Exponential East 2017 concludes this morning with the call to church planters to go out and do what God has called them by name to do. For many, this will be the beginning of a whole new chapter in their lives and in their walk in faith. Wayne Corderio reminded us of this incredible promise yesterday:
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.
And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
If you have a red-letter setting on your app or printed edition you’ll see the profound statement, “But I have prayed for you…” — Jesus Christ himself. We will go through trials as James reminds us, but we will not go alone. Let that soak in for a while.
Isaiah 24: The Lord’s Devastation of the Earth
The earth is broken up,
the earth is split asunder,
the earth is violently shaken.
The earth reels like a drunkard,
it sways like a hut in the wind;
so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion
that it falls—never to rise again.
In that day the Lord will punish
the powers in the heavens above
and the kings on the earth below.
Oddly enough, this isn’t a scripture reference from Exponential (hint: the sarcasm sign is lit). Isaiah points to a day, that day, when the Lord finally punishes the wickedness and evil of Satan and his followers.
Isaiah 25: Praise to the Lord
On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
Hopefully, if you read chapter 24 you continued on to chapter 25 and beyond. Here we see the amazing words that we hear much later in Revelation 7:17: The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. All faces. The promise of a new and perfect creation for all to enjoy fully.
Isaiah 26: A Song of Praise
Naturally we want to sing a song of praise at this moment, a song that remembers how God is seen as the ultimate judge.
Lord, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
Lord our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but your name alone do we honor.
They are now dead, they live no more;
their spirits do not rise.
No longer will the lords of this earth wield any power. You alone, Lord, will vanquish the enemies. I like the word vanquish. It’s powerful and complete, horrible and terrifying to some, bittersweet to others. The finality portrayed in these chapters is somewhat frightening. My hope is I will be stirred to action with a sense of urgency. We have much work to do and no idea when the day will come, except that it comes when we least expect it.
Isaiah 27: Deliverance of Israel
In that day,
the Lord will punish with his sword—
his fierce, great and powerful sword—
Leviathan the gliding serpent,
Leviathan the coiling serpent;
he will slay the monster of the sea.
Satan is no more. The once mighty whose pride led the downfall of many is no more. In that day we will rejoice like never before!
I am not angry.
The beginning of verse 4 is worth reflecting on. The Lord says, “I am not angry.” That is amazing and wonderful.
We probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the end of time, but I’m reminded to consider our calling to go and make disciples of all nations with a sense of purpose. Lord, help us to understand our unique giftings in this calling and to put those to good use now.