. Thus, God covered the sin of man (Gen 3:21).

Back to the nation of Israel. God didn’t choose the Jewish people because of their superior moral character or their religious devotion. In fact, God never chooses any of us because we are so righteous or so good. In fact, to the contrary, Scripture says there is no one righteous, not one (Rom 3:10). But I digress.

The Jewish race was chosen because God is sovereign not because they were superior. He could have chosen any people group. Through this chosen seed, God would institute and implement symbols of worship, sacrifice and redemption. This structure in the Jewish sacrificial system would be, has been and is, sufficient to forecast or foretell God’s Redeemer and the sacrifice for sin. This sacrifice would be the ground of redemption for all who would believe.

Israel was and is no different from any other people group. They were, we all are, sinners. But what God needed was a human ancestry, a lineage, a seed from which a Redeemer-sacrifice would emerge, from which his GRACE would extend to all men. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was that Redeemersacrifice. Jesus would be the fulfillment of God’s promise of redemption. He would be God’s sacrifice, God’s instrument of GRACE to all men for their sin. The Jewish nation was selected by the sovereign plan of God to bear witness to and be the seed and instrumentality of that redemption. She was not selected not because she was perfect but because God is sovereign.

Further, God chose the Jewish race knowing full well in advance that they would be prideful, disobedient, obstinate, stiff-necked, rebellious and hard hearted. God knew in advance that this people would break his heart over and over again. God would discipline and or punish their sinful rebellion, but he would not completely destroy the ancestry, the lineage, the seed from which his Redeemer would eventually emerge. In fact, God would go to extravagant lengths to protect his people…even if it was only a small remnant.

So, the story and history of God’s chosen people is really the story of all men. Just as God showed mercy and grace to a sinful, stubborn and rebellious people of Israel, so he shows mercy and grace to all people. The story of God’s longsuffering with me is reflected in the story of God’s longsuffering with Israel. They deserved nothing. He gave them everything. So, it is with me as well.

All men everywhere are indebted. Not indebted to the Jewish race, but to God, for choosing a people (a people like me, no different from me) to reveal his Redeemer, Jesus Christ. There were no perfect people from which to choose. There are still no perfect people. Never has been. What we do have is a perfect Redeemer, Jesus Christ, whom God was pleased to sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. Just as Israel was chosen by GRACE, sustained by GRACE and saved by GRACE, so we to are chosen, sustained and saved by GRACE.

There are none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10).

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). 

But God demonstrates is own love for us, in that while were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). 

Next time you think that God is unfairly and forever longsuffering with the Jewish race, his seed of redemption, think about how longsuffering he has been and is with you as well. So we should be towards others.

Never Underestimate God

PRAYER: Trust in God, who alone is mighty to save (Isa 44:28–45:3). #AnointedOne #GodDelivers https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.44.28.NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.45.1-3.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Here is seen one of God’s most incredible prophetic accounts. God declares through Isaiah, by name, that “Cyrus,“ the Persian, shall be God’s “shepherd“ king, “anointed one,” to deliver Israel out of Babylonian captivity.

Why so incredible? Because this prophecy was delivered by Isaiah 150 years before Cyrus was born. Further, he is the only pagan, Gentile king referred to by God as “anointed one.“ Cyrus is, in this sense, a type of the greater Anointed One, Redeemer of Israel and of all men, Jesus Christ. God chooses whom he chooses for his work of redemption. Lord, you alone are mighty to save. I put my trust in you.