Isaiah 1:1-3 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth;For the Lord speaks, “Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. 3 “An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand.”
The Early Prophets foretold the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Isaiah was a prophet who prophesied about things happening in their time and things to come. Prophets were judged according to their accuracy about upcoming events and there were over three hundred very detailed prophecies about the coming Messiah and all of them came true at one time. The birth of Jesus was the fulfillment of many prophecies by Godly men God chose to prophesy about His coming. Those prophecies were given to the Jews in specific form and still they ignored the detailed telling of the coming Messiah. They knew so much about the coming Messiah and that should have caused them to get on their camels and go to where the star was shining. But they didn’t. The Jewish people had a problem with follow through and God became very upset with them on a daily basis because of their lack of follow through. In verses 2 and 3 Isaiah prophesies against them because they should know how and what to do in the area of following God, but once again they fall away like they do not understand. In reality, of all people, they should know and understand what God is trying to tell them. But they don’t!!
In the event of the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, they missed the whole thing and didn’t understand that the promised King was walking in their midst. So they crucified Him and thus fulfilled another prophecy. Jesus came to save the world from the penalty of sin and give redemption to all who come to Him. Today we live, really live, because of what Christ did on the cross those many years ago. The sacrifice of Jesus gives us an unequaled access to the Heavenly Father, as we approach God as “sons and daughters.” But sadly, as the Jews missed the coming Messiah, we also miss Him on many fronts. Here are some of the “fronts” we miss Jesus on.
Freedom – The grace of God is something we have problems with every day because we cannot fully understand the freedom God has given to us through the blood of Jesus. Of course, we should know this grace intimately because it is the power of true freedom for all who know Jesus, but we miss it. Guilt and acceptance are the chains that bind us to a weak and weighted down faith that doesn’t really accomplish much at all. Paul wrote of this freedom in Galatians 5: ]It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Who is the slave trader here? Is it not satan who tries to keep us bound in the chains of past sins? We openly refute God’s grace when we don’t learn to receive the forgiveness that is freely given to all who know Jesus. As Paul said, “Do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” You will find that most people who don’t receive this grace find it very hard to forgive others because they have not experienced true forgiveness themselves and the chains of past sins infect their ability to forgive others. Churches are full of bound up believers who are not living the victorious life of freedom fighters. Perhaps every day should be a spiritual memorial day where we honor God for giving His life for our freedom and learn to live in that freedom to the max.
Faith – Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. If our eternal life in heaven was based on the faith we have on a daily basis we would not make it there. We are to have assurance of things hoped for, like eternal life in heaven. That should bleed over into our convictions about things like living a vibrant life, stirring revival fires in the church, pointing to heaven and looking for the return of Jesus. If we as believers actually lived out a true, pure faith we would serve in such a way that would reach our communities as never before. A church, a congregation of believers would shine so brightly that the onlooking world of pagans would take notice and be drawn to that fellowship of people. Instead of being images of faith we are showing images of dissension and worldliness (fights over picking out carpet colors, plaques honoring people instead of God, worrying about what clothes should be worn in church, etc.) A very important reminder here is Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. You may notice that in this scripture it takes the ability to be saved out of our hands and puts it in the hand of God and we have faith in Him, not ourselves. When you receive Christ by faith it opens up the “world of faith” to us and our lives are run by the growing faith that develops through that close, personal relationship with Jesus.
Fire – 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says a lot where it says plainly and concisely 19 Do not quench the Spirit; Survivor types of people know that in order to get potable water they have to make a fire to boil the dirty water they gather so they can refresh their body’s systems. They will die without water and fire heats and purifies the water so it is useful and not deadly. We live in a world that tries to pollute all of the pure, living water we as believers present in the message of the cross. Even believers get attached to old teachings of men and pollute the intent of God’s teachings through His Word. It’s like we have fallen in a ditch and everything God made so clear has become polluted and unclear and this should not be. Then we have denominational doctrines that totally leave the Holy Spirit out of the life of believers. Then those same believers let themselves get indoctrinated into believing that God’s Spirit doesn’t move like that anymore. That is called “quenching the Spirit” and God’s Word says “don’t do that!” In fact, we need the Holy Spirit to move in such a way as to bring revival to the lethargic church that seems to be on it’s last legs. But it isn’t it’s last legs. In every fellowship there is a remnant that wants true revival and if they will rise up those revival fires will burn again and purify the church to follow the Great Commission once again. It is going to take the fire of the Holy Spirit to move in individual lives and believers are going to have to allow God to deal with disobedient hearts that have been enslaved in order for them to be set free.
God is still moving and our continued desire to see Him move more will change how we perceive things going on right now. Back to Isaiah. The Israelites should have seen Jesus coming and realized it through the over 300 prophecies about His coming. But they missed it. Don’t be like them. You should know better if you study God’s promises in His Word at all. When revival does come I hope you will be one who is not surprised at all, but have been actively praying for it to come and have kept your heart ready for it and your eyes looking for the Messiah to be seen in our churches again. Jesus is coming again to get his church, but until then realize He has come through the Holy Spirit and it is imperative for us to receive Him with open arms and open hearts. Let it flow….Let it flow…. You know you want to. So do it. Come Holy Spirit in power and majesty and change our hearts and revive us again!!
The Pilgrimage continues….